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I was AWOL yesterday – hence a post missing, that of yesterday – and with good reason too. I was travelling. Do you know how much time it takes to fly from my hometown to Bangalore? Fifty-five minutes. Can you guess how long it takes to reach my son’s home from the airport? Double that time, that is if you are lucky. Not that he lives somewhere far. The traffic in Bangalore is H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E.

The day started quite early for me. Getting ready, reaching the airport two hours ahead of the flight time as stipulated by the airlines. Yeah, I am usually the first one in the queue, almost ALWAYS! When I reach my destination, grab my bags and try to book an Uber, I find I have no connectivity on my cell phone. Uber has placed me as still in my hometown, and is ready to take me back home. I scratch my head. What has happened to my phone? That’s also when I notice my message on WhatsApp (“Landed!”) hasn’t gone through to the family. Hmm… odd. My phone has never behaved like this before.

While I was about to check settings, First Born calls. Where are you now, he asks. I tell him. I also tell him I have no connectivity, I am thinking of taking the airport taxi. Wait, he replies, the wife will book an Uber for you. The daughter in law tells me to try and restart my phone in the meantime. I join the queue for Uber and restart the phone while waiting. No go. This is strange. I have not disabled data. What the heck! By then it is my turn, I get into the Uber and give him the pin sent by the DIL. And the oh-so-long drive through the Bangalore traffic begins. Two hours plus a few minutes. Just sitting in the passenger seat has me tired, I wonder about the driver who does many trips day in and day out through the bleddy traffic.

Home at last. Munching on fresh guavas we exchange news. The First Born checks my phone. Roaming is not enabled, mom, he tells me. Eh? WHO disabled it, I want to know. A genie in the phone perhaps? How many times have I made these trips! I get off the flight and book an Uber. There has never been connectivity issues because ‘roaming’ facility remains on. Always! And then it struck me, with force. It was no work of a genie. Duh. This phone is new, a gift from the Second Born. I had not checked or set the settings. My bad!

© Shail Mohan 2020