COVID-19 Diaries: Changing Ways of Life

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Today, I pulled the plug on our landline. A number we have had since 2001. A number that has followed us through three moves, seen three babies and been a constant across multiple job changes and career changes.

The landline has been like a recalcitrant child, acting up, refusing to work and often causing me to cut my conversations short. I held on, a sense allegiance born of the years of association being the only reason.

When my call with my amma got cut unceremoniously for probably the fifth time this week, I had it. I logged online and found there was no way to cancel my service on the computer. I stayed on the line for 45 minutes, the hold music droning into my ears painfully. I gave up and vented my frustration online. Within a day, I received an email offering a painless solution to cancel the service over email.

I did.

Then, it hit me. This number is no longer mine. I posted a PSA on my FB. I changed the status on my WhatsApp. I scrolled through my contact list wondering who needed to know. I scrolled through the incoming call list on my landline. The list was short.

My cousin. My sister. My brother. My pharmacy.

There were still places that we had to call and update the primary contact. Each change is a painful reminder of how much has changed in months. It hits me hard that life as I knew it is not to be. I don’t want it to be either. I quite like the idea of lesser cars on the road, a chance for the Earth to breathe. A forced way of being local. It shows me how much lesser I have been spending on clothes and random purchases because I was in the store.

The landline is gone. Old ways are gone. There is a melancholy that comes with that change. There is also a possibility that the future may be better.

Laksh

Author. Parent.

4 thoughts on “COVID-19 Diaries: Changing Ways of Life

  1. It pained me when my parents got the landline disconnected. I still remember atleast 5 numbers of Papa’s colleagues because he would ask me and I would give him the numbers off my memory. I remember how excited we were to get the landline and now that it is no more, I feel the loss. It’s the loss of things we feel attached to and have memories of.
    You post made me reflect. Thank you!

  2. Yeah – they can all reach you wherever you are now. I am never sure how to deal with that – with the land line, if you were home, they get you (or vmail). With the phone comes uninterrupted connectivity and whatsapp. It also means I can work anywhere and manage everything I need to. A double edged blessing.

    1. On the flip side, I can let the calls go to VM because of caller id or unknown number and apps like truecaller block spam calls. Trying hard to see the good side. 🙂

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