The one time I remember my breath got caught and I almost choked feeling as if my ‘breath has been taken away’ literally and so has my soul, was when my sister threw my Haier handset across the floor. (Not what you expected but I was told we can interpret the meaning in any way! 😛 )
I am not being materialistic, that phone is worth less than a thousand bucks. But the 800 rupees that I paid to the dealer were the dearest bundle of notes to me. Not exactly my own ‘khoon pasine ki kamai’ but the cash I had saved by implementing my numerous miserly techniques. My parents don’t believe in indulging in luxuries and mobile phone for a teenager qualifies very much as a ‘luxury’.
They would pay 7000 bucks to let me go for Java training but not a penny for mobile mind you! And ‘there was nothing called pocket money when we were kids’. So I had to find a loop-hole. And so I did. To reach my college you had to master the art of standing in a local bus overcoming the smell of the Indian population or indulge in the ‘luxury’ of an auto. I declared that I won’t be risking my state of health in a local bus and would only go to college via auto. So pay me more! It worked and I managed to save bucks per day by hanging on to people/rods/bags etc in the town bus.
The other loophole was tiffin. Being in +3 you don’t expect me to carry around a tiffin box do you Mom? She retaliated by putting a Parle G in my bag the next day. I rebelled and was amply paid my canteen money. Needless to say my stomach learnt not to lose more energy by rumbling during the 2nd half classes.
I consoled myself by the fact that I wasn’t exactly stealing anything or duping my parents. It was a mere roundabout yet legal way of extracting money from them.
And so finally at the end of 2 whole months I had managed to save enough to buy the Haier handset, the cheapest I could get. Of course I had to tell them the whole story later & received ‘luxurious’ amounts of verbal thrashing from them.
But I had my phone & I still have it, though in a very pitiable condition. And I can say that it has lived a full & fulfilling life, celebrating its 3rd birthday this February. Now most of the numbers on the keypad are unrecognizable thanks to the 1000sms for Rs30 scheme of Tata Indicom during those days. And button 4 & 6 put up a tough fight refusing to bend under your finger.
Still I love that set & see blood if someone mishandles it. No wonder when sis threw it off the bed it took my breath away!