Category Archives: The Hindu

Articles Published in The Hindu

Celeb soup for the bored soul

Why are we so obsessed with celebrity news? The personal life of models, actors or cricketers may be a stress reliever or a conversation starter, says Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma

Whether we’re flipping channels, turning to page three, or surfing the Internet, we perk up as soon as a celebrity is talked about in the media. It could be their birthday, an outburst of anger, photographs of their parties, or a date they had in a restaurant. Anything and everything to do with celebrities, especially if there are photographs or videos available, is instantly devoured by a large audience.

Why are we so intrigued when we hear such news or gossip? Says Gautami K, a marketing professional, “I think it’s the boredom or monotony of life that gets to us. Every once in a while, I do browse major news sites or entertainment sites for celebrity news. Likewise, if I am at home I do want to be updated on the latest gossip on Indian celebrities or the Hollywood ones. This is one of the ways I can relax.”

Many people find reading of a cricketer’s interests or an actor’s lifestyle a way to transport themselves to a world where they seldom think of their own worries.

Says Manjula Shetty, proprietor of a leading beauty salon, “Women find it very relaxing when they are reading something on lifestyle or the film magazines. You generally find a lot of these magazines at beauty salons because women come here to be pampered and relax.”

Of late, almost everyone in show business seems to post intricate details of their life, whether to share good news or to defend their actions, statement or opinion. In the age of blogging and twitter, we hear what kind of dress they wore or what their opinion is on some issue, or what their new baby is like. Everything to do with glamorous celebrities seems to be welcome. These celebrities also know that it’s good to be talked about even if they are not doing all that well in their chosen profession. After all, being a celebrity is all about being clicked and followed in the virtual world, too. Is it only women who find such gossip interesting? No, says Raghu Rao, a professional working in an advertising agency. “Men too like to know of their favourite sports personalities’ personal life, photographs or comments by their favourite actors to feel closer with their icons.”

There have been instances when those in the public eye are abusive, misbehave, or make controversial comments, before apologizing just as publicly. There are wannabes who post frivolous pictures of themselves that are anything but appealing. In a country that is heavily dependent on film celebrities, cricketers and the like for major entertainment news, people like to know personal details. No one complains until there is an overdose of news about a single celebrity. Celebrity gossip offers stress-free therapy, brings friends together over lunch and lightens up the office environment. It also gives people reasons to laugh or feel good that they were not the person caught in an awkward photograph, opening a window for negative emotions to be thrown out. The next time you find an introvert colleague surfing through an actor’s childhood pictures splashed on the web, perhaps you could join in. It may just start a conversation.

The article was published on February 19th 2013 in the Hindu Metro Plus-

At ease, ladies ’n’ gentlemen

Trends In today’s fast-paced world, convenience is what everyone strives for, writes RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

“Do me a favour please, just get dinner from the nearby pizza outlet? I will be reaching home late,” says Sowmya N., an HR professional and colleague riding home with me on a Tuesday evening. As I look at her wondering if it is difficult to go back home and cook for just two, she defends herself. “Yaar, it is convenient and that’s what is important to me to keep me sane.”

Come to think of it, what is it that most urban dwellers want for good living? Money and a host of smaller wants. But what is increasingly dominating urban minds is the desire for convenience .

People do not mind digging deeper into their pockets to achieve a stress-free life. From what weekend shopping trends indicate in malls and food stores, we like to go to a place where everything is stocked under one roof and we can get out faster. Why? Because it is convenient. When it comes to holidays, many of us want travel schedules that suit our preferences and offer relaxation.

Obviously affordability, rising incomes and glimpses into how people are living in developed countries are making us opt for services or products that bring us closer to that kind of life. Adding to this perception is the idea that convenience is saving time and helping us to multitask. We have technological innovations that offer services through mobiles, PDAs and laptops. Firms such as At My Doorsteps, and AyurShop offer groceries, toys or even ayurvedic products at our homes.

Books online

A similar initiative started over a decade ago is an online library that picks up and drops off books that you want to borrow. Says Vani Mahesh, Proprietor,, “Starting an online library way back in 2001 was only to cater to an audience that understands convenience using technology. In our case getting books delivered home using technology or as part of premium service is only because Internet is no longer expensive and highly reliable. Moreover, that’s exactly what our customers look for–convenience at their doorstep.”

