View from the Bottom
In Defense of Cell Phones, Finally
No matter what, cell phones are here. What began as a toy phone in the legendary television serial Star Trek, finally became a reality in modern times to be our constant companion. Yes, those tiny metallic objects are here to rule over our lives, whether we like it or not. They are here to set our appointments; they are here to upset the same appointments. And all the while we are ordained to endure the diktats of cell phones. One moment we love it, the next we hate it. One particular phone call, we are ecstatic and we caress the tiny object with great care. The next particular call, we are mad and curse the caller and almost want to throw the phone away. Think of it, no other object in the world can be an issue of so much love and hate at the same time.
So far, since cell phones conspicuously made an entry into our lives, a lot of people have discussed with liberty the downside of the metallic object. They only found faults with it, never trying to discover the upside in our lives. To come to the defence of those cellular manifestations, we have gone around asking people why they thought a cell phone was a boon, and not a bane in their lives. Like a love-struck young thing they looked at the phone in their palm and wiped a nonexistent speck of dust from the top. Some of them even smiled coyly and gave their account of the upside we wanted to hear. Dear readers, these are true accounts; upside only.
“I was coming from Chittagong by road. It was about eight at night and I was somewhere in Motijheel area. Suddenly I felt an annoying pressure in my chest. I began to sweat and feel thirsty. I knew it was not a good sign. I immediately called my doctor on his cell phone. He heard everything and advised me to go to a particular clinic for some emergency checkup. He told me he would instruct the duty medical officer over phone and have everything ready. I reached the clinic within half an hour through the traffic congestion and found all emergency logistics ready and waiting. My doctor also arrived at the same time. That call and followup action actually prevented my case from getting worse as he could explain my history to the emergency doctor over the cell phone before my arrival.” Account of a middle-aged man.
“I was lost in Dhanmondi where I went to pick my young daughter up. She had taken a wrong turn and gave me wrong directions. I became panicky as it was getting darker by the minute. Then I remembered that both of us had cell phones with us. I called and told her to wait at a particular spot. She followed my instruction and we were soon united. Thank God we had the cell phones.” Account of a mother.
“Now I have my cell phones so I can call my son and daughter in New York and Sydney anytime I want. But in the past I had to book a call through TNT and wait for the call to come. Sometimes it took half a day to get the line.” Account of a happy father.
“I have my own cell phone so I can call my friends right from my room to either gossip or exchange notes on that day's class lectures. Previously I had to wait for the TNT phone to be free but it was not easy to talk freely in front of my parents, as the phone stays in their bedroom.” Account of a student.
“Getting information for preparing a news item was never so easy. Before cell phones we had to use TNT phones but getting a connection, especially in the secretariat, was next to impossible. Now, we use the cell phone to talk to the key person for the needed information. We can do the work in two hours now whereas it used to take two days in the past.” Account of a journalist.
But the latest one with the Kurbani Eid still smelling strongly all around beats all. It is claimed by authentic sources that many eager buyers of cow or goat used the cell phones right from the cattle markets to communicate with parents or spouses waiting at home to settle the deal. It so happened that some buyers were bamboozled hearing the astronomical price of the coveted cow or glorified goat. What to do? Arey cell phone ache na? So they called up home and had extra money brought over to the market. So, cell phones do have a brighter side, don't they?
(R) thedailystar.net 2007