Locha-e-Ulfat: Trouble In Paradise

After almost 45 years of  a  rock solid but tempestuous marriage, my parents  have been hit by ‘Locha-e-Ulfat’ . Loosely translated that means ‘trouble in love/romance”.

Technology is to blame completely fueling further the the intrinsic differences in both personalities. While my beautiful Ma, is a techie and engineer,absolute woman of substance, running a hugely successfully electronics  industry, my Daddy , a charmer & heartbreaker, adorable and infuriatingly magnificent Leo, lorded it as head of police in my state.So Ma went around doing her own thing, fiercely independent and competitive. Daddy ,on the other hand, had people at his beck and call every second. Someone even handed over a towel to him to wipe his hands after meals,respectfully bowing, naturally. My sister and I have always joked that the parents  have found ‘higher love’ 🙂 Steve Winwood,take a walk!

An already sizzling chemistry between the two unfortunately  catalyzed into  a full blown fire with the advent of  technology. Especially the mobile phone.The  scenario when Graham Bell-ian communication was only on a landline suited my Dad. There was a ‘phone orderly’, whose only duty was to attend to the phone. Aah..hello feudalism 🙂  This chap would first interrogate the poor caller about his/her entire life for a good 15 minutes , to then haughtily state ” I shall see if Shahib is free”. Most of the times , the phone orderly  saved the Shahib from un-necessary calls & callers. Dad also never had to dial a single number himself. The numerous personal assistants would dial,punch buttons at a frenzied pace at the Sahib’s command aka an imminent  national security -alert scenario. Even if Dad just wanted to say hello to a friend. All this of course was sneered at by Ma. The great  debate about ‘government vs private’ ,which is more competent,efficient,honest blah, blah,blah were as common to me as nursery rhymes,fairy tales,Lands & Peoples,Eculid’s geometry etc

When the mobile phone arrived, Ma immediately got one.It was a Nokia 3310. Many of us will still remember  this phone, I guess.She instantly understood all the features,made up her contact list, sent her officials directives via texts to her staff etc. As technology advanced, she kept replacing her mobile phone with the latest  and  the sleekest. Not so her husband 🙂 After many months of owning a basic handset,he veered around to using it occasionally. Since he had to dial himself, normally a minimum of 5 wrong numbers were punched before he connected to the right person. He also had to answer the phone himself which he complained gave him a ‘trapped like an animal’  feeling. He regularly left his mobile phone in shops, stores, flights etc.Anyone who found it and returned it to him would be met with a sorrowful tirade ‘Thank you. But you see I have become a slave to this bloody mobile. I wish you hadn’t found it.Blah,blah,blah”. His attempts at texting nearly gave me a cardiac arrest. One cold December night in 2003, I remember , he sent me 27 blank texts.Terrified, I called him up to be told ”he was just practicing “!

Today, he still has a very ancient,basic  mobile.When he takes it to a mobile shop for replacing the battery, getting a key fixed etc the shopkeeper looks at him pretty aghast and blurts ‘Sir, since when do you have this phone? Why not a smart phone? How can you check mail ? Facebook?” Depending on his mood, my Dad either snarls ” Facebook is for criminals’, ‘Whoever wants to write to me can pick up a paper and pen and do so ” etc or he launches into a sermon about the evils of technology which somehow inevitably ends with how  he swam 7 rivers to reach his school, how he studied under the street lamp and look at the children of today.

Ma on the other hand has found another ”Life Companion” which occupies her time, mind and affection more than the real time companion 🙂 She is a Samsung afficionado . She has truly formidable knowledge of all brands, features, camera pixels,operating systems,etc. So she surfs, browses,Vibers, Whatsapps,Skypes,manages her money and banking on the mobile apps,pays her bills,uses text airline ticket confirmations,plays games and also has a smart voice mail message recorded in her own voice which says ‘ Hi,I am busy. Leave your number and I shall call back.If its urgent, sms pls”.  If  Dad calls up and is met with this, he roars like a wounded lion. He cannot forget the   faux pas of sending a sms,at his daughters’ coaxing, to Ma on her birthday. The text read ‘You & I shall have a candle lite dinner tonite. Wear your pearls”. Unfortunately, he sent it  by mistake to Ma’s very good friend who carries a torch for Daddy 🙂 The good lady promptly called up Ma ,a little triumphantly. Oh, I forgot to tell you all. My Ma is a Scorpio woman. 🙂

Boom…nuclear blast, yeah that’s what happened 🙂 Locha-e-Ulfat 🙂

( I was super impressed with his movie ‘2 States’. Refreshing and absolutely un-hypocritical.Some fabulous cameos by Amrita Singh,Ronit Roy,Revathy and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam. This song also has me hooked. I heard it first on the mobile phone- on loudspeaker -mode of a cheeky, young  green /tender coconut seller who  convinced me that the movie is worth watching,while smugly charging a whopping Rs 70/- for one coconut 🙂 The beat is  peppy and the voice of the singer is damn mast 🙂 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_States_%28film%29)




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