Life without a cellphone is…normal

Published: September 29, 2014

Life without a working smartphone in your pocket, at all times, is strange. PHOTO: REUTERS

Life without a working smartphone in your pocket, at all times, is strange. PHOTO: REUTERS Life without a working smartphone in your pocket, at all times, is strange. PHOTO: REUTERS

Life without a working smartphone in your pocket, at all times, is strange. It’s like something in missing in your life, like some tragedy befell upon you. I have gone through such a tragedy, and I’ve been the same.

Five days ago, after receiving a phone call, I saw that my phone’s battery was almost dead. That’s normal, right? Well, I rummaged around my room to find the charger. My eyes remained settled on the screen as I connected my charger to the tiny slot, waiting for the light come back and see my phone grin with life again. However, that didn’t happen. It stayed silent as I helplessly watched my vintage wallpaper of petals and leaves get dimmer and dimmer, until finally fading away to a complete blackout.

My heart was taken over by the same darkness that engulfed my phone.

All at once, I wanted to check the calendar, use the calculator, post a tweet, make a note; I wanted to make it live again. Or, if nothing else, I wanted to at least say a proper goodbye to it before sending it away to the hospital (read: mobile phone repair shop). But alas, fate is cruel. Its screen did not light up again and it was safe to assume that it had gone into a coma. I felt numb while giving it away – the pain was too much. But there was nothing I could do to make it come back to life again. Only the doctor (read: repair man) could breathe some life into it now. Needless to say, my prayers were almost entirely focused on its well-being.

However, the past five days have been nothing short of torture for me. Here is how my days went:

Day 1

I baked!

Note: Before my venture, baking was part of my ‘top five things I’m terrible at’ list, on number two.

Also note: I needed my phone for the recipe. (This was followed by a half an hour remembrance of how great my smartphone was)

Anyway, reluctantly I took out a Martha Stewart recipe book, and read from it (unbelievable, I know). Since I had no new notifications to worry about, I wholeheartedly mixed and whisked the ingredients and baked a lovely lemon tart that tasted quite decent.

Lessons learnt:

1. No use of phone while eating allows tasting buds to work efficiently.

2. Sometimes, when you cook with dedication, you earn the right to being called a master chef for a day.

3. The touch of a glossy cook book actually feels very nice.

Day 2

I sat on a chair, sighed, cheered away the emptiness my hand felt, and painted my fingernails, twice. It was only then that I realised that I needed a manicure as well, so I got myself an appointment. Of course, I needed my phone for that too but, thankfully, the landline was still available.

Lessons learnt:

1. It is important to take care of yourself.

2.  The buttons on a cordless are fun to press on.

3.  I need to buy more nail polishes.

Day 3

I went with mother dearest to pick my sister up from her friend’s place. The experience gave me the opportunity to look outside the window, eat ice cream using both hands, and laugh with my family instead of at internet jokes.

Lessons learnt:

1. Life goes on perfectly without a car selfie.

2.  Karachi is not a clean city.

3.  It is important to talk to your mom; otherwise she thinks you love someone else.

Day 4

I spent the day at the dentist and then the mobile shop, only to discover that my phone still needed another day to discharge. My toothache (I’m guessing it was the lemon tart) had me do nothing productive but whine about how much I needed my phone to distract myself. I decided I should clean and organise my makeup instead.

Lessons learnt:

1. How to be patient.

2. I have enough makeup.

Day 5

I terribly felt the need to post something on Instagram, but there was no way to do it. So after that, I decided I had nothing better to do at home; hence, I went along with my grandmother to the eyewear shop. The objective was to choose an eye frame for her, but instead, I ended up liking one for myself (and buying it).

Lessons learnt:

1.  Grandma doesn’t let you pay.

2.  These shops will have your frame adjusted for free.

3.  You feel important when your choice of consideration is fulfilled.

4.  My eye sight has become weaker.

By the end of day five, I realised that life can go on well (not entirely, but positively) without a smartphone, which sometimes only symbolises nuisance. So maybe if we could use it less then it would be almost possible for us to live without it. Today is day six by the way, and I feel relatively normal.

Muzna Hatmi

Muzna Hatmi

She is an artsy person, distinctively creative. She tweets as @muznahatmi (

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