Ring-Ring-Ringa: Mostly Agony

10 Mar


Is it a sign of mounting insanity if I say I can’t share a room with a cell phone?

I mean: cell phones. Small, electronic gadgets greatly prized by parents for their tracking capabilities that also record video, take photos, play music, surf the web, play games, remind you of your appointments, receive calls from all the people you don’t wish to talk to (usually at the most inopportune moment like when your mouth is full of food, you’re sitting in the middle of a crowded theater on a Friday night, or blissfully standing in the shower wasting all the water the planet absolutely can’t afford to waste) and occasionally allow you to place a call if that mysterious thing called a “network” is so inclined. Those things.

The ones that have precisely two advantages as I see it: one, they eliminate the need for an alarm clock; two, if you’re ever being stalked by someone in a car (honestly, how many times have you sat through a movie like Cape Fear, etc and wondered, “Why don’t you just use the fucking cell phone, morons?” before remembering that this movie was made back in the days when humankind was using smoke signals or whatever it was that The Ancients used to communicate – flags? megaphones? I dunno.) or a darkened alley, etc. you can immediately call the police. In all probability you’ll be dead by the time help arrives but hey! at least you’ll have the satisfaction that you did something!

In a  generous mood (something I’m in less and less these days due to a lack of sleep) I might even stretch that an extra couple of points: three, you’re not obliged to carry around spare change to use on filthy public telephones which you’ll hold as far away from your ear as possible in case it carries strangers’ cooties; and four, connection is a matter of you walking into a store and pushing in a little chip, not sitting around for hours or days for someone to come poke into various points in your wall before sadly informing you that your phone can only be connected on the most inconvenient point possible because the wall jack gremlins have apparently established a colony from which they will not be ousted in the one that you have picked out.

“But the previous tenant / owner / roommate / person had their phone plugged in right there in that exact spot!” you complain, outraged.

At which the phone person shakes his head, mutters something about rewiring the entire building to satisfy your unreasonable demands and how it’s going to take a year and one million dollars to do it all and then looks reproachfully at you, selfish, selfish you.

“All right,” you say, defeated. You don’t wish to be that bitch in Apartment 13M who insisted on breaking down the whole building, bankrupting the owners and driving their poor children into Dickensian workhouses, just for the pleasure of seeing the damn phone occupy the nook it was clearly meant to occupy. You vent your feelings instead by glaring at the phone every time you pass it by, sitting prettily atop your refrigerator.

I’ve never been one of those people who give their cell phones a nickname and obsessively love it as though it’s their first crush in high school and it has a reputation of putting out when properly stroked, but if you’re not a big fan of people coming in to tinker around your house (and I am not!) then the experience of hooking up a landline is enough to make you fall in love with cell phones. No matter how painless, a cell phone is always the easier option – unless, of course, you’re an agoraphobic.

Thus: the cell phone. Plug it in anywhere, use it anywhere and put it anywhere – except for the bedroom, that is.

Maybe I’m one of those people with electronic forcefields or something (is that what they call it?) and it interferes with whatever the cell phone is radiating (I’m really not up on the terminology) but I simply can’t go to sleep in a room with a cell. I toss and turn all night, and then my head threatens a migraine the whole of the next day.

At first, I thought maybe hiding it would be the solution. So I cleverly placed it out of sight in the bottom shelf of my bedside table. My head was made of cotton wool the next day.

Loath to give up my handy alarm clock (the only thing I like about that damn thing other than its looks – yes, I’m shallow when it comes to electronics! I don’t care how beautiful its inner circuitry is, I just want the pretty), I next shoved it under the clothes that I tend to leave overnight on the armchair next to my bed. I got some sleep… and heartburn of all things.

So then I took it outside the room and left it in the living room.


A little too much peace. I woke a whole hour late and it caused more problems than a headache would have.

Sigh. Before I ask for the happy pills, maybe I ought to shop for a decent alarm clock? I don’t want it to make soothing ocean sounds or mimic wind whistling through woods at midnight or wake me up on my favorite radio station: I just want it to ring loudly enough to make me open my eyes. The way my cell phone used to. Sniff.

Pretty things. They never last.


