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Journeys with the caterpillar: Travelling through the islands of Flores
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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Mobile phones: Phallic symbols of our age

One day I happened to overhear this discussion between Geek Shekharan (GS) and Luddite Pandey (LP).

GS (panting): Hei LP, have you seen the new S9321? It’s so much better than the S9320 and the M819. Its just 12 mm thick, 50 mm wide, 90 mm long. Metal finish, 22khz polyphonic speaker sound, only 100 grams, Bluetooth, 3 megapixel camera, 2 inch color display, 42MB internal memory, 400 hours standby. And such a cool organizer.

GS pauses for breath.

GS: They just got it, I showed it Faddish Gopalan, he loves it man, he’s going to buy one today.

LP (disinterested): Ya ya, it’s nice.

GS (excited): Come on, have a look at it, hold it, see its only 100 grams. Only 12mm wide. Hold it buddy!!!! Its amazing man!! So cool!!!

LP (holding the phone): Yea, its light. Hei GS, you seem to have put on a lot of weight man. What’s your waist size now? What’s up? Do something.

GS (takes back the phone): Ya Ya, I will go to the gym from next week. Hei, let me show the amazing speaker sound man. Hei, hear this. Isn’t it amazing? So cool, man! So cool!

LP: Isn’t it that Himesh tune? I must say it sounds better in cheap low quality speakers that accentuate the high pitch.

GS: You are funny. Hei, let me show you the camera and screen feature. Its 3 megs man, so cool! Amazing! Hang on, steady. Let me take this snap of yours. (Clicks) Wow! Look man, so cool!

LP (getting agitated): Hmmm, are you going to store it?

GS (excited again): Why not? It’s got 42MB memory and I got a 1GB SD memory fitted, this holds upto thousand pics man. Its amazing man, so cool!!

LP (disturbed): Forget it. What’s the point in storing mundane pics of mine and yours? None of us look picturesque anyways.

GS (agitated): Why are you like that? This is the hottest thing! What’s wrong with you? This is the coolest thing. Hei, look at this organizer function.

LP: Look man, here’s what I think. Whatever it is, you will use it mostly to order take-away dinners. The most intelligent SMS you will be sending will be “Happy new year”. It will be most useful only as an alarm or a torchlight when the power goes off. At least, earlier, when it used to have external antenna, that could be used to clean ears. And your life is too simple and uneventful to require any electronic organizing, unless you want to keep track of your bio-breaks. And remember, this piece of amazing coolness will spend most of its life next to your dirty, smelly, sweaty groins. That’s what it is.

LP (screams): Go, get a life!

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