I miss not having a cellphone, I do. When the cellphone first came out in India, I remember my uncle had bought a NOKIA handset which was ...ahem....as thick as a brick, for which he paid....hold your breath... 40,000 Rupees. It looked very cool for the time, and the fact that you had to stick your head out of the window to make a call, and that you couldn't use it in most parts of Madras didn't rob it of all the coolness it's price tag demanded.
Then a cellphone tower (base-station) came up near my house in Kottayam. For some inexplicable reason I felt damn proud of it, and I even remember referring to it as 'my cellphone tower,' although I was still half-a-decade away from getting a cellphone of my own.
I had a friend who used to crank -call people whom he knew had a cellphone, to make them spend the 8 rupees per minute that was the charge for incoming calls at that time. Oh yes, outgoing calls were 16 Rupees per minute and incoming calls were 8. This was called 'airtime.'
In college, around second year (2000) a few people started getting cellphones of their own, and these were the outrageously cool people with money to burn. I even remember a discussion I had with my room-mate about whether a cellphone or a car was a greater luxury (laptops didn't even figure in the same league). We proceeded to do a census and the car won by a whisker, with 5 people having cars and 8 people having cellphones.
Stories abounded about embarassing attempts to show off cellphones, including the one, which I am sure you have heard, about the guy apparently talking on his cellphone, and the phone ringing in the middle of his 'conversation.' There was another one about this guy who stopped wearing his watch so that he could whip out his cellphone whenever someone asked him the time.
Then pre-paid cards came out, the gray market started to flourish and prices of handsets began a steady decline. More and more people started getting cellphones, and the queues outside the hostel phone booth started getting shorter. Shouts of "*insert name*....PHONE CALL" became less frequent in the hostel. The people who earlier used to earn glares of irritation mixed with envy, when they hogged the hostel phone, could now spend hours talking to their sweethearts in the comfort of their hostel room, without offending anyone.
And then incoming calls became free, handset prices dropped even further and somewhere along the line, even I got a cellphone. A cheapie Motorola that would be a shoo-in for the "worst-designed cellphone in history" award. It refused to leave me. I left it behind in a restaurant and got it back, I've left it behind in people's rooms and I've got it back, it still lives in my cupboard as my backup phone. In the meanwhile the cellphone slowly and surely became an essential part of my existence. Communication, reachability, the feeling that you're never alone, the hours of mindless conversation with countless people, all these things became an addiction.
But somehow I yearn for a cellphone less world. Where I can sleep without being woken up. Where you can't reach me if I don't want you to. Where ICICI Bank doesn't want to sell me credit cards every other day. The grass is definitely greener on the other side...I am POSITIVE!