When I was a young boy of nine, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighbourhood .I remember the receiver of the shiny black box hanging from the wall. I could not reach it but I was fascinated whenever my mom or dad talked into it.Then I discovered that inside that device there lived a unique person, who could answer every thing . It was known as ‘information please’. I was very curious to talk to the device. My mother said that it was not meant for children. ’Information please’ could perhaps, tell any thing that my mom asked the device.
One day I got a chance to talk to “IP’.My mom was not at home. I was feeling lonely. I took out my tricycle to ride. The cover was torn. I took a hammer from Dad’s tool box to fix the seat.In this process, the hammer whacked my finger. Oooooh mamma ! But Mom was not there. There was no use crying, as there was no one to sympathise. I was sucking my painful finger.”Why not ask IP ?” I thought. I pulled a chair , climbed on it and pulled the receiver with some effort and said,Information Please. After three or four clicks, I heard a soft voice,” Information”. On hearing the voice, tears of pain started flowing from my eyes. “I have whacked my finger”. From the other side the same soft voice said,” Where is your mother?” I told that mom was not at home. The soft voice now said,”Take a cube of ice and rub it on your finger." I found great relief. Now it became a routine that I called IP. She helped in my Maths, Geography and Science. One day I called and told her that our pet parrot died.She consoled me, as all elders do, but I was not convinced. Then softly she said," There are other worlds also to sing".
One day father said that we were moving to a big city. There was a shiny telephone on the table. I never even looked at it. The conversations I had with 'IP' always came in my thoughts.How patiently and lovingly she spoke to me. I entered my teens but the memories of those soft words never left me.
I was in college hostel. In my holidays I went to stay with my sister in the same town, where I lived as a child. I just dialled the "IP". From the other side, the same soft voice, which was always fresh in my mind, said, "Information". In a faltering voice I said," There are other worlds to sing". From the other side came the question,'Your finger must have healed".I was ecstatic. I told her that I always remembered her soft voice. She also told me that she had no children, and I was always in her thoughts as her son. Tears flowing from my eyes, I asked,whether I could call her when I come next time to see my sister. She said,"Yes my child. Ask for Leena".
On my next visit when I called,some other voice was on IP' I asked for Leena. The lady on the other side asked whether I was a friend. I said," Yes, my name is Satish.". Oh said the voice," There is a message for you. I will read it out. It says there are other worlds to sing. She left this message just before she died last week."
There's no one thing that is true. Its all true.
This is written in respose to Hemingway on Wednesday # Write Tribe
This is purely a fiction.