Posted by on March 10, 2009 in Life, Personal


12 responses to “Ring-Ring-Ringa: Mostly Agony

  1. pitu

    March 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Ahahhahahaa hilarious. And so very dysfunctional. You’re my very own desi Sedaris. Also, I don’t get the crazy cell louve either. My cousins are OBSESSED with theirs and it is so bizarre- they deck em out in these hideous cases and jingly jangly thingies and download ringtones and callertones and wallpaers and shit and all I do is punch a number in mine :-p Also, I refuse to be tied to the cellphone leash, I am a HUMAN BEING not a doggy. Imagine the tongue lashing I gave my frenemy when she was all “You didn’t pick up my call, I called thrice”. So I said I was at the beach and the cell was on silent and in my bag. She was all “But WHY can’t you answer at the beach?” Me: Because it’s my effing RELAXATION time you cretin. And playing fetch with my dog is FAR more important than discussing gossip with you!!!!!

    There. I got it off my chest. So, you were saying what abt cellphones?

  2. M

    March 10, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    LOL – you have ISSUES lady, you know that? 🙂 That said, there is some scienti’fic basis to the theory that cell phones disrupt sleep for some people, but anything I’ve read about it refers to talking on one just before sleeping, as that is the only known way for the radiation to affect you!

    Get yourself a $7 alarm clock from your neighbourhood Walgreens – the thing works perfectly well!


  3. naren

    March 11, 2009 at 1:50 am

    Enjoyed immensely!

  4. DewdropDream

    March 11, 2009 at 5:57 am

    They give them names?! :O

    Now that you brought it up, I can’t say am attached to mine… but it is a nifty piece of technology that I depend on a lot. I figured how to work the ‘net on it after nearly 8 months of ownership 😛 And downloaded scrabble to play 😀 Oh and it doubles up as a great PAS camera and music player.

    I do love ignoring it every now and then though.

    @ Pitu: ‘Cretin’? HAHA!! Don’t hear that word often… always cracks me up 😀 And I honestly don’t get decking up phones… aren’t they already decked up enough?

  5. Amrita

    March 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Pitu – OMG, your cousins are totally my friends! What is it with them?
    I don’t know whether to be worried or flattered at the Sedaris thing! I choose to be flattered. Muah!

    M – so you’re basically saying I’m crazy? Humpf. And sigh, yes, I’ll have to get one of those nasty little things. It always reminds me of school days, yaar. Man, I really am full of issues 😀

    Naren – always glad when you do!

    DDD – Oh it;s like they have a new baby. They can’t put it down, they name it, they buy it little outfits, they keep studying it to make sure it didn’t get a scratch… I can’t believe these are my friends.

  6. Mom Gone Mad

    March 12, 2009 at 7:53 am


    “Percentage” is back – and in style now? Really?

    I thought we’d seen enough of this in the ’60’s and ’70’s to put us off forever. Especially in Malayalam films, where they displayed their shiny, pointy, percentage chi-chi’s to the full.

    *Oddly and (suddenly) wistful about good ole ’70’s Mallu movie soft porn*

  7. DewdropDream

    March 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    In keeping with the spirit of this article, here’s something for you:

  8. Chevalier

    March 15, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Ooh, this happens to me with laptops! I don’t sleep too well in a room with a computer switched on (even if the monitor’s turned off)….but cellphones are such an essential, it’s tough to need to sleep with them in a different room!

    What do you do in hotel rooms, anyway?

  9. dipali

    March 22, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Totally hysterical! I sleep badly if my monitor’s light is on. Weird creatures, aren’t we?

  10. Amrita

    March 24, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    DDD – thanks babe, I have that Changeling review in the works for you btw. You’ve probably already seen it but still… I’m just being a lazy ass.

    Chevalier – if it’s something small, I’m screwed. No sleep. Otherwise, the closet is always handy!

    Dipali – a lot of people can’t sleep with that, I’ve heard. I don’t mind that so much, but the cell is no go. I should be in a zoo 🙂

  11. Sad75

    October 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    If different speech communities share no parameters, does it make any sense to juxtapose the sum total of parameters in a single map? ,

  12. (B)Ring it on!

    October 25, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Totally with you on the mobile love (or lack thereof)! And what’s with people’s “Ring” and “Rang” obsessions, really? (Periwinkle Blue anyone? Sorry Pitu, couldn’t resist pulling from your Train Karma post — good one, btw!)

    I came and read this right after your Prada “fug fairy” post today and thought I should share this Prada Phone piano bit. And milady would probably be interested in getting a free IT handbag, I thought? 😛

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