Friday, 7 December 2018

A well deserved drink

A well-deserved drink
So I lost my phone yesterday. Not a big deal, I do that every few years. This time I accepted a lift from a colleague, Rajani Murthy. She dropped me till Thipsandra and vaguely pointed in the direction of home. I walked for a bit and then deciding it's pointless, took the next running auto to 80 ft rd Empire.

6.50pm: Got off, paid, watched the mad fellow take a U-turn, headed towards the Lassi Shop. Realising my phone isn't in my hand, I started ruffling around in my bag. Panic started to set in.

'One musk melon shake pls, less sugar, less milk.'

Sat. Checked bag and all its pockets. More panic. I remember the seat being empty on my routine getting-out-of-auto check.


'How much for water melon shake?'
Ok. I'll be back.

Went to Empire. Cos maybe he's still there waiting for new passengers, you know? He wasn't.

Cool. I can do this. Just breathe. Go back for your freaking shake. Drink it on your way home. Say hi to your dog, Jalebi. Change into your 9pm work out clothes, cos why would you skip yoga over this bullshit?!

Head to Sudeeptha GV 's place, cos that kid always has solutions. She's watching Flash and eating french fries. We decide to go buy a new phone, cos I can't afford to be without a phone on a hectic workday.

Back home. Make sure Jalebi is fed. Grab wallet. Back to The Coffee shop Councellor, book an Ola auto, get to Reliance Digital.

'Do you have Oneplus?’
‘Only 6T’

Transfer money to account. Check out laptops. Pay. Head to Vodafone.

8.smt pm
'Close aithu. Nalle banni’ - guard guy
'Alli hogi, new SIM sigathe.’ - tempered glass guy

First shop. Choose new number.
'Aadhar card?’

Long story short, I got my Aadhar number from my brother and the 4th SIM shop gave me a Jio SIM. Apparently, the Aadhar registration app has been updated and none of these shopkeepers have been informed. Cos you know, Indian government. *Facepalm*

Anyway, I have a new phone. The latest and bestest. I have a new Jio SIM! There was an offer running for Jio money on the silly OnePlus, which I really didn't want or deserve at this point. But whatever.

8.smt else pm
Eat dinner and watch Mike and Molly Show with Dhaya Menon. Tell her the whole story, look up sexy pics of Adam Levine, catch up on her Vietnam Travel.

'But why didn't you try calling your phone?'
'Oh I didn't think of that!'
'Hmmm...let's download the Find My Phone app.

We drink when we’re happy, we drink when we’re sad. We drink when we have nothing better to do. We drink when we meet old friends, we drink when we make new ones. Sometimes we drink cos we just miss being high.

A well-deserved drink is a drink that’s used to celebrate. Celebrate a victory. Celebrate a personal success. Celebrating the perfect alignment of stars to make a wish come true. And this drink was very, very well-deserved.

Here’s part 2.

So, we were eating dinner right? And Dhaya was reminding me of how stupid I am.

‘Why didn’t you call your phone?’
‘It’s on silent’
‘Oh but what if someone’s found it?’
‘Ok, let’s try calling’

10.smt pm
We did something I should have done at 7.smt pm. We called my phone. Repeatedly. No one answered.

‘So at least it’s not stolen ha?’
‘Yeah, thieves usually remove the SIM instantly and then erase all data to sell the phone’
‘Ok, so it’s alive and well wherever it is’
‘How much battery does it have?’
‘Android: Find My Device says it’s in GM palya’
‘Oh, must be the auto-driver’s house’
‘Hmm so you should go there and get it before it runs out of battery’
‘Do I really have to? I’m damn sleepy man’
‘Go now! Here take my SIM, put it in your back up phone…’
‘But wait! Who’s going to take me?’

Let me just recap here. We have the location of my phone on the new OnePlus 6T, which is connected to my home WiFi. I have misplaced the new Jio Sim cos the bloody nano SIM is too small for my clumsy fingers. We have tried using Jalebi’s nose, a broom a flashlight and the get-down-on-all-fours-and-touch-every-inch-of-the-mosaic-floor methods to find said SIM. No luck there. I’m hardly surprised, that’s just the sort of night it is. When things go wrong, they go wrong in 3s they say.