So is convenience so important that we look for it everywhere? Says Saraswathi Rao, a homemaker and mom of teenage children, “I believe people have grown up from the struggling economy and most living in cities want to lead a good life and achieve things faster. Moreover, they are very much aware of what makes them happy. So you have people going beyond boundaries and taking help of resources and technology to save time, multitask and attain more, even if comes at a higher cost, because that is what we strive for in our lives.”

Global exposure is making people see what it means to live life smartly rather than live life on hard terms. One phase of life that has offered convenience on various levels is motherhood. Says young mother Shruthi Tripathi, “With women returning to work faster post motherhood, this stage of life has embraced many things to make the role of mother easier right from bottles to pacifiers and prams amongst host of other utility items. You even have professional nannies who come to your home at a fee to make you feel motherhood is meant to be as stress free as possible.”

The social fabric of society too has changed and it could well be one of the reasons why people are looking for comfort in every aspect of life. Perhaps 30 years ago joint families helped take some of the pressure off. With nuclear families and multi-tasking being the order of the day, urbanites are now continually looking for that comfort zone in as many services as possible.

Published in the Hindu Metro Plus on August 1st 2012

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Lost without searching?

TRENDS We have come to a stage where we are all excessively dependent on search engines — whether it’s a pasta recipe or your doctor’s analysis, finds RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

As the Internet has become an integral part of our lives, we are now using the Web space for work, correspondence and social networking. One product of the Internet, the search engine, has become so essential that most urban users cannot think of alternative tools.

Why do we use search engines? Because it offers instant answers to whatever we ask? The World Wide Web is a huge resource, and a search engine organises the information we are looking for, whether it is a question of etiquette or resume writing, or where to watch a movie, in any form we like.

Amrita S., a homemaker pregnant with her second baby, says she uses Google and Yahoo to learn more about parenting, recipes and just plain news. “Google or any other prominent search engine ensures I am very much updated on world happenings. Moreover I do find would-be mothers or anyone who wants to know anything that a doctor has said will definitely search for that condition, therapies and medicines available and how to tackle it.”

How dependent are people becoming on search engines? For Priyanka, a class 12 student, searching is an inevitable part of her life. She looks for information on a host of topics, whether the musician or lyricist of a song she liked on the radio or in-depth analysis of a subject that has been explained in class that day.

With many websites, including search engines as part of their page, people feel search engine information is trustworthy and presented as though a friend has shared it with them. Says civil engineer Akhila Haranahalli, “I use it mostly to learn more about anything from a pasta recipe, to why a certain friend’s platelet count went up. It helps as a source of reference pictures for sketching. Yes, it is fast and gives one information about almost everything under the sun. Also, the content is trustworthy and if someone mentions something that I have no clue about, I quickly do a search and update my knowledge about it.”

Do search engines encourage students to use shortcuts? Rishabh, a class 10 student, says he is so used to Googling — when he has to look for background material for his projects, the latest wallpapers, or anything on teenage issues — that he finds it hard to manage without it even for a day. He adds that searching on the Net has made life easier for him in completing his homework or projects and that’s what gets him hooked on to search tools.

Entrepreneur and techie Sheshgiri Kamath explains how search engines became inevitable. “Search engines are a means to an end, the end here being getting information. They do make the process of getting information infinitely easier and efficient than what we did in the past. However, even if they did not exist, our need for information would always exist and the human brain would have come up with alternative ways to get this information. This could be reading, travelling or something else altogether.”

What is revolutionary is the way they now work, he says. “Search giants are already mapping our search behaviour, which enables them to show customised search results, based on our online behaviour. This is like them knowing what is going on in our head and it is simply amazing. We are already living a future, where we are being given answers, even before we can finish asking our questions. It remains to be seen just what form search engines will take in the future. ”

John Battelle in his book “The Search” states that every day millions upon millions of people lean forward into their computer screens and pour their wants, fears and intentions into Google.

That human input is what is making this phenomenon something different from the kinds of research we used to carry out. “Link by link, click by click, search is building possibly the most lasting, ponderous and significant cultural artefact in the history of humankind: the database of intentions.”

Published in The Hindu Metro Plus on April 2, 2012. Link to the article-

Time to get smart about art

While visiting an art gallery for fun might be a distant dream, attitude towards art is changing, writes Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma

While browsing a newspaper are you tempted to skip the art exhibition listings? Do you feel movies or malls can be entertaining but a visit to an art gallery is not for you? Is it lack of interest or awareness that keeps many people from venturing into an art show?

