Monday, October 30, 2006

Kannum Kannum Nokia

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?"
She: "Sir...."
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.


Anonymous said...

Nice post as usual. :)
Well I too was against having a cellphone. But then I felt left out, and was forced to get one... The idli conversation was awesome :)

Aditi said...

U think cell phones are still not status symbols?
Try telling someone that u dont have hutch/orange and they look at you with a "u poor deprived child" look for anything else is just not cool.
You dont have a nokia? You get the " what planet are u from" look
yeah still status symbols

Janani said...

Yeah...Naanum unga katchi le thaan irundhen. Appuram parents were not ready for that. So got one!!!!

Cell phone status symbola irundhudu and still irukku.
Good post!!!!!

Ganesh Ranganathan said...

thoughtful post,

when cellphones were introduced, outgoing calls were 16 bucks a minute. Now you talk for anywhere in the world for that kind of rate...

but cellphones are very useful too, especially for the lower middle and traders can take their goods to markets payin the highest price..

Sat said...

It's such a nuisance I agree...I am one of those who have minimal use for it...except for calling home...which is just about everyday... :)
But kid cousin loves my mobile...idhula snooker velayadi until he drains all the charge andha kutti pisasuku thookam varadhu! And one of my friend's name begins from A...the cursed first lot in the phone book :D
Her manager's kid used to dial her number often while playing with his phone...picture that...everytime she'll dread picking that call and most occasions she'll find a 3 year old on the other end!

Sat said...

Not to mention the wierd ringtones!...gawd!...
Pudhu mozhi (as heard somewhere):
More wierd the ring tone...more wierd is the man!

Seriously i have a tough time trying not to burst out laughing...adhukum mela indha caller tunes imsai...imagine i called my landlord once to find out a heavy mallu accented uncle saying 'Thank you for calling me, i was about to call you...but you called me before that...wait...i am going to recieve your call....Thank you for calling me, i was about...'
Aandava!...these are worse than the mutants!

Karthik B.S. said...

husband sending Obscene messages to his own wife???? Wow... very good family! :)

Foodie's Hope said...

Great to have a cell phone, my kids want them too!

Great husband she has!!;))))

mystery said...

cell phone has its own pros and cons...i think its really usefull for contacting and kadalai pottufying lol...on the other hand it kills lot of time and as u mentioned we have all lost our privacy...

Priya said...

Cell phone and intenet are two widely misused technologies. That too in India, SMS thollai is unbearable.. Here in the US, weekend and night-time minutes most plans la unlimited nala, kudukkara bill ku max use panna try panranga.
cell phone vachirukkaradhu munnadi status symbol a irundhadhu. Ippa enna model vachirukkingangaradhula dhan unga so called status theriyum :)

priya said...

Status for too many including cell phones. Never ending story when everybody talks or has it.

Even if I have, I do not use much and all calls come into my landline except personal.

Anonymous said...

everythng has pros n cons , we cant help it :)

Ayshu said...

I agree!Its a boon and a bane.>When we were in college we used to get signal at excatly 2 spots and the size of the mobile used to be bigger than our cordless!!With India being one among the top 5 countries in mobile peneteration this is just gonna get worse!

Krishnakumar said...

Nice Post :)

srivats said...

Very good post Harish,

But the reason of my presence here is to thank you for the support u have given for scribing work.

We are always in need of people to write exams/ read do assignments for the students, If you are interested please send me a mail at

Anonymous said...

"he was Lakshmi Mittal and we were iron scrap merchants" - brilliant! lol

Sandai-Kozhi said...

It is true.It has become a kind of status symbol. What ever, it serves the purpose.Very useful.for me,yellam ok,ore oru vishyam,I always forget to get it charged,so venumng bodhu kaal vari vittudum.

Syam said...

sooooper saar...athilum andha idly conversation ROTFL :-)

Random thoughts from Chennai to Canada said...

blog hopped here....very well written,esp the convo's...had a good laugh...

Anupama Viswanathan said...

Wow..that was one hell of a great post! :) Enjoyed reading it till the end! (and of course landed up laughing a lot! :))

s0ul said...


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... though I do have a cellphone now..( that which can do everything but dance freeze and wash! - as quoted by you! ;)) I wish I didn't have it! And esp a Nokia!( Damn...I do hate catching up with these changing trends!)

Somehow I liked the ol " you see me! U speak to me" thingamy better!

Anonymous said...

Can't help it. You need one these days. It's become a necessity. No longer a luxury.

raz said...

lol ! cell phone was a part of my life once.. now its loosing its importance...

Revathi said...

LOL!! great blog and great post..idly conversation chance e ila!!:D:D...

Usha said...

last conversation was the ultimate!! Indha effect-ladhan vandhu en post-ku Paavam Gopi-nu comment vittiya? BTW, yaar andha gopi? :))

Harish said...

Thanks thalai

Yes yaar...inspite of becoming cheap they have become a status symbol

Onnum panna mudiyaadhu. Ennamo cellphone illama vaazha mudiyaadhu ngara range kku vanduttom

Exactly. Its an awesome tool as long as we dont misuse it

Lol...I cant imagine a mallu accent speakin that way...too funny

Naan kooda padichchu ninaichaen...enna koduami karthik idu :-)

Harish said...

@Foodies hope
Everyone from Bemaani to Ambani needs a cellphone...kaligaalam

Edukku use pandraangalo illaya...kadalai mattum full fledged a nadakudu

Ella modelum thaan 6 months la outdated aaigidudae :-(

And its these personals calls for which we pay the price :-)

That was a sixer

Worst fears confirmed

Harish said...

Thanks yaar

We friends run an organization called SMILE. Please visit
We also are in the hunt for scribes

Just made it up :-)

Everyone of us suffer from the same problem

Nandri Naatamai. Edho unga punniyam ponga :-)

Thanks yaar

Harish said...

Thanks a ton yaar

U too yaar????

That makes it 2 of us :-)

And thats where all trouble shoots up from

Harish said...

Why?Is he near ur cubicle :-)

Just wrote it out of observation. Ettanai pera idhu maadhiri paathirukkom

Yaar Gopiya?Unakku amnesia nu anda paavapatta Gopi kku teriyuma :-)

prithz said...

haha!!! ncie one again!!!

ROTFL @ idli conversation!!! :D

chitra said...

Well, cell phone has its adv as well as disadvantages. With the cellphone and a laptop and that too, if provided by the co. we become 24x 7 employees.

and as far as a 6 year old kid asking fr it, I can v. well understand. Mobile phones have some good games which are fun to play.

Heidi Kris said...

I second Ayshu. The cell phones until misused are the greatest assets and that too for being in touch with our loved ones and even in case of emergencies. It reduces the anxiety of parents of children who are back home late, who are rash in driving. A call.. hearing the voice of their child.. A relief!

But, people have become mad about these fones that it can now be called as "Karna Kavasam". People dont part with it even for a sec. Worst case, this has lead to talking and driving, which leads to fatal accidents. I have heard and read about major accidents, due to people crossing track while talking in their cell phones, driving while talking!

Alavuku merinaal amruthamum nanju. Use panalaam technology-a, but abuse panakudadhu!

Heidi Kris said...

And inda kalathu pasangals have become worst! To put it bluntly - pinjulaye pazhuthuduchunga!! Very pathetic to see kids using mobiles, having an orkut account and addiction to internet! Future of India epadi iruka poradho theriyala!!