Other points to note, neither of us has a vehicle or knows how to ride. We contemplate waking up my landlady and asking her 15 year old son to ride me around GM Palya in pitch darkness. I also run over all my emergency contacts with bikes.

‘Vinay! Grab your bike! I need you to take me around GM Palya right now to locate my phone’
‘I’m in Chennai da. Granddad is critical’
Guilt. Apologies. Laters

Pranay! Missed call. Later, sends me a picture of a puppy. Facepalm!

‘Vishnu, I lost my phone. It’s in GM palya! Help!’
‘Uh but how? I don’t have a bike. I don’t know how to ride’
‘You’re at Vapour, right?’
Overheard ‘Berty, bro, you wanna go help Par find her phone?’

11.smt pm
Frantically grab jacket, wallet, ancient spare phone with Dhaya’s SIM inside. Head to Vapour in an Ola auto.

Plan: Dhaya will track my phone on the OnePlus 6T. We will communicate through Whatsapp call so that I can navigate.

Things we didn’t think about: Whatsapp doesn’t function on a phone without a SIM, the spare phone is super slow and WTF! I could have just taken Dhaya’s phone with her SIM!

But of course, when you’re panicking and problem-solving at the same time, things are bound to go wrong. It’s only through pure genius that we figured out how to survive without our respective phones in order.

Genius trick 1: Dhaya found some website where you can make calls without owning a SIM card.

Genius trick 2: This ancient spare phone had my landlady’s number saved. So with much hesitation, I called her post 11.30pm.

‘Aunty, I lost my phone. Please go give Dhaya your phone so I can communicate with her’
Half-awake aunty ‘Huh? What? Where are you?’

Meanwhile Berty and I had reached GM Palya main road. He was in adventure mode. I was still in panic-but-must-keep-my-cool mode. We navigate (thank you Google maps) to Dolphin School, which is the last known location of the phone.

‘It’s the road parallel to Dolphin School. Basically you have to go down GM palya main road and then take a right on 6th main’

‘Ok let's head back to GM palya main road’

'ok 4th main, 5th main, 2nd main’

'WTF! Why is 2nd main after 5th main?!’

'I don't know. This is GM palya!’

Somewhere between frustration and 5th main, we found 6th main, took a right, hit a ‘dead end’.

'Now the road curves to the left’


'Your phone is somewhere near the curve!’

Ok so I get off the bike and start raiding any parked auto in sight. Can't be this one, it's too jang. I would have totally remembered these decorations. Run to the next one. Shine light from spare phone. The  passenger seat is removed and placed horizontally over the driver's seat. Nope. Not here.

‘There’s an apartment building after the curve. Is it near the apartments?’

‘Yeah, there's a big block on the map. Maybe that's the apartment building’

Me to guard 'Boss, illi auto driver manne idhe aa?’


‘Auto! Auto!’

'Apko auto chahiye? Waha jao!’

Runs to jopari next to apartment building. So basically it's 2 rows of rooms, each with its own fast-asleep residents. There's only one light on so I knock on that door.

'Auto driver idhe aa?’

'Illa!’ a woman's voice

Next door.

'Bhaiya mera phone ghum gaya hai. Koi auto driver rehta hai yaha?’

This sweet Nepali chap tells me that an auto driver lives right next door. I'm about to knock on the next door and then realize it's locked.

Just then the apartment guard comes up to the jopdi and motions to me to come towards the apartment. So I follow him and he tells me that he's been hearing a phone ringing all night and he doesn't know where the sound is coming from!

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. That's my phone! I can hear it! So basically this Find Your Device app has this feature where you can click 'Play sound’ and even if your phone is on silent, it will ring! Loudly!

Oh man! That's my phone. We go to the end of the parking lot and I can hear it clearly now. Shall I jump this wall and get to it?

'Aaram se’, says guard bhaiya

There are a row of autos parked behind the wall. He listens closely and moves further down. It's the third auto in that row.

