Flotsam Ringside View. Byline: T.R. Vivek and Dipayan Baishya
My mobile phone toting colleagues
are not going to like this, but I can always risk facing the sneers for the
benefit of you, Constant Reader. Sharing the office with well connected journos
whose mobiles are buzzing 24x7 can be hard on the ears. As someone who's never
used a mobile phone, it is difficult to understand the need for a raunchy
Bollywood "item" number ringtone. "But they reflect your personality," assures a
friend whose campy ringtone would befit a Rajnikanth PE drill dance number. If
journalists had such ringtones, I was sure our better-heeled honchos would, too.
And curious to see if my friend's ringtones-and-personality argument had any
truth in it, I turned to Dr. Sanjay Chugh, a Delhi psychiatrist.
Whenever the lilting A.R. Rahman melody Thenmozhiye... from the Tamil flick
Mudhalvan starts playing on his mobile, C.K. Ranganathan, 42-year-old MD of
CavinKare, knows who's on the other side of the line. It's his wife Thenmozhi.
Ranganathan records a new song on his Nokia 7210 virtually everyday. "It's so
boring to have the same straightforward ringer. There has to be something new in
life every day," he gushes. His current favourite is the song Apple Penne from
the movie Roja Koottam. According to Chugh, someone with a penchant for filmy
stuff is typically a man-in-a-hurry and ambitious. Having given the FMCG
Goliaths a run for their shampoos, Ranganathan sure is an ambitious David.
Jamal Mecklai the 53-year-old CEO of Mecklai Financial and Commercial Services
has a Beethoven's Ninth Symphony ringtone. He believes ringtones should be
amusing, not jarring. The doc's verdict: he's the kind who drinks single malts,
plays golf and drives a mid-sized car. But in Mumbai Mecklai is famous for his
champagne and vada-paav dos on Union Budget days and his colourful wardrobe.
Kanwar Singh Bhutani, the MD of Tupperware has a rooster crying
cock-a-doodle-doo from his mobile to wake him up and when someone blacklisted
calls, there's a dog's bark that sounds. For other not-so-unwanted callers he
has a fast beat called the Tampo. "I like flashy things," says Bhutani.
B. 'Nary' Narayanaswamy, ED, Indica Research and a carnatic music buff, prefers
to create his own ring tones. "My favourite, is a composition by Thyagaraja in
Finally, I asked the doc about the traits of those noble souls who use the
vibrator mode for their phones, he said: "The vibrator is more of an irritant to
themselves. They are fence-sitters who aren't sure about their decisions." May
their tribe grow.