An SMS travelogue

(Some weeks ago my parents and sister traveled through parts of northern India. Before they left, when I asked my sister to keep in touch through her mobile, she replied that she would be “on roaming” so would prefer to send SMS messages rather than talk.  What follows – in unedited form – is the full set of messages I received during their trip; all messages, save one, are from my sister, who figures in my contact list as ‘H Cell’)


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 31-May-09 21:18]

In delhi. Saw qutub minar, india gate and red fort today.  Chandigarh tomorrow. Howz fimu?


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 01-Jun-09 17:20]

We are in chandigarh. Saw rock garden – good – innovative and rose garden – bad – dry roses.  City is very very clean – wide roads. Tomorrow simla by toy train.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 02-Jun-09 18:53]

We are in Shimla. Reached some time back in toy train. Hotel in hilly area. Had to climb a lot. Hotel is nice


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 03-Jun-09 19:11]

Your message reached today afternoon 😀 went sightseeing today. Just got back. Was pretty ok. After seeing swiss, india is not impressive. He he


[From: Dad Cell] [ Sent: 04-Jun-09 14:35]

Great fun river rafting sutlej river at tattapani self and H. dad


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 04-Jun-09 16:56]

We had been to hot sulphur water springs at sutluj river today. Did white water rafting, got yet completely. Daddy enjoyed a lot. He has messaged u. Do reply back to him. Tomorrow bus to manali.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 05-Jun-09 12:01]

Daddy is waiting for a reply for his sms about rafting. Do sms him. We r in the bus from simla to manali. Out of ten hrs, done with 4. 6 more to go. Very hot.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 05-Jun-09 14:08]

Severe traffic jam due to some accident. Stuck for the last 2.5hrs. More than 12 hrs journey 😦


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 05-Jun-09 21:25]

No other option at all. One can only drive. Finally reached manali. Nice hotel. Going now for dinner. Saw snow caped himalayas on the way. Where in swiss r u going to? Have fun.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 06-Jun-09 10:40]

We r on our way to rohtang pass in manali. Snow fall happening here. Parents very happy. Going to 14 k feet high 🙂 very scenic


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 06-Jun-09 16:03]

Ah nice. Have fun. I did paragliding today. Was gr8 fun. 🙂 was flying in the air.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 08-Jun-09 10:40]

😦 😦 . Flight from kullu to Delhi got cancelled. We have connecting flight from delhi to blr. 600 kms distance. Cud not have reached delhi by road in time.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 08-Jun-09 10:43]

So, ripping in a cab to chandigarh which is 250 kms from kullu. Have booked flight from chandigarh to delhi. Hope cab and flight reach on time. Praying hard & crying. Spending 18k extra due to last minute booking of flight.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 08-Jun-09 15:35]

We reached chandigarh 30mins before departure. Fortunately flight is delayed by 40 mins. So they let us in. Hoping it does not get delayed further. Else delhi-blr will b a problem. Waiting for boarding call. Keeping fingers crossed.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 08-Jun-09 18:07]

Reached delhi airport on time. 🙂 Security check done. Flight in 30mins. So all fine now. But I am very tired.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 08-Jun-09 18:40]

In the flight now. Shud take off in ten mins. So relieved. Finally! Call in the evening. We will b home by 7:30 ur time.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 08-Jun-09 21:34]

Just Landed in blr airport. It was an almost impossible job today. 🙂


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 08-Jun-09 22:07]

🙂 our luggage also arrived fine. Had booked cab. Driving home now. Shud reach home in an hour.


[From: H Cell] [ Sent: 09-Jun-09 00:57]

I forgot to tell u that I left my mark on rohtang pass in manali.  I asked mummy to take a video of me sliding down snow. After that i was very giddy for 5 mins due to less o2 there. I puked complete breakfast on snow. My identity is there 😛


(While this may have similarities to Twitter, I think there are some fundamental differences here. Before I get into that, I’d first love to hear your thoughts.)

9 thoughts on “An SMS travelogue

  1. All I can say is grin. And though I’ve never seen the Swiss Alps, I think the Himalayas are the bestest, so there. But I like SMS. It’s wonderful getting messages from far away places. And sending them. My bil almost put a supari on me when I messaged “Lions everywhere. Lions feeding, lions mating, lions lounging, baby lions, lions on the hunt” from Kenya. Made me feel good. Also glad I was far away on another continent.

    1. K,I treasure SMS messages – my mobile memory is constantly overflowing with them, and I find it hard to choose which one to delete. I still have the two you sent a couple of months ago. Will keep in mind that you like “getting messages from far away places.”

  2. parmanu:

    what are the differences from twitter (other than one is a direct t1 connection and the other is a broadcast)?

    i would have thought there was a greater chance for “h cell” to leave a mark/identity/dna on the kullu to chandigarh taxi ride!


    were the lions sharing? 😉 if they were, who got the lion’s share?

    – s.b.

  3. LOL! My favorite part (apart from H’s mark on snow) is the daddy waiting for your reply to his sms part. Mine does that too. And then calls me to say that he has sent an sms! Jokes apart, how’s it different from twitter? Well to my mind the simple fact that sms is private. Twitter (and FB) forces you to broadcast you thoughts to the world. I’d love to broadcast but only to a select few so there lies ze problem.

  4. Apart from the broadcast vs private aspect mentioned by some of you, the main difference of such a ‘collection of SMS messages’ to Twitter is the closure of related messages that form a coherent “story”. Messages on Twitter are like a flowing stream; there’s no easy way to identify (and link to) a set that logically belong together (the # character is a clumsy workaround). And this is my biggest problem with using Twitter – meaningful single messages are hard to create, and one cannot cluster a set of messages into something like a ‘topic’. Any solutions you know of?

  5. i am not too big either on twitter or sms, so i am just waiting to be enlightened ;-).

    i was forced to send my first (gasp!) sms when in india last month. was not quick enough to get dishtv back in action at parents’ home, so missed india’s 3-run defeat.

    – s.b.

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