Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Mom’s messaging story

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Had there been a Mobile Phone Usage License issued by TRAI, I am more or less sure that my mom would need to take it at least 4 times and only after a recommendation from Mobile Tech School of India would she get a license. Though I am exaggerating the situation a (lot)(bit), my mom is simply cross with a cell phone.

In spite of being an average user of the gadget for about 5 years,she uses the phone mostly to receive calls.She is back to square one,when Nokia comes up with a better model(read dad gets her another cell).That means more time for her to find the menu, then the address book and type in letters and find someone!And if the menu arrangement has changed a bit or someone has changed the view from List to Grid,more the trouble!!!

In most cases, when my mom feels like using the phone, she picks it up only to realize that she should find her spectacles first, else dialing(whatever!) would be on the tougher side.But before she goes searching for her spectacles, she does some random pressing of the key pad that would have sent a couple of blanks text messages to the first number.(and that happens to be grand mom’s land line number! Sigh!)

The service provider would soon award mom for religiously reading all the spam/promo messages that are sent.She does not miss even a single message, ranging from ring tone downloads to Re.0001 per call offer!!!.

Every time I go home, I check sent items on her phone only to find Sent box full of blank messages. I do not see my mom taking the pains of sending me a message in Manglish;I am sure, she would instead call me. So, for an user like her, I guess the cell phone should have just the call option. She is faster retrieving numbers from her memory/address book that from the phone’s address book.

Even after 15 mail ids across Yahoo!,Hotmail and Gmail, my mom still stays away from the net. Each time she would either forget the user name or password; even both in some cases.She blames me for not helping her become an internet savvy mom. :D

A typical situation would be my brother booting the comp.,logging into mom’s gtalk and ask her to start chatting with me. For how long would she chat? May be 10 minutes. And this would happen once in a year or so.This is what I tell her every time she asks me to teach her to use the net.

Mom,the land line is what is best for you.

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50 comments

1 JoelNo Gravatar { 06.19.08 at 9:35 am }

hehe .. thats is soo like my mom .. :D .. u know what phone would be best for our mums .. http://www.symbian.com/phones/foma_rakusimple.html .. its called the Raku Raku phone and was specifically designed for use by people who are new to mobile phones .. or people like our mums …

only sad part is that its a DoCoMo phone so is avalable only in japan .. sigh !

2 DhanyaNo Gravatar { 06.19.08 at 11:26 am }

he he I guess all mom’s are just the same :)

3 DeeptiNo Gravatar { 06.19.08 at 3:11 pm }

I almost felt like it was scene out of my own house … all moms have same DNA .. they can read their Kids’ minds but cell phone is another ball game

4 JenniferNo Gravatar { 06.19.08 at 10:32 pm }

Nice post. I often wonder what a post would be like if someone wrote on the same topic about me! I am also a horrible cell phone user. Recently here in US they have released a simple phone that is good for only calling and receiving calls…

5 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.20.08 at 4:54 am }

@Joel
Thanks for visiting.
In a mobile-mature market like Japan,there ought to be such phones.
Hope we reach that level soon.

@Dhanya
trust me. ask around. :)

@Deepti
Thanks for dropping by.
he he, I am sure this is an international phenomenon. :D

@Jennifer
Thanks.Your husband does not blog right? :) That ways you are spared I guess.
Pass me the phone’s details. May be I need to gift my mom.

6 sachinNo Gravatar { 06.20.08 at 4:58 am }

My mom too……… :)

Nice post…….

7 UshaNo Gravatar { 06.20.08 at 6:52 am }

speaking from experience, a li’l extra effort from our end can do miracles to them! really..
I remember writing down the steps to send a mail.. send a mail with attachment and things like that, to mummy.. that was half a decade back.. n now she’s such a thorough internet buff, she tells me which site to go to find what.. n educates me on firefox too!! seriously! :)

8 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.20.08 at 7:59 am }

@Sachin
oh! thanks for visiting

@Usha
Okay,will try that. May be I underestimate amma’s tech sense.

9 GWBENo Gravatar { 06.20.08 at 2:02 pm }

Try this!
http://www.doro-mobile.com/shop/page/11

Would solve most of her problems.

With my mom it was quite different. Her learning curve was so steep, I was surprised. Once I bought her the simplest Nokia mobile and taught her how to use it (basic functions) she would spend more of her time checking out other features. And within a week, she had learnt T9 typing, ringtone setting, voicemail setting.

I tell myself that it’s my mom, what else did I expect :)

10 | Balu |No Gravatar { 06.21.08 at 11:52 am }

It took two years for my mother to get used to nokia 3310 but by then we bought another phone. And as she was getting used to it my father decided to change the phone again. My mother reckons its a plan my father made to keep her “otherwise idle-mind” (according to her) busy.

