The Mobile Phone.

“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.”
~ Karl Marx

No, I am not a Marxist, but I like that quote to drive home a point. I have posted one point of view on the subject here, but this is another one.

I had to go to a neighbourhood restaurant the other day to entertain a visiting friend.

The following observations say more about modern life than anything else that I can think of.

The Managing Partner himself came to welcome us to the restaurant which was very nice of him. After finishing the niceties, we asked him to suggest the food that we should order. He was quite happy to do so, but no sooner he started, his mobile phone rang and he excused himself and left us looking at each other. We could not very well order to the steward as the bossman had already been requested to recommend. We settled for some cold drinks to await the return of the bossman and he eventually did after ten minutes. He then recommended some good dishes which we ordered and he disappeared to his corner.

The waiter brought the first dishes when his mobile phone rang and he kept the dishes down on the table and furiously answered the call. He at least had the sense to tell his caller that he will call back and returned to serving us without much delay.

There were four other occupied tables and all of them had someone or the other on the mobile phone throughout the time that we were there, about an hour and a half. The telephone talker will inevitably then tell the others in the group about the conversation during which, it was very likely that someone else or the same person would get another call.

One table had what I thought was classic. A father and mother with two children. The children were busy with their mobiles, possibly playing games or texting, and the parents were talking to others from their individual hand sets. They were not talking to each other at all.

Naturally, compared to the other guests there, we two were ancient and so neither of us got any calls. It gave us complexes that we were not being called by someone or the other.

The question dear reader is this. Let us assume that like quite a number of people I know believe, mobile phones are useless things. Who were the useless people? The two of us who did not get any calls or the others who were constantly getting calls and / or calling others from their mobile phones?

Now go back to the picture on the top of this post. Obviously the couple their are hugging each other, most likely meeting for the first time that day, but look at both of them! The second question would be – Are the phones useless or the persons on them?

Somethings, Thank God, Never Change.

My young friend Sandeep, who is a regular reader, encourager (David, is that correct English?) and commentator of my posts has sent me a link to an article in the Time Magazine.

No Mumbaikar, that is what blue blooded Bombay wallahs like to be called, worth his name, would deny that the restaurant reviewed in the article deserves Heritage status.

I was introduced to the Britannia Restaurant, by my uncle PK, my father’s younger brother, who for many of us in the family, epitomized everything good about Mumbai and uncles. This was way back in 1967. After that, I must have made that special effort to visit this wonderful restaurant many times and reading about it now, has made me very nostalgic.

The Parsi community briefly covered in the article, is another institution of Mumbai and India for that matter, about which enough can never be said. They are God’s gift to India for being such wonderful people with their cuisine, hospitality, amiability, sense of humour, culture and warmth. Many of the readers of this blog will recognize the name of Zubin Mehta, who is a Parsi, and now of course Ratan Tata another Parsi icon who has launched the world’s cheapest car ever.

It is so nice to know that the younger generations of Mumbaikars are in agreement with us oldies about the Britannia Restaurant.

Thank you Sandeep.