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A Committed Relationship

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By Ratna Manucha

We have all been in a committed relationship at some point in our lives. What’s new? You might ask. Well, these days a majority of us are guilty of being in a committed relationship with our mobile phones. Men keep it in the safe confines of their pockets, occasionally patting it gently to check if it is still with them, and women keep it in their bags and if there are no bags then they carry it in their hands, the phone having replaced the lacy handkerchief. Yes, they too pat their bags lovingly as if to reassure themselves that their best friend is still with them.

In fact, so committed are we to this relationship that we have no room for anyone else in our lives. You see, the mobile phone is like a jealous, demanding lover.

It vibrates, trills, beeps, sings and rings incessantly. That is, if we allow it to. We can always press the mute button but that is another story altogether. You see, many of us enjoy the attention we get from our phones. ‘Notice me! Pick me up!’ it demands. And we oblige. We check messages, go through random forwards and videos and woe betide if we get a forward asking us to send this message to twenty friends and we will get a surprise gift! That gets us into a right royal tizzy. And we get to work right away.

Then we have to check the number of likes on our Facebook and Instagram posts. After all, our popularity depends upon the number of likes, many from people we don’t know, have never met and in all probability will never meet. Uff! The pressure is immense. We are busy being busy!

The mornings begin by reaching out for our phones. We have conveniently forgotten to wish our partners a ‘good morning’ as we are busy replying to the fifteen odd ‘good morning’ messages on our phones! Tap, tap, go our fingers before we get out of bed to get ready for the day. Why not call the person occasionally and have a little chat? Wouldn’t that be better? Nah! No time!

We have to diligently watch the Cliff Richard song our veteran friends have forwarded…right till the end. Arrey, why do we forget that we can conveniently watch the same thing on Google or YouTube at our convenience at a later date? Remember that bit about the jealous lover?

The self-styled gyan gurus with their holier than thou videos on topics ranging from what to eat and how to lay the table to how to pronounce strange sounding words in English and random people with their vitriolic political views, spewing venom through their speeches, fill our inbox. We have three choices. Delete the said video without watching, go through it, at the same time disturbing the whole household and then delete it, or watch it while disturbing the whole household and then forward it so that other households may be disturbed!

Why do we forget that the phone is for our convenience and not for others to disturb us whenever they feel like? Calls come and we pick up the phone at once as if we have nothing better to do. Another reason may be that the mobile device is always within arm’s reach. Unlike the landline which sat placidly in one corner of the room and waited for its owners to run breathlessly to it every time it summoned them with its shrill ring.

Somewhere along the way, we seem to have lost our phone manners too. We call up people at our convenience with scant regard for the person and his schedule at the other end of the line. We launch into the conversation without asking if the person in question is free or not. Food for thought?

Enough said. I’m off to update my Facebook/ Instagram page with this picture of me holding a freshly brewed cup of coffee (actually, it is just instant coffee, but who’s checking?)

Don’t forget to press Like, Love, Wow…whatever! Remember, I’ll be checking my phone every fifteen minutes! Ciao!!

(Ratna Manucha is an Author & Educationist).