I am sitting in a corner of my hostel room. There goes the 1st ring. A shrill tone of ♫♪ Siragugal Vandhadhu ♫♪ echoes in the corridor. Occupant A next door. She attends the call and starts the now famous walk-while-you-talk (thanks to Abhishek Bachan…what an idea Sirji!). Then comes a crude mumbo jumbo remix of the Airtel tune and occupant B steps out to walk on the other half of the narrow corridor. She has left the door open and her roommate, Occupant C is already on a call. This one is probably a fan of MJ because she is doing an almost-moonwalk inside the room…or maybe its just that the room is so small and she is pacing frantically that it seems like gliding! Span left and there is Occupant D running in circles around a bag of snacks lying on the floor, an N73 pressed to her ear.
Occupant E has joined the traffic on my side of the corridor and throws me a smile before she continues to scream into her phone “naa dhaa appave sonnenla” (“I told you that already”). More occupants and many more ringtones blaring out to them. This is an every night routine. It’s a clear proof that the world is small and connected. Very well. Its fun watching these people. They walk, strut, run, jog and even jump over piles of footwear along the corridor, so intent on their conversations, avoiding banging into people by sheer instinct! I said its fun observing because these people are diverse – in language, slang, emotions and magnanimity with words.
Proceeding along the corridor, I can gauge the gist of the talk just by looking at the faces – an open smile: ‘1 more week mom, I’ll be home’! A sly smile – ‘hah! I found out about your BF’! Blushes – ‘heyyyy! Am I that beautiful?’ Contorted sad face – ‘why should you end it? Give me one reason’! (poor thing...lost love) Furious – ‘that git! And they call him a lecturer’! There are many more I could make a dictionary of. You’ll find these people everywhere when it is phone time – leaning on the door, ferreting in the corridor, exercising in their rooms, staring out the window, in a silent spot of the darkest corner of the staircase (shhh…romancing…DND),sitting on the stairs (sometimes like a Golu display, one on each stair) and I know of one who even sat on top of a Western loo closet sick of not getting privacy!
These souls talk to a variety of people –mom, dad, brother, sister, cousin, friend, fiancé, ex-s, lover, customer care(!), talk about an enormous range of topics (my one page vow stops me from listing out) and in a wide range of languages! Sound waves move from “Solluda” to “yep…that’s right” to “nyan paranyittillo ahdi” to “pichakara dog e” (kids don’t read this –unclassified vernacular :P) to “@##$%^$%$#!#^$^%I&^*&” (er…that was high speed Telugu and Kannada. I lack de-encrypting grey cells! ) to “acha..baad meh baath kartha hoon” ( “talk to you later”. Wont hang up in less than a solid hour after this!) .
The decibel level would start with a beep and a ring, proceed to a babble of voices, to an unintelligible chaos, to perfect ‘all hell breaks loose’ and go down in steps as one by one they disconnect, stop talking, stop walking (and running and jumping and exercising) and retire to their rooms…content with sharing what they wanted to. After all that’s what sets us humans apart as social animals isn’t it? We talk. We love to! Oh and by the way, those isolated occupants in the dark corners…shhh still talking). I’m done writing. Got to study and then…♫♪Yeh ishq hai..baite bitaae♫♪ oh! That’s my mobile ringing…excuse me . “Hello! Ya ya..tell me…”