Indira Bhardwaj, partner Rightlines Art Gallery, feels that people commonly consider an outing to an art gallery elitist. “Over the years basic art forms like glass painting or something on fabric may have become accepted in the society but when it comes to larger canvases, people prefer to shy away. Of late there has been awareness amongst youngsters, yet I do wish that people understand art is something that is very much a part of our life!”

She adds, “One must also get rid of this notion that visiting an art gallery means you cannot look and come out without buying.”

S.G. Vasudev, a well-known artist, says the scene has changed greatly in the last ten years, but galleries will never attract the numbers that a music performance does. “It is not just traditional any more. A lot of experimentation has gone on, unlike music which is more traditional. This is slowly making people interested in art. It is also heartening to know that many art spaces are trying their best to get more people to visit them and their artist’s works.”

Strangely, while parents encourage their toddlers to draw or colour, they worry if their older child spends more time on art than on academics.

Srividya G.S., a watercolour artist, feels this is also changing. “I feel a lot of parents have realized this is a viable career option in recent times. As far as understanding on the subject goes, more people seem to understand art and view it even as an investment.” Still, she adds, buyers prefer traditional figurative art over abstract art.

Meenu Jaipuria, owner of the Mahua art gallery, says, “We have worked with children on folk art, etching and printmaking for adults, but the initiative of taking art to common person has to begin from school and institutional levels along with galleries as a collaborative effort. Thankfully parents are slowly encouraging their children to follow their talent. However, I think this ratio has to rise in huge number to make art a regular part of our life.”

Vasudev feels that society must be educated to appreciate contemporary art. “Artists should be employed by schools so that the children get better education in art. It’s time that children should be taken to museums to keep them updated on various interests in life. This has been done in the west. We do not have the habit of visiting art galleries and museums. Only when the child starts going to these places, the adults will follow.” He and other Bangalore artists have formed a group called Ananya Drishya to run workshops and lectures on art appreciation and to create a digitized library on art.

While it may be a long time before art can actually be seen in every person’s drawing room, smaller initiatives could make many of us look beyond malls and movies for entertainment.

Published in the Hindu Metro Plus on February 29th 2012.

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The one and only English?

More and more children now speak only in English, and are losing sense of their mother tongues completely. RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA tries to figure out where the problem lies.

“Ruchika, do you want this book on Winnie-the-Pooh or the Doraemon series toys?” asks Sandhya Rao to her two-year-old at a bookstore. It may seem ordinary, but the toddler replies in a language that was never her grandmas’s or even her mother’s own. An increasing number of children, especially in urban areas, are speaking more English than any other language. Has English become the new mother tongue in many homes? Given the environments in which Gen X children are growing up, the answer seems to be ‘yes’.

One contributing factor could be that in recent times the country has seen a significant rise in inter-regional marriages. Perhaps parents feel it is better to communicate in one universal language than to speak to the kid in two regional languages.

Shiril Pinto, a HR professional, talks to her three-year-old in English. “I am in a mixed marriage where my mother tongue is Konkani and my husband’s is Bengali. As we were unable to learn each other’s languages, we have resorted to speaking to our kid in English. Also, as we have always communicated to each other prior to marriage in this language, it just continued as a natural progression of communication at home.”

Chaitra Kiran has different reasons for choosing English. “I do speak in Kannada and am married into my own community. Yet, I feel parents like me have started stressing English because we see children are not able to understand anything if they are not fluent in this language and somehow it has become the common spoken language in activity centres, play areas, in upscale apartments and so on.” Book stores, children’s activity centres, play-homes, and even workplaces encourage the use of English than any other language. The presence of international schools in cities and strict codes in even regular schools on the use of one common language has somehow pushed English into homes as well.

Moreover, parents often believe that speaking in flawless English from a young age, children are better equipped to work in global environments, so they converse in this language predominantly so that their child is not left behind.

Smitha Roy, a communication professional, did not make a conscious decision to speak in English to her three-year-old daughter Aahana. She and her husband have always spoken in English as a matter of convenience. She adds: “Somehow, even my parents conversed with me and my sisters generally in English, perhaps because we went to a convent school. I ensure Aahana learns Kannada from her grandparents. I don’t her to feel she did not get the opportunity to learn any other language.”

According to Nandini Ashok, an educator who runs a preschool, “I personally think parents these days find the interview process at the kindergarten level cumbersome. It is unfair that the child is spoken to in English, and there are lesser opportunities for Indian languages to be learnt and of course, this in a certain way pressurises parents to speak more in English.”

