“Maa, I want to contribute to the nation building” I said affirmatively to my mother.
“So you are, beta” my mother said, ignoring my well planned words as she flicked another long whatsApp message on her newly acquired smart phone.
“No I am not” I pestered like an adamant internet pop-up, ready to spew my plan all over on a new screen tab if she tries to close the conversation again.
“You are working for Railways. Railways contribute to the nation building. So you indirectly contribute to the process. You need not do more ” She smiled slyly having successfully changed her Whatsapp DP as a flower, the meaning of her name, Suman.
“you said it is a burden on nation last time when the train was late by 4 hrs” I tried to check mate her by her own move.
“Now it pays you, it is no more a burden you see” She kept fiddling on the screen with a firm index finger and fist closed. I recalled Darwin’s theory of evolution. How a person adapts slowly from a basic phone to a smart phone and switching from index finger to thumb.
She kept mum for a while as I stood aghast for having failed to even plant my idea into her mind.
“Hey…There…I….Am…Using….Vaatsup” She read out loud and clear from her smart phone like a school kid recites a poem word by word. Then she looked inquisitively towards me and said “Can I write something else here?”.
Annoyed by her insolence towards my thoughts I pretended indifferent towards her innocent query.
“Don’t keep sulking like a new bridegroom” She said. “I don’t seek a favour,you see, I demand it. I taught you to read and write now help me out to text and type”
I knew before I unfold my plan she would have it her way.
“of course you can.” I assured her “That’s the status of your whatsapp and not vaatsup please.Let me help you. Say what you want to type in here?”
She stretched to hand her phone to me and said “Murjhaya Phool, Poem by Mahadevi Verma”
My jaw drop down to ground as I got hold of what she said “Maa! You just can’t write out an entire poem in a Whatsapp status. Keep that creativity for your facebook status”
She felt extremely disheartened as if it was the life’s another bitter truth when you conceive a big plan but fail at the hand of destiny. This time destiny had metamorphosed into limited 139 characters of whatsapp status.
Recalling my experience from Orkut days when alternate uppercase and lowercase texts were a rave I tried to cheer her up “ Look I will write your name over here with alternate uppercase and lowercase design SuMaN”
“Its good but needs more decoration. I want my status to be better than Sonu's mother". My heart went out for poor Sonu who must have undergone similar ordeal to satisfy his mother's Whatsapp fanatasies . Meanwhile my mother, having settled two of her child's marriage and, added two winking smileys and a pink flower symbol beside her 'SuMaN' status was now a complete woman. She could now rest in peace till Sonu's mother changed her status.
Having successfully settled the things that matter the most to all these days I tried to introduce my plan again.
“Maa I am fed up of my job and want to Start-up and stand-up ”before she dipped again into her smart phone liquid crystal, I spluttered all in a go.
“No I won’t suffer anymore embarrassment” she chided me “ You have had enough of standing-up on benches and outside classrooms in school. Why do you want to bring in the ignominy of standing-up all again”
“Maa you are getting it wrong. Thankfully my schooldays are past long back. It is our PM who inspires everyone to Start-up and Stand-up. I just want to follow his advice”
“If your PM further says to Start-up, Stand-Up and Jump-Down the cliff ,will you still follow his advice”
“But why would he say so?”
“Well he can say so someday, you never know”
“Maa! You got it all wrong. Start-up means having one’s own business set up using a radical idea. It would not only help me in standing up on my own feet but helping others to do so by employing them”
“Beta….Wake up. That’s the area where you should first concentrate on every morning before leading an army of dozing brats. Your generation needs a kick up every morning and you talk of start up. The only pIace where you deserve to become ,what you call, BeelGate is in your dreams.”
“That’s Bill Gates, Maa. The start up god of this generation”
“haan wahi. Pronouncing correctly doesn’t makes you one”.
To reinforce my point further I cited examples to her
“ Didn’t you see last time when we were in Pune? So many start-ups had blossomed every where in Hinjewadi area. That was so inspiring”
“Not blossomed my son, mushroomed and mushrooms don’t last an entire season”
“Well my friend Vidhatanand is now an entrepreneur . he has his own web based tutorial for GRE and CAT, Vocabmonk” My idea of dropping a name of a well known friend was to make her believe that if he can then even I can.
“Who ?the one who supplied Nagraj and Dhruv comics to you?”
“I don’t remember what comics you are talking” I knew this was not getting any better so I simply evaded. But once a canon is fired you never know what harm it may do. In my case it lead to devastation.
“Stay away from him, I say” she commanded “thanks to your friend, you almost flunked in class 5. For me your govt job is better than an antarparnar”
“Ent…” I started
“Don’t pronounce it for me”. By this time her hands had grabbed the smart phone. She fondled around the edges of phone, found a familiar button to push it on again.
Her eyes gleamed like a child as the updates kept pouring in.
“See your Vimla mausi has probably sent her daughter-in-laws pic” hand me my glasses the image is so hazy.
I explained to her how the picture haziness is not due to her eyes but due to slow net speed and it will be evident once it gets downloaded. She was less concerned about the technical nuances though.The epiphany of image incarnating before her eyes shooked the senses out of her.
“Why don’t you start up with a tutorial to middle age women on whatsapp and facebook. You can always become a what you say antarparnar” she said gleefully.
Dreaded by the thought of being gheraoed by swarming senseless queries and dissection of whatsapp and facebook to their atoms, I retorted submissively “ Maa ! I think I just found out altogether a big reason to start loving my job”
Thankyou for Reading