mobile phone set that I carry for my use looks like it belongs
to another era. For any other piece of accessory on person,
I wouldn't have minded a retro look, but a cell phone that
looks like a walkie-talkie is an absolute no-no. When I
look at people sporting their small handsets, I get a feeling
that they are doing it to rub it in--it is the kind of complex
you'd get being seen in your 1958 model Impala (that refuses
to start in one try) next to the latest BMW Convertible
that I have done much about it, other than occasionally
nagging The Hubby that the instrument needs to be changed
immediately. Part inertia, part hesitation to walk into
a shop alone to buy something I have no clue of, this instrument
has been with me in use since as way back as my memory cells
(no puns intended) take me. As it is, we could easily qualify
for the all-time Most Techno-Phobic Couple awards, so walking
into a mobile phone shop, alone, is an intimidating proposition.
of late, it has been getting too much to bear. The piece
is dog-eared (my son in his infantile curiosity chewed away
a couple of buttons), and obviously senile now, begging
to be replaced. The frequency of 'Card Errors' (at times,
even in the middle of a conversation!) finds a match perhaps
only in the 'Illegal Programme Errors' on my PC.
a fortnight ago, I pinned down The Hubby in a rather good
mood and told him firmly we needed a change. He looked at
my set rather critically and declared in his characteristic
avuncular tone (I wonder why he uses that with me) that
tells me my basic premise for demanding a change is shaky,
"I don't see a problem with it. It's fine. I carry
a similar one, and I have never felt the slightest of hesitation
in using it before others."
case is different. You will bring home a battered gramophone
in the name of a disc-player, and not know the difference."
you say, Wifey, but I think it is a perfectly fine piece
of instrument. In fact, look at its size, don't you think
it is bigger than other models of mobiles you see other
that is the problem. You don't get it, do you? Mobile phones
these days are not meant to be seen. Even the cordless handsets
are being modelled smaller than our mobile phone. What's
worse, it doesn't fit into the hand-set pocket provided
in my new hand bag; it is nearly twice as big as the pocket!
My set is archaic, believe me."
why do you hanker after intangibles like size and looks
size is tangible. When I'm holding it in my hand, I'm holding
it, right? And every time I look at it, I feel I'm looking
at the remote control of our TV set."
didn't mean intangible in that sense."
I don't care what you mean. Get me something sleek. I am
ashamed of being seen with it in public."
So now you'll say you're ashamed of being seen with me too.
you exchanged me for a sleek husband?"
shocked you could even suggest something like this. But
since you have raised the topic, I certainly wouldn't mind
a more flat-bellied man to be seen with. But aren't we getting
into unnecessary arguments? All I'm saying is that I feel
everyone's looking at my set each time I pull it out of
my bag, and looking for all the wrong reasons."
So don't use it in public. It'll save us a lot; as it is,
even despite the way it looks now, the ticking dials of
your watch become inconsequential when you chat with your
friends. I don't see which important conversation can't
wait till you have reached home. What else is your landline
for?" There was a slight pause after this while he
expected me to argue on, but by now I was on the verge of
giving up for good.
like these two mobiles, certainly don't belong in today's
world." These are the kind of statements one utters
when throwing up ones hands in despair.
I hung on there. And tried a different route by illustrating
to him how the world of cellular phones was passing us by
without our being even aware of it. From sms-ing worldwide
to web-surfing to sending images to computing to video conferencing,
is there anything one cannot do with cellular phones today?
The future, they say, is in our palms. Besides, mine had
not been the best of handsets even in its heyday. I remember
my friends commenting that even at that time (I'm talking
of several years ago), it was the least user-friendly model
in the market. That makes it a junk set by today's standards.
It had to go.
latest is that I hear at least three different voices in
the set. The person I'm speaking to (or at least intend
speaking to), my own voice, and the invariable cross-connection,"
what does the poor handset have to do with the cross-connection?
But fine. Since I see that you have decided to change it
anyway, go ahead, do it. I don't see why you didn't buy
a new one for so long. When was the last time you consulted
me before buying anything? This mobile phone is a small
you come with me, else I'm not going."
want me to accompany you while shopping!! I don't know whether
to believe my ears or not. Sure, my love, anytime; the pleasure
will be mine." If I sensed a tinge of sarcasm in his
words, I didn't react the way I would have otherwise. Clarifications
as I am still waiting for a new mobile handset, even a fortnight
later! When they say 'trust thy man fully' they obviously
forget to factor in equivocal deceptions like these. I may
have to do it on my own, after all. But do it, I will. I
realised this morning that a full charge of its battery
lasts precisely two brief calls. Enough is enough.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004