Yet parents who speak to children only in English are content that it is a global language and that their children will learn other languages if they are interested in them. Fifty years down the line, will we be surprised if English becomes the single spoken language and kids go to special schools to learn India’s regional languages?

Published on under LifeStyle and Society section on February 12, 2012

Where stomach meets heart

TRENDS-  Bangalore’s affair with darshini hotels has been a long and steady one,  observes RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA. Even in the face of MNC eateries, what wins the foodie’s heart is the taste of home food

Even in the face of MNC eateries, what wins the foodie’s heart is the taste of home food What defines Bangalore’s culture? If you look at the lines on the street corners, the answer seems to be the darshinis. At any given time, thousands of people in the city are bent over their idlis and coffee at these convenient and affordable eateries.

Today there may be debates over how many can actually survive competition from international chains and the test of rising prices, but darshinis have ruled Bangalore for over 30 years. True darshini eaters vouch that these little joints serve as their second home, and many have their favourite darshinis for different foods such as dosas or coffee. Darshinis are everywhere. They allow diners to be themselves, without bothering about dressing up. Hot food is served almost instantaneously and diners often share tables with those from different walks of life, adding to the cosmopolitan opportunities of Bangalore. A neatly dressed corporate executive could be sharing his table with an auto driver. They need not make eye contact and yet they can both enjoy their snack or meal. Why do darshinis hold a special place in the Bangalorean’s heart?

Says Sriharsha, a businessman who eats at a darshini almost four days a week either for breakfast or lunch: “It’s no frills and that’s what attracts a person like me, where I can save time and eat food that I have grown up eating in the most economical manner.”

For Leela G., homemaker and mother of a seven-year-old, “If I am not cooking at home, the easiest, cheapest, nearest, and come to think of it, the most nutritious food that comes to my mind is getting idli or upma or some rice preparation for my son from a darshini. The international fast food chains or high-end restaurants are reserved for special evenings but something that is immediate, almost like home food, prepared in a hygienic way has to be from a darshini.”

Does she think the darshinis represent Bangalore culture? She adds, “I am not too sure about that, but I do know Bangaloreans would not want to miss out on having darshinis in the city and nothing immediately can replace them.”

Most Bangaloreans are used to eating South Indian food daily and the quickest way to find it outside their homes is to head to these tightly packed little spaces. One of the pioneers in running such a business is Radhakrishna Adiga, who runs Brahmins Coffee Bar in Shankarapuram. “It was Brahmins that started this concept of standing and eating together since 1965,” he says, “but a few others marketed their business with the word darshini and that became popular. The word darshini means having an open kitchen in front of customers.”

He points out that customers nowadays often want to sit and eat more leisurely, but he feels that those darshinis will survive that have won their customers’ hearts by serving tasty food over many years.

Darshinis are also serving food other than traditional Karnataka cuisine. Radhakrishna adds, “With just about 20 per cent who are Bangaloreans and the rest of the city population coming from other States, the food at darshinis has moved away from just south Indian cuisine to north Indian, Chinese and few other snacks.”

For Goutham Halkurke, a software consultant, darshinis are a place in which to chill out with friends. He is fond of particular eateries like Veena Stores in Malleswaram, Mangala in Srinagar, and certain SLV restaurants and Brahmins for the idlis. “If you ask me, darshinis have become part of Bangalore evolution. We have grown up seeing these eat outs, eating here, and as long as they serve food that is good they will not leave Bangalore.”

Priya Sebastian, illustrator and avid food lover, says, “I completely enjoy a snack at a darshini that is nutritious and low on calorie content compared to any fast food chain.” She cooks many south Indian dishes herself and relishes eating, either alone or with friends, at eateries that make authentic food.

As a food blogger puts it, darshinis will forever echo the vibe of Bangalore.

(Published in The Hindu Metro Plus on February 7th 2012)

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Tell me how

Answers In maternity studios Photo: Shaju John
Answers In maternity studios Photo: Shaju John

Couples taking counselling for marriage has been there forever. With globalisation, parenting also seems to have a manual. There is a wealth of information to be had from different sources. Now there are child birth educators and counsellors to take you through ante and post-natal classes. Motherhood studios have mushroomed in metros and parents are making a beeline for them.

Along with information, these studios offer yoga and Lamaze classes, access to fitness programs. Baby care includes information on massage, tips to put baby to sleep, calming an unsettled baby right from the first three months till the little one is around two years old.