‘Mein kudh ke jathi hoon’


Amazed at his calmness. Runs back to Berty.

‘Berty! It’s ringing! My phone is behind this wall!’

‘Ok, let’s figure out how to get there.’

So before the apartment complex, there’s an empty area, which is being used as a garbage dumpyard. Because, India!

‘Dhaya, I’m going to step into this dark and dingy dumpyard. My phone’s on the other side’

Dhaya, Berty  & the entire apartment complex, ‘WTF!’

‘There’s a rat!! A big, fat, rat!’

Berty doesn’t know whether to sympathise or LOL.

‘I’m not scared of cockroaches, lizards, snakes...but it’s a rat! I’m freaking scared of rats.’

‘Ok, wait, I’ll go and figure out a route’

Two seconds laters, he’s back, ratfree. ‘If an auto can get to the other side, there has to be way that by bike can go.’

Are we actually going to take his bike into rat-zone?! Is he out of his mind?! But Bert-man has other plans. He backs up the bike and takes us all around the dumpyard, trying to figure out a motorable rasta to the auto-resting area.

So we’re swerving through gallis, judging by wit and limited wisdom, trying to find this auto-driver’s home. It’s safe to assume that said auto-driver is fast asleep and has no clue about the phone-finders. Berty is generally making conversation about the OnePlus 6 and I’m explaining their brilliant marketing strategy. There are puppies, there are houses, there are u-turns, and then there is auto-resting area!

Brakes. Jump off. Run. Find third auto. Slip fingers between the passenger seat. It’s there! It’s there! I can’t explain this feeling of relief, joy and meant-to-be-ness that I felt in that moment.

We hesitate. We hesitate to believe that something lost can be found again. That some miracles do happen. That somethings don’t need or deserve explanations. I have a lot of people to thank for helping me get my phone back. I also owe a lot to technology, but most of all I owe it to the universe and it’s unique energy. All I did when I lost my phone was send a small prayer that whoever finds it should not misuse it and that by any little chance it’s not stolen, it comes back to me.

So as Berty and I headed home, I finally looked up at the stars that had been twinkling all night and sighed. The adrenalin rush was fantastic. I got home and hugged Dhaya. We needed a drink. All we had was Old Monk and water. But damn, it was the tastiest drink ever!

The new OnePlus 6T is now with Rohit, who’s off to Canada later this month. The Jio SIM is still lost. I forgot to tell my maid to look for it. The auto driver who dropped me home that day doesn’t even know that I lost my phone to begin with. Guard bhaiyya has an amazing story to tell his grandkids. Berty and I are phone-finders for life! We will be charging on an hourly basis to locate lost phones. We might delegate to Dhaya and Jalebi once in a while. So do get in touch.

Wrote this whole saga on Google Docs from my faithful OnePlus5. It has a scar from when I dropped it in Goa. Losing a phone is pretty much like losing a limb these days. But I’m trying really hard to be less attached to it. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

For a Better Man

We're both better than this. 
We're capable of love.
We're capable of giving our heads
And not just our hands.

We're not just two bodies
Eight limbs entwined
In the confines of four walls
We're not just hi-hellos
Intersperced with emoticons

Let's be better than this.
Let's be better versions 
Of our text msgs
More full forms
More late night conversations
More naps on your shoulder...

And until we can be more
Let's be less
Not disappear
Just confess
That we can't be more to each other
Without being less to the other.

That's if you really want to be more to me
I know you've been hurt more than me
I can see you cover to protect yourself
But we both know you deserve better than this.

Friday, 3 March 2017


In other news, I told Aishy to STFU. I've had enough of her whining and I don't seem to be helping her by being the shoulder to cry on. I feel kinda guilty cos it looks like she has no one else to talk to, but I couldn't put up with it any longer. I guess it's jut one of those things you have to do to cut out the negativity in your life.

I realised that I should be happy. I have a great family, a nice group of friends, a loving boyfriend, a well-paying job, a self-sufficient home and no real worries. I just wish my job was more fulfilling.

Maybe it's just a matter of time.