The germ for this post was sown by the 1st standard studying cousin of my roommate. When my roomie asked him what he wanted from US, he replied without any hesitation - CELL PHONE. I was wondering why a 6 year old kid needs a cell phone. When I was in college, there was only one guy in our hostel who had his own cell phone and we looked upon him as if he was Lakshmi Mittal and we were iron scrap merchants.
Back after college, my parents insisted that I get a cell phone before I leave for job. But an adamant idiot that I am, I had always wanted my cell phone to be bought out of my own money and so I waited for my first month salary and bought a Samsung C100. In my training period, one of my fellow batch mate asked for my number and when I told him that I had no cell phone, he looked at me as if I had just told him that Bush was gay.
"No Cell phone? What’s your problem dude?"
"Anything wrong with it? What are you, some Mr. I-was-born-with-a-cell phone-in-my-hand? "
Indeed it seemed to be. Back in 1997, I remember cell phone was a status symbol when the incoming and outgoing were charged at exorbitant prices and you were looked upon as if you had booked Rajini for a movie. But enter Mr Ambani and his "Mera sapna Sabka Apna" and every body on the street was out with a cell phone. The ad of “Viru ki Maa” became the butt of all jokes, but who cares. You see a reliance cell phone with someone and look upon them as if they said that Vijayakanth was the most handsome man in the world.
Some of the stupid instances are the Customer Care calls. Once my friend received a call as such
She: "Sir, I am calling from XXXXX. Would be interested in taking a personal loan?"
He: "No Madam. I am leaving for a meeting now. And I don’t want a loan"
She: "Sir we offer premium rates and there is no limit as well"
He: “Does it come with a steal-the-bank option?"
He: "Because I am already buried neck deep with hell lot of loans and if you force me to take this, I don’t think I have any other option of paying you back"
By the time he replaced his phone, she must have mumbled "What a jerk" and must have wished him luck to not even find a burial place in Kannamapettai in his last days. Every day there is a new model with a new feature. By the time you buy some model wondering what more can be done, there is another one in the market with something extra. It has an FM, MP3 player, TV, Mailbox, Chat, Bluetooth, GPS...I wonder if the only things that are left to be added to it are Washing Machine and refrigerator. Some common traits of cell phone using people are numbers marked as HOME, OFFICE, INDIA, and RELIANCE and so on.
The consummate users of cell phone are the love-and-flirt pairs. They begin their day with a good morning for their beloved and go to bed with their good night. They won’t let their cell phone go from their hands for their lives. A typical conversation is as such between the kadalai ppl
He: "Hey, so what’s the Tiffin?"(Thanks to CUG (Closed User Group) I dont need to pay for this)
She: "Its idli" (Jerk, he doesn’t know any other opening line)
He: "Was it chutney or podi?" (Why doesn’t she eat anything other than idli)
She: "It was chutney" (Oh moron, ask something else)
He: "Why, you don’t like sambhar?" (What should I ask next? This is going nowhere)
She: "Oh C’mon Bharath. You know I don’t like Sambhar for idli" (He cant even remember this about me?)
He: "Meena, this is Arvind" (Who the hell is Bharath?)
She: "This is Asha"
Thattam Gatam. End of conversation (perhaps relationship). Agreed, it is one awesome tool for communication. It’s a hell of a safety tool for working women and college going girls to communicate to their parents. You think of someone special sometime, just open it and boom....there you go. Life was never so easy. But we have also heard about blank calls, obscene sms and so on. One stupid case I heard recently was where a woman complained receiving obscene SMS and when traced, it was from an unlisted number....owned by her husband.
Let’s admit it, haven’t we all lost our privacy? As every technological innovation, this too has a dark side when all it was invented was for one major purpose - Connecting people.