04 August, 2021

Sound Is An Image

This gadget has gone from select luxury to mass necessity in no time. Only to get charged with ever newer paradoxes.

T. Narayan
Sound Is An Image

It is estimated that India has more than 130 million mobile phone owners today. That is a 130 million more than there were eleven years ago, in 1995, when the first mobile phones were introduced in Delhi.

A large number of the people who own a mobile in India today are probably those who have never had a phone of their own before. For most of them, the mobile phone is their first intimate connection with telephony. It does not sit, like the old bakelite telephones used to, on something that could almost be called an altar—in homes, shops or offices, often placed under protective lock and key. Instead, it travels in pockets where it forms suggestive bulges, or is flashed out of handbags like an alluring accessory. It sings, it emits light, it spies, is spied upon, takes pictures and writes poetry. It offers everything from sage advice to pornography. It is a node in a social network, a diary, a music machine, a shop, a gambler's addiction, a confessional and a betrayer. It gleams down at us from illuminated billboards on flyovers. It...

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