Monday, May 01, 2006

Phone tics

I want to buy a new cell phone.

Unfortunately, nobody sells cell phones any more, least of all the companies that used to make cell phones. They sell cameras. They sell mp3 players. They sell radios. Each of these has, as an afterthought, the option of use as a phone. You really want something that can make calls? You mean, call somebody? Talk to somebody? How quaint!

Charukesi writes about “technology dissonance” and the “paradox of enhancement”. Me, I’m just looking for a phone. The smaller the better, so it can fit in my pocket. Good battery life, so I don’t need to recharge after every coffee break. And yes, a large phone-book, preferably with that new Nokia feature where you can store up to 5 numbers under one entry. Say, a thousand entry phone-book, that would give me the option of storing 1000x5 numbers. I’m not particular about brands (as long as it’s a Nokia). How do I get one?

Not by going into a shop and asking, evidently. Mobile phones must be the fastest-moving consumer goods around, and that would include mosquito-repellent coils and toilet soap (judging from the ummm, aroma in a couple of the shops). So I wait around till the girl behind the counter turns to look at me, then I clear my throat and …

Before I can say a word, she says “Idhar deejiye” (Hand it over here). Eh? What? While I’m fumbling for my wallet and ID, she asks impatiently “Yes sir, vhaat maadel you vaant?” I ask tentatively, “Aap ko kyaa dena hai? Woh aap ne kaha naa, idhar deejiye? Kya dnoo?” A sudden bright smile and an explanation – she was talking to her colleague at the counter behind me. Fine. But do I make any progress towards getting a phone that fits my specs? Ha!

You see, I don’t know veech maadel I vaant, whether the 867045943vIUOI or the 7438904986EEEEEE4358. Or maybe even the 348958906 FearlessBollocksXXX. I need to buy a decrypting software first, or I could walk out of here with a mid-range airborne weapons platform. Or the patent for a self-fertilising sago plant. Since when does a mobile phone sound like rocket science or biotech jargon?

Look, I don’t want a phone with a camera. I have a camera. I have a mp3 player (two of them, as a matter of fact, no matter that neither of them is in working condition). I also have a diary, an alarm clock, a calculator, a television, a toothbrush and a micro-wave oven; my doctor’s sphygmomanometer is good enough for me and I do not need an instrument for pre-programmed erotic massage, thank you very much. I want a phone. Check out the Tata Indicom ad with Ajay Devgan, it sums up what I mean – “Insaan phone leta hai baat karne ke liye” (People buy phones to talk). Except that this segment is ignored by the makers of mobile phones.

I have been offered, in quick succession, the latest Motorola Motorazr because “it fits my image” (yeah right, people often mistake me for Rahul Dev!), a Samsung phone that revolves round a central pivot (next they’ll offer me a Bey-blade) and a Nokia that looks like an early Sony Play-Station. I don’t want any of these, thanks. I want a PHONE. You know, with those basic specs that I listed up there. Will somebody please tell me where I can get one?

**** ****


21 comments:

flygirl said...

you want a phone? a phone that's *just a phone*? how quaintly neo-neo-luddite of you!

jhantu said...

So you dont want an erotic msg spitting phone. Dont worry Nokia is designing a new age phone that will actually have a hologram pop out and convey an erotic random msg with the bologo like "give me another random erotic msg" option everytime someone clls u.

Plese look into this new model here for guaranteed phone satisfaction.

(And no Im not a evil spamming code spamming ur comment space)

Vishnupriya said...

be blunt. say right out that you want the cheapest. ignore everything else. but i guess you look too well-off for them to pass up a chance to sell you something you dont want or need.

shrik said...

Don't know if you already got your "just a phone" need fulfilled yet, but here's a pointer - Nokia 1108.

No colours, no radio, no camera, no fancy anything. And most importantly, it does its job well.

MinCat said...

yes! EXACTLY! i agree! no i dont want a particle acelerator thank you. ive got a 3315 and its gonna stay that way.

Rimi said...

Sure I can. Buy mine. It even has some of the digits rubbed off with use. Vintage stuff. Priced accordingly, of course.
On the Nokia 1108, however, not enough memory space.

Re. last post, what are you trying to do??? Steal my job??? Hello, resident bitch here!

Sue said...

Go into any shop and confidently tell them you want a Nokia 1100. This one's simple, it's Nokia and it has very good battery life. Also, you can drop it and all that'll happen is that the keypad will pop out (so you push it right back in again) and there you are.

I don't think it has any extra features, including the huge phonebook, but it is a very good, hardy phone. Best part is, hardly anybody will try to steal it, since it has zero snob value.

Bonatellis said...

dadabhai, this is the age of value-adds .... that's what sells. For e.g, YOU dont just blog ... YOU use the CHATURI of the English language and show off YOUR command over it to make innocent readers like me get addicted to your blog ... don't you?
so, i not only get to read about good things that I don't read elsewhere, I also get to brush up my understanding of the English language ... now THAT's value add ;-)

Srin said...

I wouldnt mind a camera phone cum mp3 player, nobody calls me anyway.

Plumpernickel said...

Get a crackberry, you can store endless nos under one head, and it is seriously addictive, also sticks to the basics pretty much.

NoHairBrain said...

you just want a phone ?? How quaint ! ;)

Tabula Rasa said...

please to send specs on fearlessbollocks model. is it coming with m'roonturban accessory?

said...

Reminds me of JWZ's experience back in 2000.

Priya said...

Good luck on your search. Very good ad copy stuff here.. passing it on to my better half for valuable consumer insight. In the meantime, my 2 paisa worth, Nokia 2100, is a totally no-frills great value for money. But, it's very err...girly:P in terms of looks, in case you are bothered about that too.
Oh, and, echo Bonatellis :), though I must say...GROW UP and cut out those attention-seeking De-cession posts, please;)

territorial-male said...

Why only Nokia? I think Samsung has a few models that fit the bill. But I would not recommend a Motorola. I've used 2, my brother 1 my my jeejaaji 1, my niece had her's replaced thrice (she dished out a some of her pocket money each time for a different model). Oh brother, the battery sucks! Their new model is interesting called the PEBL. And as the name suggests, I have an urge to throw it into the water if ever I laid my hands on one. So there!
Alternatively, I can suggest those really dirt-cheap smuggled Chinese mobile phones ridiculously named Bird or Wind or Song. No guarantees or warranties here.

Patient Portnoy said...

Loved it :-)

The Rahul Dev bit was hilarious

Srin said...

I have a pink 2100. Heehee.

Salil said...

This is one of the many things about the mobile phone that irritates me. Perhaps I've become a little Luddite in that extreme, as I've stopped using a cell completely (and would greatly approve if they went back to Victorian era thinking and brought back the 'calling card').

Whatever you do though, don't get a combination of a mp3 player-phone out of desperation. There are times when I feel like strangling the person who invented that effing contraption. I had the misfortune today of sitting next to some idiot on the train with one of those devices, apparently new. He'd downloaded a bunch of various rap songs, and was going through them one by one to test them out as ring tones.

My ears are in need of cleansing.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but Ajay devgan disappoints too...he says ''insaan phone leta hai tarakki karne ke liye''..

Inkblot said...

you got a promotion? or exhausted the phonebook memory?

Neeraj "Richie" Banerji said...

Sony Ericsson phones have the simplest interface and best storage etc. If you don't get one of the new Walkman-equipped bright orange models, then the only additional evil most of their phones will have for your Luddite self is a little camera, which you can ignore.

If you can find an unused Sony Ericsson T610 anywhere (the model is a couple of years old and therefore should be a steal) then that's the one you want. Small, extremely hardy and simple.