This is the tale of how my Amma and Nanna (dad) are intertwined with their never ending desire for SMS, discovering it only on reaching their 50s.
It all started when I moved to Bangalore for work. They could no longer delay the horror of having to carry their own mobile phones. I and sister decided on buying the most basic phone first, to be kept at home with mom (who refused to touch it for days together) so that I could talk to my family for long hours (given the fact that mobile tariff was better than land line one). My dad immediately learnt the basic things like – switching on and off, making a call and disconnecting it. It was all well for few days with mom also learning all the basic stuff. One fine day, there was a message from the mobile operator. Not knowing what it is or what to do.. mom took the specimen (mobile phone with message) to dad. My Nanna feeling all heroic in-front of amma tried reading the message but ended up accidentally deleting it 🙂 It took the headlines on that day’s call with me and all this fuss for some promotional message from the operator. We (I and sister) decided to take things into our hands the following weekend and showed amma/nanna how to write and send a message. For the generation that they belonged, it seemed like a magic. They were fascinated by it 🙂 Soon, dad who was strongly against the idea of having a mobile phone started indirectly showing interest towards having one for himself. Things took an U-turn with both mom and dad having their own mobile. Like small kids, they fight over if one touches the other one’s phone. Dad’s mobile is little advanced with LCD screen and soft buttons n all that. Everyday, he would come home and click our pics with his mobile’s 1MP camera.. family celebrations and functions would be covered only with his mobile cam, putting aside the 12MP camera at home 🙄 He would ask us to load songs and pictures of bikes/cars only 🙄 One day, he came to me with an excitement comparable to that of a kid finding an accidental lollipop to say that he has set amma’s picture as his screen background.. Isn’t he cute? 🙂 Anyway, I digress.
With Amma and Nanna learning how to send a message, our lives changed forever. Read on to know how. They both send around 10 msgs to each other. At one end, mom will be deciphering the message received from dad while he at the other end will be composing the next. The matters that can be closed through 1 min of phone call would be discussed through messages for 2 hours. No, not that elaborate. Its just the time taken by each of them to read the message and reply back. 😀 While dad’s English is full of grammar and correct spellings, mom chose to use the SMS slang (!) soon after she started messaging us. Dad finds it too hard to understand the slang and thus the delay between their messaging.
You know what is the first chore that dad has been doing for the past three years immediately after getting up in the morning – sending “good morning” message to me and mom. Yes, I kid not. Its one of his unavoidable duties now. Even if he is rushing, he will send the message atleast later that day. I accept his good morning message everyday which is like my morning alarm, as I am atleast away from him. But mom? She will be busy in the kitchen packing multiple dabbas for the day and ta-da, she receives good morning message from dad, who is sending it only from the living room. 😆 And one more thing, he expects a standard reply to his good morning message. Lets say, one day I forget to reply him. He questions and quarrels with me for atleast 10 mins that day over phone.. Now, why sister is left out from his message madness in the morning, you may ask.. I asked him the same last week and this was his reply – “this little girl of mine, doesn’t even care to reply her dad for one day.. why should I send her the message?” I mean, mom, dad and sister stay in the same house and they see each other everyday. but.. no, he expects a reply.
Imagine this – its sister birthday. I am awake at 12 midnight to wish her first where as mom and dad are sleeping. We both hug each other, giggle and go back to bed. Seeing dad awake and standing, I and sister expect him to wish her. He doesn’t. We see that he is busy with something. I go shake him to show him that sister is standing next to him. No, he doesnt lift his head. Now, what was he doing? Trying to send my sister happy birthday message from his mobile… when she was standing right next to him 😀 And just for the records, he took 10 mins to compile this – “Happy Birthday papa.. Wish you many more happy returns of the day :)”
Every festival or function will go through dad sending not less than 15 messages to our relatives (to everyone including the youngest and eldest in the family including mom, me, sis and S ) which takes around 2 hrs of his time 😦 Now, this is the format of his message for any festival –
Wish you and your family a very happy XXXX. – YYYY.
(Replace XXXX with any festival and YYYY with my dad’s name)
One day, I sent him this message just like that –
Love you sooo much Nanna… 🙂
Guess what his reply was –
Endhukano, ippudu ?
(For the first time, he replied to me in Telugu… which means – Why now, suddenly)
This man chooses to use only pure form of language, whichever it is 🙂
Now that my dad’s messaging craze has been covered, let me move on to my mom. She is a darling, does such cute things 🙂 She blew me and my sister away when she sent us a message in true sms slang for the first time. We didn’t believe it was really amma that sent it. 🙂 But from then on, she amazes us most of the times, with her quick replies, new short spellings and sometimes even new words. At times, her messages crack us up. She also found out more about the message templates and has also saved few messages that she sends us regularly like – “OK take care”,” Thank God take care”, “Reached safely”. These days most of us messages to her will have only this standard reply – “THANK GOD” With just my mom being present, I am sure God will have enough work catching all His Thanks from my mom 🙂 😛
Once I asked her to send me the phone number of my relative. After 10 mins, I received the following message –
(Zero being replaced with “o” and 1 mistakenly typed as ! and – turns into _ and I really dont know what that s stands for )
The other day, she sent a serious message which was so hard to decipher –
Chk Up ovr.. Colleges encourage not to take tab. Normal, reached home.
I immediately contacted my sis to understand what amma was trying to say. She actually wanted to say that dad’s sugar level is normal and that his colleagues are encouraging him not to take tablets 😀
One more thing finally before closing this post. I have to register what kind of messages will be saved by both of them. Amma loves to save some messages from us or dad, that she finds loving/happy or important. On a day she leaves her mobile unattended, dad would delete all of them with the intention of leaving some space in her inbox 🙄 We would have to witness a big fight at this point of time. Now, what kind of messages dad saves? the one where the mobile operator sends him details of the promotional packs or recharge messages. Some day, mom would accidentally delete previous month or even previous year’s recharge message. Thats all. Hell would break loose in GB’s home 😆