Srinagar: Post abrogation of Article 370, cell phone and television have become an inherent part of a daily life of ordinary Kashmiri. Both might have lost the purpose they were originally meant for, yet they proved to be a gluing agent for the people who were battling languor and immobility after August 5 lockdown.
For a reporter like me, television and cell phones have changed my attitude towards technology. I have discovered a new friend in cell phone, though no network was available. Thanks to my kids, who had downloaded a series of games and toon series without my knowledge.
For me, cell phone always meant calling, WhatsApp or SMS and rest I had no interest. For kids, mobile phone had a different connotation. That is why when I returned late from work, my kids would remain awake to lay hand on my phone. For them phone means a different world together. Games, cartoon, videos and photography were inherent part of their daily routine. Sometimes both of my kids scramble to grab my phone. Sometimes mad rush for my cell phone invited a rebuke. Yet they were unfazed and determined to lay hand on my phone as if it was a kind of treasure-trove.
Enter August 5 lockdown, the cell phone lost meaning for most of the Kashmiris. Yet I found a new friend in my phone. From Talking Tom to Car Race, I played all the games which my kids used to play and for which they used to get reprimanded from their mother.
For a moment, I forgot that phones are meant for calling or messaging. Phone surprisingly proved to be the biggest catharsis to battle idleness and lethargy. I even found a treasure of pictures in my phone memory. I had thought that the pictures might have been deleted from my phone. For a change, I discovered a new friend in my cell phone.
Even I discovered television beyond news. For me, television was synonymous to news given my profession. But few days at home changed my mindset. Bored from news, I explored other channels. And surprisingly I was enamored by south Indian movies dubbed in Hindi. It brought back the good old memories of my youth days when I was mad about movies. My movie collection, which was washed away in 2014 floods, was one of the best in the town. Even I explored cartoons which my kids enjoyed. From Choota Bheem to Motu Patlu, the new found love for cartoons kept me going in curfewed days.
For me, lockdown period gave me a chance to explore new things. Television and cell phone proved to be my great bedfellows.