Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Berry Factor

I have a really nice mobile phone - Motorola V190 (Believe me, this model still exists).

Somehow, my friends do not agree with this statement.

"You still haven't changed your mobile?". They've asked a million times.

Well, here is the history. I got this mobile in 2006, when I landed in USA and when I was badly in need of a device to communicate with my family in the other part of the world. The only criteria I had were: it should have speaker, phone book and alarm. I love camera mobiles, but my workplace didn't allow them those days. (Well, they changed their minds later after a year or so... Grrrr!).

The store where I got this mobile (store name withheld since I'm on a highly secret mission to USA) - was cunningly divided into 2 sections, separated by an invisible wall.

One section is like the Dinosaurs section of Museum, where you can see all the extinct mobiles. The people you see here are the ones who still think "Blackberry" is a fruit, and confuse "bluetooth" with sabertooth. And they still use their fingers to dial and still talk into the receiver.

The other section is the "happening" place. People here are the kind who hate using keypads and who want auto-redialling to happen by a sneeze. They also want the maximum number of functions inside their mobile - like camera, email, fax, photocopy, scan, refrigerator, microwave, vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, etc. And they want everything to be integrated with some tooth. For example, if you are shopping in the Indian Grocery store in Chicago, and you forgot what brand of pickle to buy, you should be able to take pictures of all pickle bottles and send it to Mylapore Maami - and she should be able to just say the pickle name with betel leaves in mouth and voice recognition should match it with the pictures you sent and reply you back in a matter of 3 seconds. Any delay isn't appreciated: "Kya yaar, these networks are too slow... you know, the one in California was too good...(blah, blah)". Of course, why on earth do we need a mobile that can't do this simple operation!

Anyway, as you might've guessed by now, I was obviously standing in the Dinosaurs section. Not a single sales guy was around. To avoid any further embarrassment, I quickly grabbed this V190 mobile and slipped out of the store.

Well, it has been a good companion ever since. On some occasions, it had gone missing - only to be found under the cushions of the couch after the guests left. No wonder the guests felt uncomfortable with some unknown vibrations coming from underneath and left our home quickly. (Trust me, I never did it on purpose)

On many occasions, it had gone rolling under the car. Then I had to get down on all fours to reach it. If someone had watched me from behind, I have no idea what they would've thought.

But mostly, it manages to stay in its place, and that place happens to be some untraceable corner of the house - until we find it by calling from our landline. And everytime we wonder how it got there. ("The Case of the Missing Mobile" remains unresolved)

Having said all these, you can imagine how my mobile looks. It has scratches all over, and its paint worn out. You can imagine a wall-poster crumbled by a donkey here and there, and scratched by a roadside buffalo. Ah, that's exactly how it looks. I have not posted its picture here, fearing that even the few people who read my blog might stop reading it.

Now, hold on. Before you give me that look, let me tell you that my mobile still works fine. The speaker, phone book and alarm - everything still works. To replace my mobile at this point goes against Newton's 46th Law of Object Replaceability that states "Every object continues in its path of usability unless acted upon by an extreme force that breaks it beyond recognition". Somehow this doesn't convince my friends. They have all gone to Blackberries and Strawberries, and they want me to switch to some berry soon.

To add anger to their agony (or vice versa), I kind of stunned my friends a few days back when I asked them if my mobile had a blue-tooth. It was like looking at an Ambassador car and asking if it is a Formula 1 race car. Let me not elaborate on what happened next.

"So, what the heck ! Should I just get a Berry and make merry?" - am still thinking...