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Updated: April 8, 2013 16:44 IST

Spiked!: Dual purpose

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Smartphones are not just a tool, but an extension of today's journalist. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu
The Hindu
Smartphones are not just a tool, but an extension of today's journalist. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

A weekly column on stories that didn’t make it

This reporter was on a telephonic interview taking down notes. After almost half a minute she realised her hands were turning black. Since her interviewee had called suddenly she had grabbed the first thing out of her bag and started writing. Turned out she was making notes with her kajal.

Role reversal

At a recent press conference M.S. Dhoni was the chief guest. At the end of the event, the organisers allowed the young upcoming cricketers to pose with Dhoni for a photo. But before they could head to the stage, the photographers quickly gathered around the cricketer, handed over their cameras to a few in the baffled audience and asked them to click their pictures with the cricketer for a change.

Always on call

Journalists are addicted to their smart phones. They are always talking, texting, WhatsApping, emailing, taking pictures, recording interviews or shooting videos on the move. The phone is an extension of their mind space. So if you are at dinner with a journalist, you can be pretty sure that the journalist is only physically present at the table…on screensaver mode. A set of expressions that make others believe that you are active, when you are probably smiling not at the joke on the table, but the text you just got on WhatsApp.

During a holiday in Goa, Nature decided to set a few things right. When my barely five months old smart phone was hit by water it went dead. So as a stop gap arrangement, I decided to use the basic brick mobile. It can do everything that your landline can do — on the move — receive and make calls, it costs 25 times cheaper than the smart phone, its battery lasts for three days and it gives you more time with friends at the dining table.

So now, which is really the smarter phone?

Trumpet call

“Don’t come too close,” warned the mahout of a six-year-old temple elephant. But the elephant seemed harmless; she was in a good mood after her meal of fruits and jaggery. She kept trying to grab my dupatta with her little trunk as I interviewed her mahout. The man left us alone to answer his phone a little later and I had my chance! I walked close to the elephant and stroked her when suddenly, she gave off a loud trumpet. I ran like there was no tomorrow. “Oi!” called out the mahout. “I warned you!”

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