So, carrying forward the saga of the Great Mobile, here is what happens at a super-mart.
As such, supermarkets are places infested with harried shoppers, the long grocery lists in their hands or phones, even more longer check-out queues and the shopping carts which invariably create traffic jams.
And if the place is smaller in scale with narrow aisles, then you just had it. If someone halts in front of a shelf just for a second longer (to check the wares), there are immediate impatient clucking and tch tch to prod the person forward.
Amidst this crowd are the dutiful daughters and daughters-in-law (more of the later) and sometimes good husbands (a rare species) too, who check every product with ‘Mummy ji’ back home, before putting it in their trolleys (parked in the middle of the aisles). “Mummy ji, which company product you want me to take? This or that? — Oh, we use a third one? ……but Mummy ji, that company’s product is not here anywhere……”
And more often than not, these obedience-personified s read out the entire list of the ingredients on the labels of the product for the Mummy ji to take her final call. All the while their trolleys occupying the place of pride in the centre of aisle. No amount of impatient sounds around them make any difference to them whatsoever.
Actually, some of these naivete s beam proudly, imagining that everyone around them is truly appreciating their obedience and good behaviour.
At least specimens like these are on their mobiles for something concerning supermarket shopping, but there is another variety who are there more as a time pass than any actual shopping. They abandon their shopping cart (you guessed it–in the middle of the aisle) rest their backs against some shelf, one hand to the ear (mobile, what else?) and the other hand spread along the shelf. And in such semi-‘titanic’ pose they immerse themselves in some lengthy, undecipherable conversation across the city / country / continent / globe / universe / galaxy …….
Then what about some poor creature who wants to pick up something from that particular shelf? Like good human beings, they try imploring with eyes. Ha ha ! How naive or dumb anyone could be! Do they really think that by standing silently in front of him/her or pleading with eyes, would make them realise that he/she is causing some inconvenience to others?
Then, as a next step, people try sign language or miming, to convey that they wish to pick up something from that very shelf he/she is blocking. At this point it finally registers in his/her mind that someone is standing in front. (No, nothing else has registered. The signs are yet to reach the brain cells; probably it would need a good shake up to accomplish that). Again, like all those ‘drowned in the mobile’ folks, this one also assumes that people are standing in front of them only to admire them and their conversation. So, he/she gives a half smile.
Have you ever noticed the typical silly, vacant smile these mobilers give to anyone looking at them? It shows how lost they are in their own world of conversation. The miming of the opposite person slowly goes on increasing, picks up a tempo and reaches a crescendo — to no avail! Didn’t I tell you, it needs a good shaking to win the attention of the mobiler.
Please don’t think that only public places are favoured by these mobile lovers. They are not partial or biased, you see.
We were visiting some family friends and there was a sort of mini-get together. So the place was buzzing with people. After a while, someone came up with an idea of shopping expedition. Naturally all (women) readily agreed. The females of that house wanted to change and get ready. But in the master bedroom, the man of that house was busy on his mobile. With people all over the apartment, he found his secluded corner for his call.
His wife and daughter waited patiently for him to realise. (Hee hee, they should have known better). Then the usual procedure followed — first silent, patient wait, then signs, then miming…..And the reactions also same — that silly, vacant smile (I am really amazed, how all these mobile lovers give exactly identical response!)
Finally, the son of the family realised the situation; he went and stood behind his father, gently placed both his hands on father’s shoulders and slowly steered him out from the bedroom to the outer living room. All this while the man didn’t even realise that he was being displaced…..Hah! That is the degree of trance people get into, while they are on their beloved mobiles!
I am not the only one, I am sure you all, too, must have witnessed these things. Do share your observations here ….. waiting for your words 🙂
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