11 Ms CrisNo Gravatar { 06.21.08 at 2:37 pm }

:-)
This blank message syndrome is pretty common I guess. When I was in college, many Moms, when they try to use their kid’s phone would send blank messages to Abesh, the first name in our class and most of our cell phones :D

There was one time when I got a message from my Mom. The content was this – “6″. Confused, I called her up and she was infact trying to set an alarm for 6 pm.

But now she has come a long way and exchange messages with her sisters or me and uses the phone without any trouble. She could even figure out my Dad’d hi-fi phone with all its finicky gadgets.

Anyway, I am a little on your Mom’s side cause I am beginning to have an aversion to cell phones myself. I just blogged about it the other day.

12 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.21.08 at 3:47 pm }

@GWBE
Wow! That was easy for you.
Nice phone. But my mom would still say Nokia is better :D and she would never send blank messages anymore.

@Balu
LOL. Conspiracy at home?

@Cris
LOL! Poor Abesh.
Alarm at 6-that was hilarious.
Ya, my mom is more comfortable with the landline and kinda averse to learn to make better use of the cell phone.

13 PhilipNo Gravatar { 06.22.08 at 10:01 am }

I was going to say my mom too, then I realized that everybody had the same thing to say.

I remember 8-9 years back when we first go internet, she was all excited about sending emails to her sis in US. But no matter how much I asked her, she wouldn’t do it herself. So I had to sit and type the email as she dictated it.

14 maddyNo Gravatar { 06.22.08 at 5:10 pm }

i have also stayed away from texting as i have to search for the glasses- somehow not too popular in US yet, i guess with so much talk time provided on the voice plan…but whenever i go o kerala & elsewhere i find everybody so much into SMS …

15 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.22.08 at 6:25 pm }

@Philip
Thanks for visiting.
Like, I can imagine.

@maddy
he he, texting and missed calls are still much sought after in India.

16 ParulNo Gravatar { 06.24.08 at 7:15 am }

He he he :)
mum says she doesnt like cellphones coz you need to keep charging them..i asked her to keep it on charge all the time so that it’d give her a landline feel :P

17 xyleneNo Gravatar { 06.24.08 at 4:06 pm }

That was funny. But then its a lil difficult for our last gen to get used to the gadgets.
My dad complains about the new color phone that my brother had bought him, he said the yellow display was so much better. :)

18 tenalirama { 06.25.08 at 6:43 am }

But I bet she hasn’t lost as much cell phones as her son! :P

19 Khyati { 06.25.08 at 6:58 am }

very apt for todays technically challenged parents.

In fact my mother still refers to the call and end buttons as “green” button and “red” button!!!

20 dkNo Gravatar { 06.27.08 at 7:54 pm }

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21 Shrinidhi HandeNo Gravatar { 06.28.08 at 4:01 am }

Made a good read. But I guess its same with most of the moms

22 sindhu { 06.28.08 at 7:48 am }

when i go to tvm next week ill make sure your mom and my mom meet! hahaha…

23 SNo Gravatar { 06.28.08 at 4:33 pm }

All mum’s are the same! Lol!!!

24 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.28.08 at 5:06 pm }

@tenalirama
da, u win :D
@Khyati
Thanks for dropping by.
He he.
@Shrinidhi Hande
Trust me man! Thanks for dropping by.
@sindhu
okay, go ahead.
@S
Thanks for visiting.
Yes, like unity in diversity.

25 Macadamia The NutNo Gravatar { 06.29.08 at 2:59 am }

LOL!
Ada paavi! Now I understand certain questions better

26 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 06.29.08 at 11:53 am }

@MTN
Yes yes, that was the reason :D Smart u!

27 YNo Gravatar { 06.30.08 at 6:15 pm }

The first number on my moms phone (and by extension on mine) is AAAAAAAA, tel no 0000000.

Easy Schmeasy, problem solved :)

28 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.03.08 at 5:06 am }

@Y
Thats a nice idea. But I am sure blank messages will still go to 00000000

29 YNo Gravatar { 07.03.08 at 8:30 am }

actually no.. it says ‘sending failed’ or some such :)

30 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.04.08 at 7:07 am }

@ok ok :)

31 SeemaNo Gravatar { 07.08.08 at 4:45 am }

Both my mom and dad used to be technologically challenged. They were not at all hesitant to blame it on me of course. I still remember the time when everytime I used to call dad, the call gets disconnected after a few rings. Who knew then that he was always pressing the red button and saying hello hello and then says “ee nokia nokkan mathrame kollulo onnu kelkunilla!”

32 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.08.08 at 5:48 am }

@Seema
Thanks for visiting.
Nice anecdote.
Thanks for sharing.

