One evening, a few friends and I decided to gather there. Guys dropped by in twos or threes, and soon, about ten of us were sitting around the small shop, ordering our usual drinks. Once that was done, we began talking among ourselves about nothing in particular. It took me about ten minutes, but I finally realised that something was odd.
Only two or three of us were actually carrying on a conversation. The rest? Well, I noticed that one fellow had his head pivoted downwards, staring intently into his mobile phone. He was browsing online. Others were either messaging, calling, or chatting with someone.
Now, the reason I realised this is simple. I didn’t have an internet enabled mobile. So I did what any one in my position is supposed to do. I peeped into my friend’s mobile.
He was chatting with a friend in Pune.
-Nothin’ much. Jus chilling. You?
-At a bday party.
-Hmm...same old. What about u?
I realised reading the menu would be more exciting than this, so I switched over. Soon, the drinks came, and we began sipping them slowly. The conversation drifted from one topic to another, and thankfully, someone began narrating a story. Those who weren’t skilled enough to type with one hand as they held their juice in the other, listened to what he was saying.
As I sat there, finishing my drink, I wondered about how weird things had gotten. Remember the days when you were a kid? You could have your group of friends around you, ears wide open as they listen to your narration of the latest Pokemon episode. Bus rides meant we’d play games, tease each other, and comment on everything that passed by our window. So when did we start having to tap on each other’s shoulders, asking for an appointment, hoping they’d yank their earphones off to hear a joke you wanted to share? Somewhere along the journey from age 12 to 18, we replaced talking with instant messaging, laughing with L.O.L, and names with email ids.
Back at the Fruit Shop, we’d finished our drinks and were about to leave. As I stepped out of the shop, I couldn’t wait to get a mobile net connection.
That way, the next time I hang out with my friends at Fruit Shop, I could chat with my friend in Qatar and tell him how, the next time he comes to Chennai, we should hang out at Fruit Shop!
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