Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cell Phones

I reached the theatre well before the planned rendezvous time. I parked the vehicle and positioned myself under the shade of a tree and gazed at fellow “wait”-ers. There was the usual hustle bustle of the crowd with an excited air that is always present in any Indian theatre prior to the show start of a comparatively good movie. The ticket collector at the door was waiting for the right moment to let the crowd in.

Call it curiosity or call it impatience, for I knew he would be here any minute, I picked up my cell and called my friend to know the ETA. 5 minutes he told. The call was just an assurance, a sedative to the impatient mind. Like Crocin for Fever.

I continued my gaze of the crowd. It occurred to me that everyone I saw had a cell in their hands. I recalled that about 10 years ago, I was in the same theatre in pretty much the same scenario: waiting for friends. And in that era, cell phones were either non existent, or if it were, were pretty much unknown to me. And hither or thither, there was a lone telephone booth. And yet, while we used to just wait, life went on in its own normal pace.

But life now without a cell phone is unthinkable. After coming back from US, I delayed getting a cell by a fortnight and people who asked me my cell number gaped open-mouthed when I used to reply I didn’t have one. Cell phones have become such a part and parcel of life that it is almost akin to having an SSN in US. Imagine that! Moment a baby is born, a cell phone number is assigned to it!!

However, it is due to the remarkable advancement in technology that the comfort of calling whomsoever at whatsoever occasion whenever possible has been achieved. The telephone booths being queued up with hundreds of people is an unfathomable thought. One needs the comfort of ‘Simply talk maadi’! Who knows, ten years later I might blog about the then latest technology and ‘how once upon a time we lived in the era of good-for-nothing cell phones and blackberries!’

There does seem, though, another tricky point of consideration. The other day I was waiting for the company bus when I saw two girls, apparently friends of one another, walk by. From the place where I stood, I could see them walk almost a full 10 minutes from one end of the road to the other. The thing that caught my attention was that both were chatting on their cell phones all through the walk. Now how ironic is that! Since when has the cell phones invaded the pure joy of “walking the walk and talking the talk” with a friend?

Are we ruling the cell phone or is the cell phone ruling us?

1 comment:

Ashwin said...

You know, I was "cellphoneless" in bangalore! My friends thought i was mental for not having one!
But, i did regret not having one when i had to wait for my friends and had no clue where they were!