Pointing to the changing scenario that leads parents to turn to professional help, Rakhi Kapoor who owns Dwi Studio says: “Nuclear families with both parents working, frequently lead to parenting issues as such and even in cases where the mother is a stay-at-home mom, the lack of support from family members leaves parents clueless as to how they to manage their children.”

Child psychologist, Mina Dilip says: “Parenting has undergone a sea change in the last few years. Our ancestors led simpler lives than we do. Our lifestyles have become sedentary and stress levels are soaring. As a result, more and more people seek professional advice to help them cope.”

Elders love to shower advice, but disagreements in parenting styles leave couples looking for other answers.

It is not just individuals who are trying to establish their hold in this high potential area. Even retail spaces sense an opportunity and have moved into baby care. Mahindra Retail Pvt. Ltd. with Mom’s Lounge offers information from pregnancy to post child birth and includes access to a child psychologist to deal with baby blues. Says it’s Business Head, child birth educator and pregnancy specialist, Anika Puri: “We have from the very start seen ourselves as providing a complete solution. We also provide free advice twice a week in the form of parenting forums in all our stores where our customer can access childbirth professionals and seek tips and advice.”

Today, motherhood and parenting has an entire market tailored around it. Becoming a mother today is seen as a phase that needs counselling, professional help and a stage that a woman can associate with herself and her baby.

Twinkle-Toed Tots

Reality television has changed our perception of classical dance, writes RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

In step With salsa, hip hop and Bollywood taking over, there are fewer takers for classical forms
In step With salsa, hip hop and Bollywood taking over, there are fewer takers for classical forms

When we hear the word ‘dance’ do we think of only hip hop, break dance, disco and bollywood dance or does classical dance have a place in our minds?

Well known Kuchipudi dancer, Vyjayanti Kashi, says: “With children and youngsters being exposed to a host of new stimuli, they are getting aware of many things. Unfortunately focus on art is lacking. Perhaps the lure of fame and money makes parents send children to learn those dance styles that are suited for reality shows rather than traditional dances.”

Does this mean reality shows drive the choice? “Parents today, not only from metros, but also smaller towns and cities want their children to be quick achievers, which reality shows promise. Unlike traditional art forms which is considered an inward journey. Fame is achieved here too but requires continuous effort, interest and patience,” Vyjayanti adds.

Another factor in the popularity of contemporary dance is Shiamak Davar’s dance classes, which are tailored to suit the modern lifestyles. Danseuse Vani Ganapathy offers some hope for traditional dance forms when she says, “Today corporates prefer to support traditional art forms. When foreign delegates visit our country, they would rather watch a classical performance rather than a Bollywood jig. Also, thankfully there are children who are serious about learning Indian classical art forms. The Bollywood influence cannot be ignored. Earlier heroines such as Hema Malini, Vyjanthimala and Rekha had a knowledge of classical dance unlike today’s heroines who do not have this knowledge and yet are poplar as dancing heroines.”

The perception that Bollywood-style dance is easy to learn may also be reason for children to opt for it. Most classical dance teachers are not against modern dancing styles but they do not want Gen X to forget their roots.

Rehana Firdous, a Kathak student in her late twenties says: “There is no need to hype traditional dance forms. Those who are genuinely interested will come to learn. I feel Kathak is an extension of one’s soul.”

When opinions vary on the appeal and popularity of classical dance forms some changes like the concept of entertainment can be redefined. Dance can be projected as being much more than Bollywood, disco or salsa.

This shift can be kicked off by taking youngsters to classical performance and once a classical performance is made accessible, it is only a matter of time before the cool quotient of classical dance zooms straight to the stratosphere.

Touch wood, and it’ll be fine

As much as we would like to believe we live in a scientific and rational age where reason triumphs, old superstitions always live on.

India’s gen next may be flaunting their tech-savvy global attitude. But existing covertly with that is a compelling need to conform to superstitious beliefs.

A cat crossing the path just before Aditya went out for his Math exam created in him an unwanted fear. He didn’t want to believe it, yet something told him his day would not be fine.

What is it about superstitions that we tend to hold on to them, despite seeking scientific explanations?

BE CAREFUL With the mirror, lest it break… and other such beliefs

Is it that we do not want to “risk” executing some important task without pandering to these beliefs, despite it being considered silly by others?

Or is it that we just want to follow these beliefs as there is no harm in doing so, if, eventually, something good comes of it?

