Of the most raucous noises that care to scratch the lining of a sensitive eardrum – the piercing wail of the alarm app – has to be amongst the showstoppers! It rattles the very foundation this building is made of and the foundation of familial bonding in this house. If I am cut out from the will, it will be thanks to this nuclear alarm going off at 6:45 am, each morning. My parents, more inclined to be gently stirred from the embrace of sleep by Chopin, Einaudi or chirping birds outside, are jolted awake by a metaphoric chokeslam (is this what they mean by malicious software?)!
It starts off soft enough at first, then rises to a crescendo. When it seems like the folks even in the Doongerwadi, some kilometres away, are just as disturbed as their earthly counterparts, I stagger out of bed and switch it off. One thing I’ve learnt – if you do intend to wake up, you will never keep the phone next to your bedside. No, the masochist in you will place it in the hall and have you solve three sums to switch it off. Sometimes, the only way to prevent getting lynched by this peace-loving humane society is by switching off the phone (dunking it in a bucket of water is something I cannot afford).
When I finally do switch on my phone in the middle of a class (maybe drop the cute boy a text), it remembers its death mission and WHEEEEEEEN WHOOOON WHEEEEEEEE WHOOOON! My classmates look at me as though I’ve murdered someone’s puppy and my teacher’s expression is like I’ve have magically transformed into untreated sewage (Disney, my mate, you might wanna take notes).
“OUT!” roars my teacher, peering over his glasses as I drop my phone on the floor. “YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR CLASS… GIVE ME YOUR PHONE!”
I drop my phone a couple more times to provide the class with free entertainment – I mean, the least I can do, right? I stumble over, trying to avoid eye contact with people in general and said cute boy, in particular!
“Is this your phone?” asks my teacher, incredulous. I understand his concern, I really do – it looks like it’s been run over by a steam roller, what with the shattered front screen, the chunks of the edges missing and battery puffed out, looking ready to spontaneously combust. My teacher’s outstretched arm falters as he wonders whether his right arm is worth sacrificing to uphold the sanctity of imbecilic college rules.
“Keep it,” he says, at long last. “And please, please get a new one. Now, get out!”
It turns out it was a bad time to ask if I’d get attendance. Everyone stares at me as I walk out of class – this is the real walk of shame, if you ask me. I shrug it off – like the song goes, “If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough!”
It might just become my life motto.