Kavya Sumanth is bugged by the growing menace called cell phone. This former addict is freaked by the way it infringes into one's private space
Kavya Sumanth: `When the cell becomes something you use to keep yourself busy, that's the worst sign of obsession.' Photo: K. Gopinathan
"I'VE HAD my cell phone for two and a half years. When I was working, I was highly addicted to it. I would keep looking at it to see if I'd got any messages, any calls. I had bought it for a purpose, but it was so handy I began to obsess over it. But later, I realised that this was going overboard. Actually, that probably happened after I quit my job. Now that I don't work, I still have my cell, but it's not like an extension of me anymore. The cell does help if I'm late... my parents won't panic.
"Although lots of people keep criticising cells, it is a great means of communication. See, I used to live in a joint family and if I got a call on the landline, by the time the message reached me, the caller would be fed up. For directly reaching someone, a cell phone is amazing, but I know people who think of their cell as soooo personal. No sharing, nobody must dare to pick up their calls... it becomes as private as their underwear!
Getting the message
"Nowadays everyone has a cell, so I don't carry mine around when I go out with a group of people. All I have to do is divert my calls from my cell to one of theirs. And I also message less nowadays... OK, the truth is, SMSing is a lot more expensive now, so I'd rather stay away from it!
"Oh, there some damn irritating people who don't even have the decency to put their cells on silent mode at movies, plays, or even in class. Come on, you must have that much respect for the public! I always feel like snatching it from them, but just end up requesting people I know.
"When the cell becomes something you use to keep yourself busy, that's the worst sign of obsession. How can you spend all your time playing snakes and bricks?! It is just an instrument, for god's sake. Not a companion.
"I've heard stories of people (yakking away) banging into autos and lorries. At least while driving or riding, you needn't do business. In Bangalore traffic... driving itself is one big tension.
If you're on the phone, you won't concentrate on the road. And this goes for hands-off sets also. Anything that might kill you can wait for some more time. But it is very entertaining to see someone with a hidden cell at the traffic signal look up to the heavens and yell, `Haanh... Barthini, innu hath nimsha, ashte!'
"We think every call is important. I feel so guilty when, in the middle of a serious conversation, my cell rings and I just can't resist picking it up. When my husband and I just go out to spend some time alone, in about one hour, there'll be 10 missed calls! Who are these callers and why do they need to talk so badly?
"There are a lot of school kids who have cells too. They have a set schedule; I can't see why they need it. I think people should ideally start using cells only after they're financially independent.
When they see the huge bill and have to pay it themselves, they'll not spend hours on the cell. And they won't SMS irritating `send this to nine people for luck' forwards. Also, chumma there are extra services like e-mail, camera, downloading ring tones... what a headache! These are all means of making money and wasting time. What does it matter if my ring tone is `tring tring' and not `Chura liya'?"
As told to ROHINI MOHAN
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