A Guest Post
The reputation of this blog as a place to rant seems to be reaching alarming proportions. Not only have the readers come to expect routine outbursts directed against all and sundry (a laundry that dries your clothes in the sun), some of them have figured out the real reason why I rant here: It saves me good money I would otherwise spend on a shrink. One of them, no, not one of the shrinks, one of those who have figured it out is my good friend (a good friend is someone who lends you money without asking questions. Or who tells your wife that he was with you the night in question.), Krishnan Iyer. Recently Krishnan sent me an e-mail reminding that I used to copy from his composition book in school and subtly alluded to bare other secrets involving the English teacher and me. (Like the time I argued with her about F***. She insisted it was a verb, I, a noun. The argument ended when she asked me to stop being a ‘Dumb F***’.) The e-mail had an attachment, Krishnan’s own rant about cell phones - a topic close to his heart (he keeps his cell phone in his shirt pocket. Unlike most men who keep their cell phones in their trouser pockets and hence are close to, whatever.)
I had no option but to publish Krishnan’s rant. Who knows when I might need to borrow the money he saves on his shrink session. Or need his company (and testimony), on one of those questionable nights.
THE CALL OF THE CELL PHONE
The tag line of the movie, The Phone Booth (2002), is, “A ringing phone has to be answered!” Well, that was from another age - a phone booth –a physical device fixed to a location where you have to walk to it to use it!
In this modern age and world of jetsetters and cell phones, the question probably is, “What is it about the wheels of an airplane touching the ground that makes people immediately want to turn on their cellphones and start talking?” It is like an ejaculation waiting to happen or the results of the use of a laxative – same effect, no control!
For a moment let us try and be charitable to those poor, humble cell phone/communication addicts – it is a very important call to make, there is a crisis which has to be addressed, the airlines are unreasonable by not allowing use of the cell phones on flight … Well, here are some of the actual ‘first’ (first, as in when the wheels touch the tarmac), conversations which take place:
(a) “I have just landed” – The lawyer in me cannot accept the incorrect factual statement - it is the plane which has landed, not your measly arse! Also, why is it a wonder that you landed – you did take off, did you not? For all the airline accidents which happen, as a percentage of total flights, you have more chances of surviving an airline ride than crossing the road at CST Station.
(b) “Will reach home in half an hour” – you think that’s making your folks happy? Think again! They are probably cursing the airline for landing on time.
(c) “I have reached Delhi/Mumbai.” – well, you did buy a ticket to reach there … and you announce to the world that you have landed in that place. Why is it a wonder? Well, let us understand something; if a plane is scheduled to land at a particular destination and you have taken a plane to reach that destination, the chances are you will reach that destination. (Unless of course, you have a minister who wants to be dropped off half-way – somewhat like the trains passing through
(d) “Is everything fine at the office?”/“Hopefully no crisis when I am away”. The guy/gal at the other end is probably thinking - Boss, whenever you are not in office everything is fine and no, there is no crisis – the crisis is actually the idiot who has just landed, ignored the warnings of the airline not to put his cell phone on and is asking this question to us.
(e) To the driver outside – “Aap bahar khade hain? Aa raha hoon”. Well, you are not a VVIP that the car will come on the tarmac – yes, you will have to walk out to the door. The driver is probably thinking – “Subah, subah message bhejke bulaye hai our pooch rahe bahar hu kya – yahi hota hai jab company ka phokat ka phone milta hai”
And many, many such more ….
The cell phone is meant to be a device to communicate. Communication – a process whereby information is imparted from the sender to the receiver by some medium and is meant to serve a purpose. However, the cell phone has turned communication into an art form of giving information which is of no use to anyone whatsoever – somewhat like the various TV channels vying for TRPs.
Well, there is so much more I want to tell – but the pilot has just announced that the fight is landing and my damn cell phone is put off and in the overhead locker – I need to open it right away – I know, I know that they say it is dangerous – but what do these airlines know about the pressures of my life – I need to check if my cat has eaten its food!
Note: Krishnan could have gone on to become a great writer. But due to a quirk of fate, his roll number in school was after mine and he invariably got accused of copying from my English composition book. To get back, he changed his second name and became a lawyer as well. Unfortunately for him I never made enough money to make it worth his while to sue me.