Many adhere to them to avoid unpleasantness with elders, or because it has gradually been implanted in their minds, since they are young.

Personal experience

Sumithra T.V, a lecturer at BNMIT Computers says: “Others may find it strange. But, for me, it is a way of life. I strongly believe wearing certain colours like red, orange and pink benefit me more than other colours. Since I was young I have been told by my parents that these colours are good for me and somehow I have believed in them as I have found that good things happen whenever I wear them.”

Twenty-something Abhijit Sharma, a student of architecture, says: “Though I may not feel horrible when a cat crosses my path, certain things like handing over money with the right hand is somehow within me as that’s how I have learnt it from my parents. I have never bothered to question it as I think it is to show respect to something like money.”

He also points out that traditional superstitions might have had some reason associated with them, but down generations it might have got lost, with no formal documentation.

A practice such as not cutting nails at night may be embedded in the rationale that centuries ago there was not much light and one could get hurt.

“But unfortunately only the principle is passed and not the reason, hence we find these beliefs silly.”

Homemaker Girija Prasad says: “While I might laugh at others with silly superstitions, come to think of it, I do not like giving money to my house help on certain days as I have come to believe it will decrease my fortune! Now this might be a frivolous issue but by following it, I see no harm.”

Avoiding fear of the unknown

However, there are quite a number of youngsters who want to reject such beliefs to show that they are, after all, simply superstitions; false beliefs.

Suman Jadugar, an artiste, says: “I find many of my peers follow certain beliefs that they have inherited from their parents or something that has been on the circuit as ‘invented beliefs’. This may be because they have found out something good happening to them accidentally by adhering to certain practices. Yet the real reason they follow such ideas mindlessly is because they lack the confidence, and try to avoid fears.”

Acknowledging that superstitions can co-exist with modern ideas, today’s youth have no qualms in balancing the two thought processes.

While some may give in easily to these beliefs, there are those also who want to confront it on the basis of rationale.


Groove on the move

Everyone’s lost between two earplugs, in their own musical world on the cell phone, finds RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

PLUGGED IN When on the move or listening to that hit number with friends

The way we listen to music has changed over centuries and with rapidly mobile lifestyles, music on the move is getting jazzier and snazzier. Newer and technologically advanced gadgets seem to evolve just overnight. Listening to music on iPods is one trend that has caught up with the middle class and upper middle class. But listening to music on the cell phone has no such class barriers.

Whether it is a teenager commuting by bus or a carpenter cycling by, a single woman walking alone on the road back from work or the dhobi who came home to pick up your clothes, they are all in a world lost between two earplugs. Listening to music on mobiles with ear plugs on is a ubiquitous phenomenon. Earplugs are the new best friends, who offer comforting and melodious company.

Part of everyday life

Says Abhijit Sharma, an architecture student: “Mobiles have become an indispensable part of many of us and that includes me too. The availability of music on mobiles is a boon for me as I listen to it at least two to three hours a day, especially when I am travelling — either riding my bike or driving my car.”

Getting addicted to music on the move is also an interesting phenomenon because it’s not just cut across class and economic barriers, but also across the age demographic. With mobiles getting more affordable by the day, tuning into FM stations on the mobile seems a more common use for the handset than to even make calls! Women, specially, somehow seem to find in their mobiles a constant and reliable companion when they are travelling alone in buses or walking down the road or for that matter waiting for someone at a coffee shop.

The mantra at work seems universal. Keep yourself engaged with some music, in the process relax, and what’s more, you don’t even disturb others!

Radio or play list

Mohammad Rafiq, a software engineer at Core Objects, says: “While I do know that listening to music on mobiles especially when riding a bike is dangerous, I have to admit that like may others even I indulge in this habit almost as part of my daily routine. Unlike a few others who may be listening to the radio, I enjoy listening to my own playlist that I create every week and it is easiest to listen to it on the mobile. Also the utility of mobiles in modern living has increased, with inbuilt camera, Internet access and music downloads. So instead of carrying too many bulky things around it is easier to carry one handy gadget.”

Talking about her preference for mobile phones for listening to music Akruti. H, a dental student, says: “I travel quite a distance from home to college. And to avoid either unnecessary gossip in the bus or any other distraction, listening to music on my cell phone is convenient and almost stress-free. It becomes ‘my time’.”


The multifaceted cell phone is more often the DJ than a telephone

People tune into FM radio stations or create their own playlists on their personal walkman.