33 amoomaNo Gravatar { 07.10.08 at 7:24 am }

TSK TSK. why cant u be a good son and teahc ur mom? r all moms the same, in varying degrees? mine is better in this case tahn urs, maybe 10 degrees. atleats i have created only one mail id for her. and she doesnt send blank messages, as far as i have been able to find out

34 The LaymanNo Gravatar { 07.10.08 at 3:21 pm }

ha ha Nikhil, that was so sweet and real!
You could even replace my mom with your mom in the story. But she doesnt send blank messages simply because she only presses the green button on her mobile (to accept calls).
Moms are so sweet, aren’t they? [:)]
Oh, how I miss her!

35 Sajith MNo Gravatar { 07.14.08 at 6:38 am }
36 prats35No Gravatar { 07.16.08 at 3:44 am }

Thats progress….at least she thinks of looking for her glasses…lol

Nah!!! but moms are like that, and that sure is soooo endearing. And the mail ids can stay…my mil is like that…if the desktop changes views she thinks she has to sign in again all the way from the beginning….and her son ( my husband) just can’t leave her in peace…

Read about your blog in the Mirror…and thought i’d look in….nice blog out here :)

37 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.16.08 at 3:15 pm }

@amooma
Yes, I should be a better son. Will be one. :)
@The Layman
he he:) ya da

@Sajith M
Thanks da.

@prats35
Thanks for visiting.
he he.
Oh! people read mirror!!! :-)

38 prats35No Gravatar { 07.22.08 at 11:45 am }

of course we do….our basic entertainment channel ;)

39 Santosh KumarNo Gravatar { 07.29.08 at 1:30 am }

Are wah!! good read.

40 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 07.31.08 at 12:47 pm }

@Santosh
Thanks saar

41 OutspokenNo Gravatar { 07.31.08 at 3:00 pm }

My mom had same problem, she squarely blamed me for confusing her. So I said to her the best way to learn is to experiment and you won’t lose a single paisa until u press green button.

A month later the phone said:
Sim Locked

?
??

The phone had asked for pin code, she repeatedly tried out stuff, it asks for PUK code , again she tries stuff [remember i had told her nothing will happen till green button is pressed] ….
.
.
.
Sim Locked

And ultimately i am to blame for telling her that nothing will happen until u press green button.

42 OutspokenNo Gravatar { 07.31.08 at 3:00 pm }

My mom had same problem, she squarely blamed me for confusing her. So I said to her the best way to learn is to experiment and you won’t lose a single paisa until u press green button.

A month later the phone said:
Sim Locked

?
??

The phone had asked for pin code, she repeatedly tried out stuff, it asks for PUK code , again she tries stuff [remember i had told her nothing will happen till green button is pressed] ….
.
.
.
Sim Locked

And ultimately i am to blame for telling her that nothing will happen until u press green button.

43 Nikhil NarayananNo Gravatar { 08.01.08 at 6:12 am }

@Outspoken
LOL, nice one.
Thanks for visiting and sharing the incident.
And ya, you commented twice, never knew Outspoken meant someone who repeats ;)
-Nikhil

44 SravNo Gravatar { 10.02.08 at 3:51 am }

achoda! meano! :P but an awesome post! :) my mom is a super biggie.. but when it comes to say sending a message, she promptly asks me to do it if i am around :D .. but i struggle too.. cuz i m supposed to use proper english in the messages and no abbreviations or acronyms! sigh and for some reason, ppl of the older generation (no i m not talkin abt u nikhil :P ) happen to be averse to the T-9! :D

P.S : Plz dont go legal! :D Period! ;)

45 NikhilNo Gravatar { 10.02.08 at 12:38 pm }

@Srav
Actually I am averse to T9.Does that make me old ? ;)
I just don’t like it. Its easier to type the normal ways.

46 Sheba KunhimohammedNo Gravatar { 11.14.08 at 8:18 pm }

Funneee..same is the case with my mom :-)

47 NikhilNo Gravatar { 11.18.08 at 11:17 pm }

@Sheba
Thanks for visiting.
Ha ha, all moms are like this :D
-Nikhil

48 SunitaNo Gravatar { 11.22.08 at 3:39 pm }

I had such a good time laughing along until I realised … hey! wait, I’m a mom! And a mom just like the one in your post….hmmm…
I can send sms and read ‘em too but I just dont see the point. You’ve got a phone in your hand, so talk to the person !
Or is this only for the slow of wit? Gives them time to think up smart answers : ) Okay, I tend to get snarky when I’m forced to realise that there is a generation which thinks I’m over the hill.
Dont you believe it! I’m 18 till I die (though my body refuses to get the hint) .
So what if I’m not techno-savvy , my teenaged son isn’t spelling-savvy. It all evens out in the end.

49 NikhilNo Gravatar { 11.22.08 at 9:45 pm }

@Sunita
Thanks for coming here.
So you took it personally? :D
No no! I am not gonna fight with you over this. Moms are moms.Whatever that means :)

50 SunitaNo Gravatar { 11.23.08 at 12:27 am }

I wish you would repeat those last 3 sentences in front of my son. He seems to think he is my grandfather!

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