Out Of Range

Okay, so I’m not alone! Robert J. Samuelson writes this piece: A Cell Phone? Never for Me, in which he says, Someday soon, I may be the last man in America without a cell phone. Next time someone asks me why I haven’t bought a cell phone yet, I will thank you Mr. Samuelson, cos I want to be the last man in the world to own one! Maybe we’ll compete on that.

I’m a dropout and aim to stay that way. I admit this will be increasingly difficult, because cell phones are now passing a historic milestone. As with other triumphs of the mass market, they’ve reached a point when people forget what it was like before they existed. No one remembers life before cars, TVs, air conditioners, jets, credit cards, microwave ovens and ATM cards. So, too, now with cell phones. Anyone without one will soon be classified as a crank or member of the (deep) underclass.

Back in India, I think we’re already there. People look at you quizzically if you don’t have a cell phone. And then there is a breed of zealous cell phone proselytizers who would chip in with, “See, if you had a cell phone today, this wouldn’t have happened“. Most of the times, they don’t want to see, that I didn’t particularly seem to have minded that this not happening! Myopia I tell you. Cellular Myopia. Grow up guys, there is a world beyond the range of any cell tower. As yet … And I don’t particularly mind that either.


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