Friday, November 19, 2010
Well, I should say that times are changing fast and technology is no longer an elite subject. Now I see vendors, hawkers, coolies, drivers and not to forget the maids becoming tech savvy. It is not uncommon to see our drivers and maids having much more contemporary ringtones than what we have.
Here's my maid's story. Almost all the maids in our apartment come armed with their mobile phones. My maid is no exception. She proudly brandishes a new mobile handset every once in two to three months. I gawk and am left speechless when she tells me the cost. My logic is simple. I need a mobile solely for the purpose of being accessible to others and also to make a call when I am out of home. I remember when my husband suggested buying a mobile for me I told him that I do not need one as I do not see much use for it. But you see, you don't say no to a birthday gift and my husband used that occasion.
Back to my maid. I find that she gets more calls than I do and the phone miraculously stays glued to her ear while she washes the vessels. All the time, I fear that she would break one of my glass wares. And the calls last for more than an hour. Phew! Not just that - when not on calls she is listening to music on her hands free! Photos, videos, music - you name it she is able to decipher even though she does not know to read English. Isn't that great? I am sure for her parents who come from the poorest of the poor strata seeing their children using such gizmos must be way beyond their imagination.
I felt good for whatever it is worth - the mobile which only a select few could use once upon a time is today a necessity and undoubtedly has ushered in one of the most recognisable consumer revolution in India - a clear indication that even if it's technology, if it's simple to use, well priced and has a utility will reach the masses. Today if I need the help of a plumber or a carpenter I know that they are just a call away.
For that matter I get calls from my maid from her mobile informing me that she will not be able to come to work as she is held up else-where or that she will be coming a little late! Isn't that wonderful, even though it means extra workload?