24 January 2014

No cellphone?

Remember yesterday how I ran into an old friend and sat down for a cup of coffee in the terminal before we split? There was a very interesting side story that happened at the cafe that I never mentioned.

Tom and I sat down at the first cafe we could find – actually it was a bar – and he ordered a diet coke and I, a coffee. As we finished up our chatting, I asked the guy at the bar – who seemed to be our age – if he could do us a favor and take a picture on my phone. You could see that something was not right. He took the phone and had the screen facing us. He asked “which buttons do I press? I do not have a cellphone. I do not know how these things work”. Just as I started saying “turn it the other way and press the big white circle on the screen”, a fellow passenger on my left offered to take the picture. And that is what we did. That is the picture you saw.

Couple of minutes later as Tom and I started wrapping up, it struck me – did the guy really say he does not have a cellphone? He probably meant a smartphone. So, I hollered at him and asked “What do you mean you do not have a cellphone?” Much to the surprise of everybody sitting around he said “Never did. Never will”. I persisted “You do not have a cellphone?”. “No sir. Just a landline. Don’t want a cellphone”.

Totally amazed, I went “Wow! We will need to drag you to the twenty first century one of these days”. And the lady on Tom’s right yelled back – “No. Let him be there”. Evidently, a lot more people think of cellphone as a nuisance factor. Just when everybody in America is thinking of getting out of landlines and have a cellphone only….

Unfortunately, we had to leave soon. I had a office meeting coming up. Tom had a flight to catch.

I am going to go back to that cafe and find that guy out. I have a lot of interesting questions for him. I am sure he has some cool stories.

If any of you go to Atlanta airport, check out Cafe Intermezzo in Terminal B (it is near the center of the terminal) and ask for Jason. You can identify him by his shoulder level hair. I have no doubt he will regale you on why he does not want a cellphone…

Posted January 24, 2014 by Rajib Roy in category "Intersection Points


  1. By Ranajoy Ganguli on

    I knew an entrepreneur who founded 2 companies in Bay Area. Up until 2010 he never had a cell phone. He joined IBM after doing an exec MBA from Wharton, only to understand IBM’s business models. He said his life ran pretty smoothly even when he had family with 2 toddlers.

  2. By Baishali Chakraborty on

    Rajibda, In bengal there r so many people who don’t have cellphone. But ,Actor Saswata Chatterjee(Son Of Actor Shubhendu Chatterjee) who is very famous for his incredible acting doesn’t use any cellphone till now. He said in interviews that he only uses landphone.

  3. By Sasvata Chatterjee on

    I keep wondering how we got by without GPS all those years. Yes, we did get by, and likely still can do so. But, would I want to become a Luddite? No way, Jose!

  4. By Vicky Ruffin Cupit on

    Sasvata – I think we used paper maps or atlas’…. Rand McNally was a pretty big company at one time and lots of people knew about geography… now they can’t find their way around the corner….

  5. By Sasvata Chatterjee on

    Hi Vicky, yes, and it was not all that long ago either. All the cars used to have a spiral bound local map. Interstate travel meant highlighting the major highway route, and the first thing we’d do in a new city is stop at a gas station and buy a map. But technology has made it so much easier and efficient, I for one am so thankful. I don’t miss manual navigation, happy to leave it to real explorers ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. By Dhananjay Nene on

    Once upon a time the privileged were those who could afford to buy a cellphone.
    Today the privileged are those who can afford to not buy a cellphone ๐Ÿ™‚


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