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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mobile Mania

Talking on the mobile is the latest fashionable mania in India. It appears that mobile users have suddenly unearthed, hitherto, unknown relatives, friends and acquaintances and, by some magic have developed such camaraderie with them that chatting has become compulsive, bordering on addiction. It is hard to understand how, all of a sudden, people have attained the traits of being jolly, friendly and inseparable from each other at least through the airways. Like a smoker who touches his pocket every now and then to make sure that he carries a packet of cigarettes, the mobile users may forget anything but their set. It is a common sight to see a group of ladies having a walk with mobiles in their hand. For some, the use of the instrument has become as essential, as eating and sleeping. It is always a mystery to me, who, on the other end is so free and available, to be ready to indulge in the craze at all times. This tiny machine has made inroads into our personal lives in an unwholesome way. It enables young boys and girls to fix their rendezvous with each other very conveniently, circumventing the prying eyes and ears of their elders. It has become a sort of status symbol for the modern teens. The mobile companies leave no stone unturned to lure the youngsters through their innovative advertisements. “Don’t you think this newly created bonhomie will soon be translated into ‘too much familiarity breeds contempt’ syndrome?” A redeeming picture however -which is observable- is the constant smile which plays on people’s faces while engrossed in conversing.

The other day I witnessed an actual maddening act, on the part of a motorcyclist that would provide a novel idea even to the stuntmen. The man had tilted his head to an angle of 90 degrees and ensconced between his bent head and shoulder, was the object of this discussion. In this dangerously precarious position, he was busy chattering to glory, totally unmindful of the grave danger; his idiocy was posing to himself and others. None dared to intervene, because of past experience of lack of support by other road users, and the fear of what the roguish offender may do to you.

Another uncommon , but surely the one, which would be ubiquitous soon, is the picture perfect scenario of two persons on a scooter, and the one riding the pillion, holding the mobile near the ear of the driver who was talking incessantly, as if there is no tomorrow. People glued to it on roads, pathways, parks, rickshaws or driving a four wheeler is too common a sight to be mentioned.

This little object has taken away the element of surprise from our lives. When my children ask me for some ‘navi tajji’ (any news), I smile and point out that talking on phone so very frequently does not leave any new thing to be shared. We no longer sleep over any news. It has to be transmitted instantly and the mobile provides the perfect chance by its easy proximity. The peculiar emotion associated with waiting and being patient is replaced by instant satisfaction. Likewise the visual media has robbed us of our peace of mind, 24x7 keeping us excited by flooding our drawing rooms with minute to minute news of the world.

One of the major gainers of this invention to my mind is producers of family serials which are churned by Television channels day in and day out. For the writers of the daily episodes it has become so much easier with the pizzazz of machinations and conspiracies hatched and executed within the four walls, thanks to the perennial availability and various misuses of this very instrument.

It certainly has become a potent weapon for extortionists, kidnappers and rogues of all types, to scare their victims to compliance of their demands by issuing threats with the simulated blood curdling pitch of their voice from anywhere, anytime.

No doubt this medium of communication has helped the growth of small businesses and many other benefits accrue through it. But the wastage of time in frivolous talk is no prudence and should be religiously avoided. All said and done, life without this petite wonder now is unthinkable!

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