“Ding” is the sound which I hear when my smartphone receives a message. There are others too. Swoosh, Tri-tone, Horn, Chime, etc. Different apps have different tones now. But looking back in the recent past, it all began for me on a simple note with a Nokia, then Reliance 501, then the camera phones, then came the great blackberry revolution followed by the current Android invasion. Everyone by now must have forgotten the famous Nokia SMS tone which had Morse code depiction – “Connecting people”.
Coming back to that Ding, an old college friend is asking if I can still remember him. A decade has passed without being in touch. He was a class mate, spent so many unforgettable moments together at Ramesher Chaer Dokan (Ramesh’s Tea Stall) during our college hours. The seniors warned us about a statue to be erected next to Vivekakanda’s on the Golpark Cirle, if anyone failed in class (“ Keu jodi fail kore tahole golparker more tar murti banana hobe, Bibekandander pashe “).The boiling blood inside always stopped us from entering the class. But till today, Vivekananda stands alone in the middle of the circular park.
I wanted to surprise him with a call in the middle of the night. But with the passing of time, you change phones, add new numbers and lose the older ones. I couldn’t find the one that I was looking. A corner of my heart started reacting strangely. How to retrieve those lost numbers? The last blackberry is long gone. What about the old Nokia? I asked myself. I could not sell off that model since my father had gifted that to me at a time when both of us were jobless.
I dragged a chair below the loft. After searching for almost an hour, I found my old Nokia 3310c. Rains fade into drizzles outside. The shiny leaves are reflecting faint lights coming from full moon covered with translucent clouds. I stood by the window and switched on the phone without any hope. Moments later two hands come from both ends of the screen and my old phone woke up like a fairytale princess. I followed her down memory lane.
The wallpaper has a picture of me and my girlfriend (now wife) at our younger days. I took this picture when she was really angry at me for forgetting something which I can’t remember now. But the look in her eyes reminds me of our sweet little memories in her small hostel room. Then there was a message from my mother (which was typed by my sister) to check if I had dinner. An SMS from my best friend Peeyush to inform that he also got a job in Mumbai. Few pictures of my colleagues taking quick naps during a rigorous night shooting schedule being clicked discreetly. Flat mates asking to get bottle of rum on my way back from work. The immediate next sms carries a request for packs of Wills Flake too. Reminders of unpaid mobile bills along with amazingly unwanted value added services. Loads of old birthday messages and pictures of friends putting cakes all over me. A grainy image of a Bengali boy meeting the Spartan king and so on. It seemed like it was just yesterday. I kept on surfing through the phone and rediscovering lost memories.
Suddenly, I stopped. This was his last picture which I had taken during a short trip to Kolkata while him licking all over my face with a quick wagging tail. Rocky passed away few days after I left. My grandmother told me that he was waiting to see me before leaving all of us. That was the time in my life when I realized what it is to lose a family member. A drop fell on the screen and slowly the screen immersed itself into darkness.
The rains started pouring again while I kept on trying to wake my princess up for retrieving those lost numbers.