It’s Illegal Not to Have a Cellphone

Amrit Hallan writes a blog in India called Writers Cave

“Cell phones are gradually becoming an integral part of generic human form these days. You rarely see people without a cell phone. Whether they are in parks, restaurants, bus stands, hospitals, offices, residential complexes, you see people holding cell phones everywhere. Street hawkers have them, plumbers and electricians have them, school children and their drivers have them – even our last driver had a cell phone. That day I had gone to a shopping complex and there a few boys and girls in their early 20s were sitting under the sun and chatting.

They all had their mobile phones in their hands They have become like essential accessories – the cell phones – and soon there will come a time when, like clothes, if you want a representation of a human being, you’ll have to show a cell phone in his or her hand.

A few months ago I read somewhere that the mobile phones are a crass representation of consumerism and their use should be discouraged. On the contrary, their usage should be encouraged. In our country where infrastructural development moves at a snail’s pace, cell phones can keep people connected even in remote places. I always felt good when Alka could always call our narialwala (the man who delivered raw coconuts to our house) on mobile phone or when Dhan Singh – our electrician in Sarita Vihar — received calls from different clients on his mobile phone while tending to our perpetually malfunctioning wiring, or for that matter, when we called our driver to tell him when he should come.

When I saw that old lady clutching the mobile phone I knew for her it was not some consumer item – with that thing in her hand she knew there were people whom she could call and who would like to call her any time. She was not alone.