Honks and Hellos

There has been a boom in the automobile industry and with the so called economic ‘uprising’ of the middle class in India, the number of cars on the road has more than tripled in the last twenty years. The launch of the cars; Suv’s, Luv’s and luxury brands, is almost in competition to the launch of a new mobile or electronic gadget of telecommunication!

An interesting thought and analogy developed in the small little compartment of my brain which I am penning down here. In India in the telecommunication industry, the previous known forms that each household boasted proudly was the humble ‘Landline’. It was revered and given its unique corner suitably as per the owner who owned it. It would be a carved wooden pedestal with glass top if the owner was from upper class or a small wooden frame in the small corner of the house in a middle class household. Similarly, the cars which found prominent place, would be dodge or beetle or the old ambassador.They made the owners, mostly from upper class, proud and heads roll as they flaunted them on roads.

Then as the industry came out with new models, roads had Fiat, which was like a well chiseled piece of art adding color on the tarred roads. Then came our own brand, ‘Maruti’, which leapt the industry almost sky high like the monkey God-Maruti, and justified its name. The classes, who owned this, were those who had the dream of owning a car and had just about saved enough to buy them one. Apparently this class was also the one which had a landline to its name few years later.

The computer era boosted with the new millennium in India and soon ‘mobiles’ were seen among the upper class of the society. These small little gadgets were very cute, tail-less babies of the giant telephone box that occupied space but was now rarely used for any long conversations as the communication lines went dead for long. These cute babies were delicately held by every hand and handed over for conversation with utmost care. Darlings of the proud owner, they would be rubbed clean and kept safely. Another feature that made these, babies. darlings was the ring tone which was soothing music to ears than the previous alarming monotone of its giant ancestor.

The advances in communication industry took a big leap and soon a household which had barely boasted of a telephone, soon had one in every hand. This was followed quickly with palmtops and laptops. The cars too meanwhile had drastic and dramatic changes, with names like Ford, Chevrolet, Volkswagen entering the market with suvs and luxury cars to entice the young generation which had seen money too soon and wanted to spend it. So the person with a palmtop or laptop and a foreign branded car tagging along was a name of reckoning perhaps in his social circle of friends.

The generation gap between these broadened and had the grandfather, who was now just beginning to learn the ABC’s of mobile, happily holding the small yet bulky mobile and riding in his proud Maruti Zen while the grandson boasted of the even smarter, sleeker Android phone,which was smart perhaps as it was able to click photographs of others as well as its Smart owner and deliver many more services just by touch,while riding a BMW. Interestingly,this contrasted with the health gap within these generations, the grandfather sleek, fit and healthy while the grandson bulky!!!

For the adventurous, there came sports and fast cars with i-phones, I-pads, tablets challenging them in the same race.

So as the generation of cars and e-telecommunication gadgets upgrade, to help the fast pace of the moving world, let us wait and watch for the world to upgrade itself from its usual ‘Honks’ and ‘Hellos’ too and just like we have the  vintage car rallies showcasing the shining ancestral cars modelling on the road may be we will have vintage telephones exhibited too!!!


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