Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Satire: Let us go Mobile…

Are you mobile or not?

After watching endless promo on TV, when, finally; my Dhobi, my colony’s Chaiwala and corner’s Panwala went mobile one after another; my eyes too got opened a little bit. Family-friends-relatives all had termed me as backward (not on controversial cast grounds) since I still had not gone mobile. In the meantime, thanks to various life-time plan offered by various mobile companies, I had read somewhere that during last six months alone, more than 10 million Indian populations had gone mobile. It is altogether different matter that whose lifetime offer they are offering – User’s or handset’s or Mobile company’s?

Now since my Dhobi and Chaiwala too had gone mobile, and country’s most population - including students of kindergarten are rushing to go mobile, I started feeling odd without a mobile phone in my hand, and therefore I thought that now the time has come and I must go mobile too.

Overcoming my shyness, I entered in a big shop which claims that they deal exclusively on mobile phones sales and service. In India, presently you can see more mobile phone selling shops than PDC (primary distribution centre) shops. But I had played safe and had chosen this big, exclusive one. The Salesman gave me a pleasing but questionable look and took no time to star – “Yes, sir – what do you want? I think, time has come to replace your old, out of date mobile phone with new beauty piece having latest technology. The latest model has arrived today itself and you can find it only in this shop and nowhere else.”

“Excuse me, I have not come here for an exchange. In fact, I want to purchase a new mobile…” I said hesitatingly.

“Oh! You mean you want a second mobile piece for your personal or for professional use. Very good. Now without a couple of mobile phones at hand, life becomes really terrible…”

I interrupted him, “No, no. Actually I don’t have any mobile phone, and I am thinking to purchase my first ….”

There were many colors came and gone over the face of salesman. He was looking at me as I was an alien creature who has still not gone mobile. I can read from his face that what he was thinking about me – “People have purchased and thrown away a couple of mobile phones and this creature has come to purchase his first! Poor fellow! But, again, he is not looking that poor either! May be he is a kind of nuts I think!” Smile from his face had vanished quickly.

“Oh, I see. Then may I ask the purpose sir?” He asked with a tinge of bitterness in his voice. There was feeling in him that I am going to waste his time.

I hadn’t thought previously – why I need a mobile in first place! I asked him – “Why people generally need mobile? Is there any reason other than making phone calls, to go mobile?”

Salesman considered my question in-appropriate and of low-grade. That is why he handed me to an apprentice salesman. It was apparent that apprentice wanted to confirm his job desperately and that is why he throws even big smile towards me and asked me what help he could extend me.

I told him once again that I am thinking to purchase my first mobile. Keeping his calm, he asked me what will be the primary purpose of my mobile phone.

I patiently told him that my Dhobi and my colony’s Chaiwalla had gone mobile. What they are doing with their mobile, I think, I too will also be doing with my mobile- probably making and receiving calls. Apprentice started giving me lessons. His stakes were on the table after all. He told me, “Look sir, a mobile phone’s basic functionality will remain same – making and receiving calls while on the move. But today’s mobile phones comes with dozens of extra functionality – and you could do many many things with a mobile.”

I was learning fast. With interest, I asked, “for example?”

“For example, with your mobile phone, you can play games, listen music through its built in FM receiver or through MP3 player. You can take pictures with its in built camera or make and watch movie in multimedia video enabled mobile phones. Through WAP - GPRS enabled or through CDMA mobile phones you can surf Internet, send and receive e-mail, SMS and MMS…” He was giving more emphasis on MMS – MultiMediaMessages. News of Shahid and Karina Kapoor’s kissing MMS going round across country’s mobile phones were running on front pages of media, so obviously he was emphasizing on one of the better use of mobile phones.

My jaw dropped with surprise. “You mean, all these and many more can be done through a tiny mobile phone?” I managed to say.

“These are nothing.” Apprentice told further with meaningful eyes – “You can see special films in your private moments with video enabled multimedia color mobile phones… besides, every day a couple of new functionality are being added. Very soon you will see TV on your mobile. Today, high-end mobile phones are termed as status symbol. Now people evaluate your personality not on your qualification or dress sense or the money you have in your bank, but the type and price of mobile phone you carry in your hand…”

Now I fully understood that the my coloney’s Chaiwala had purchased expensive color multimedia phone only to watch that special movies privately, and that corrupt officer two block away from my home - had purchased very-very expensive mobile phone just to display his false status.

I felt shy again, and said with a thin voice – “ Brother, I want mobile only for making and receiving calls while on move.”

He plainly told me that in this Multifunction age, these type of plain mobiles are not sold anywhere any more. These type of phones can be found only on seconds or in Kabari (Garbage selling shops) bazaar. Now Mobile provides you means of communication, entertainment as well as status – perfect example of true multifunctional devices.

Since I had decided that I will have to go mobile anyway, I finally selected a piece of mobile phone – which, according to that apprentice – was a beauty piece, a status booster, capable to entertain me in my private moment. But only after much debate – whether it be a GSM or CDMA, black&white or color, with in built camera, cam-carder or MP3 player, Nokia or LG-Samsung-Motorala-Benq-Spice!

“Which plan will you prefer sir? Apprentice’s face was looking very happy as if he is enjoying his success most – that he has finally managed to sell a mobile to a dumb like me.

“What do you mean by plan?” I was feeling a bit furious again.

“Basically, there are two types of plan sir.” He kept telling me- “One is postpaid and the other is prepaid. It depends on you - which plan you want to opt. For example, if you are not a heavy user, basic prepaid plan of Rupees two hundred will be enough for you, where you will get talktime of rupees one hundred with fifteen days validity. Pulse rate will be rupees two per minute. There is freedom plan you can opt for rupees seven hundred, and you will get unlimited talk time within your circle and within your mobile service provider. Here, validity will be one months and out side mobile network rate will be rupee one fifty and land line rates are rupee one and twenty paisa….”

“Oh! Brother, this postpaid plan is little difficult for me to understand. Please tell me about prepaid plan.” I said in a real confusing voice.

He seems not pleased with my IQ level. But went on telling me anyway – “Post paid too have many plans. Basic plan comes with monthly charge of rupees two hundred where home network rates are two rupees per minute whereas local landline and STD rates are rupees tow and three per minute respectively. If you are heavy user, then its freedom plus plan will be better for you where with monthly rental of rupees nine hundred, you can make unlimited local calls, and STD rates are rupees one fifty only. There is new, one India plan too where local and STD rates are same rupee one, but you have to pay a bit heavy monthly rental… ”

I was trapped in these ridiculous, non-understandable plans. I was back to square one – back to an undecided state. I finally decided that unless I understand what these plan are and for what purpose – other than making calls – should I buy my mobile, I am not going mobile this time. With a fear in mind that this poor apprentice may get fired because of his in-ability to sell, I came out from the shop.

There is some delay, and I do not know when, I am going mobile. What about you? Are you mobile or not?



ggop said...

LOL - good read! I was slow to get on the mobile bandwagon too. Still don't use it while driving. When I see guys on scooters answering mobiles, I realize why the Gods often had multiple hands :-)

Its a pity that we can't get mobiles just to make calls. Like you I'm also baffled as to why one would want to watch any movie/TV show on a small mobile screen.


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