Thursday, August 26, 2010


“India has more mobile phones than toilets” it’s not some figment of my imagination it’s WHO report which says this. What’s ironic is some people are unabashedly tom toming this as a great achievement for India. They are saying that this heralds the coming of age of the new superpower that is India. Talk about a case of misplaced priorities.
Well coming to the near and present problem of the silly necessary evil which has established a vice like grip on our life- MOBILE PHONE a.k.a CELLULAR PHONE.
If anybody had gives me a choice to reverse two inventions in the history of mankind- those will namely be – air conditioner a.k.a AC and mobile phone AC because of my pathological for anything chilly. The tales of which are a sort of mini legend, with my close friends but that’s a discussion that can wait..

Why do I hate mobiles?????…hmmm let me debrief you on that.

Work conundrum:

Office people- We salaried people have to own that proverbial “bell for the cat” whether we like it or not. In many instances our companies pay the phone bills so…. [It’s a SO which is best not elaborated]. Coming back to my point, when you have mobile number which is official. People related to work somehow develop a fool hardy notion that they own you. Hence there is no sense of timing when they call you; the utter disregard shown for the other person’s privacy is legendary. So work hours are flexi- and I am sharing this disdain in the least offensive manner.

Customers/ Distributors -When they call you they act as if it’s matter of life and death [guys I am financial professional, not a doctor]. So to sum it up when you have a mobile- you have only one life i.e work life. They call you invariably after your work hours, or when you are traveling or when you are in some meeting and insist you give a quick solution [what’s disdainful is that some people actually have the cheek to say that they call when they are free]. Guys please understand I don’t have telepathic connection with my office systems to give all the info at any time.
Oh yeah! There is another category: even during the work hours they want the system related info from us over the mobile, guys’ thank you for the love and affection you bestow upon me, and your insistence on hearing it from my mouth. But guys I don’t have any illusions of being a Ronan Keating and would be least offended if you call my office and hear the info from somebody else.
Traveling- just as you thought the traffic and the sheer volume of traveling might frustrate the hell out of you, you have this persistent problem of people calling you when you travel. And somehow just after jostling with the traffic and hoodwinking the police you manage to make time, to pick up the continuously vibrating and howling phone you realize it has stopped ringing. Worse when you call back on the number which was calling you, the person refuses to pick your phone as his ego is hurt by the fact that you didn’t lift his call in 3 rings. The persistent anxiety and agony of traveling with this on your head is sure shot killer which compounds the survival challenge of traveling on Indian roads.

Sleep deprivation- you have a mobile which is supposed to be on at all times, so the good old afternoon siesta is like a chimera, the stuff you heard in tales but not possible in real world. Even night time, if you have foreign clients, their intellectual inability of grasping the time difference phenomena means you are always on the tenter hooks and peaceful sleep is an exercise in futility.

How I wish in my work [which involves a lot of field work], life without mobiles had been. You come to office- mark your attendance-travel without disturbance -make calls in peace-report back to work about your days work-retire happily to home- come re energized the next day. Somehow when you just had a land line to communicate, people somehow respected your space away from work and desist from calling at any hour.

Non work life conundrum:
Mobile drivers- Everybody in India when they sit in a car or bike have a delusion that they are Michael Schumacher/ Valentino Rossi reincarnate. Hence multi tasking while driving is something that has been bestowed upon them as legacy. Most important discussion can only be held while driving or riding, with your head tilted at an impossibly angle as it is rather unsafe to use your hands to hold you mobile while driving. You might kill a person or two after all how can a person step on the road while you are driving & talking- it’s entirely their mistake. Are they blind not to see, that you are discussing an issue of prime importance while driving. The tilt, well it helps in neck exercise you see. Any ways with this busy lifestyle how much time you have to stretch your neck isn’t it? Stupid….

Serial SMSers – thanks to these ever inventive gimmicks by the cellular operators. Now we have a modern day pest called serial Smser – the one who wants to vasool every paisa he pays for a package like 15000 SMS for 70 Rs . Side effect of this is he will keep on messaging innuendos. Most Popular among these are the forwards like-sardar & blonde jokes. And ok… you can bear with a couple or maybe 4 smses a day, but no the amount of messages sent by these people runs nearly into a hundred. Which results in depletion of your phone memory, consequently hanging your phone. Yes… Guys we know you have lot of money but is it really necessary to make us suffer by sending a deluge of these stupid sms’s?

OCD missed callers- well for my friends who don’t belong to India. We have revolutionized the mobile telephony by inventing a feature called missed call. Defined as a call which is missed on purpose. It’s our one point solution for all non verbal telephone communication [paradox supreme]. E.g. I will give a missed call and wait for you, I have reached my destination and here is missed call to announce that. Worse give a missed call at vampirish hours to know I missed you. Grrrrrrrr !!!!!!!! gosh… kill me Bela plz…plz do me a favour by killing me.

Cinema Goer Maestro- what if you are not a Mozart or Beethoven and you don’t have the privilege to play in an opera house, you can always fulfill that desire with your mobile instrument in a theater full of people. I have seen films in theatres pre mobile “revolution”. We had fun things that time like- wolf whistles, cat calls, dog howls. Ok! IRONY…. even though they have animalistic names they had an inherent human character. Anyways, you will still agree that it is far better than to listen to that than the electronic drone of a mobile ringing just as the climax is at it is peak [any pun observed is entirely co incidental]. There is only one feature of the phone which we are completely oblivious to is the silent mode. It’s just impossible to find it; in fact it’s a great bluff by mobile companies to mention that it exists.

Caller tune CampeĆ³n- these great people want you to listen to the feelings in their heart or what they wish to be via the songs which you want to listen while you want to call them in desperate emergency. Even better some people want you to know which company they work and what their company’s slogan is. Worse I have actually called somebody whose phone blared- yeh haath mujhe de thakur. Amusing???? Once..maybe.. Repetitively mind numbing [wanted to use some other word].

Mystery Magicians- Text “hi how r u? Guess who???, quite a regular sight isn’t it? By The Way it is supposed to be amusing game in which you are supposed to play a Sherlock Holmes to a cunning fugitive. And clue for guessing is the lonesome text which I have mentioned above. If you call that number there will be no response or that person will play hide and seek via texting. Grrr. If you thought this is funny then let me break your utopia and tell you. Get a grip guys I have enough things to worry over in my life than to engage in this utterly silly guessing game.

Art Trashers- As if it wasn’t enough that our uptight and hypocritical governments have banned its public display on big screens? Mobiles have further derided great X rated works of art by constricting them on miniscule screens, and in many cases shortening and distorting the quality of a fine product. MMS should be banned, as it clearly makes a mockery of a well endowed industry which has proven its fortitude in the worst recession ever. Even the legend Rocco Siffredi has remarked about the anguish which spread of mobile clips has brought him. A billion dollar industry has clearly felt ill effects of this mobile so called revolution.

My view is that mobile invention in itself is not the devil, but our use or to put it more succinctly, our lack of etiquette in its use is what makes it a curse.

Having documented my anguish over the misuse of mobile I don’t think this list is all exhaustive… so any additions or contradictions are more than welcome.