A sadhu catching a cell phone indeed!. What has the world come to ! Is this an example of juxtaposition of tradition and modernity which is supposed to co-exist in India? No, I don't think so I feel it just shows the popularity of cell phones.
Cell phones are used widely and in every possible place and even in the most unlikely of places in cars, in elevators, in cinema halls, in theatres, in restaurants, in meetings and even in a restroom. One is enjoying a quiet evening of classical music in the silence of an auditorium with a large audience listening to the strains of music coming from Ustad Amjad Ali Khan's sarod and one starts hearing a familiar beep beep. Immediately all heads are turned in the direction of the beep. All this while the person on the cell phone carries on the conversation on his phone oblivious to all the attention. Is he really oblivious or just pretending to be oblivious?. In fact he may just be enjoying all that attention. I somehow have to agree to the latter view. In this insecure world people, I think are hungry for attention. Otherwise what could be so important that one has to keep the cell phone on even in such places?. Similarly in a restaurant, one comes to enjoy the food what is the point if a man is so busy that he can't concentrate on his food. What really mystifies me is when people use cell phones when driving cars. How can one carry on a conversation on a cell phone and drive a car at the same time is a mystery to me. This happens even in India where cell phones were introduced some years back and where the roads are narrower and the traffic rules are lax. The mystery finally gets solved when the driver of the car meets with an accident. Having a cell phone has become a sort of status symbol. One goes to a party and there are enough people flashing their cell phones brandishing them almost, like swords. In ancient Europe it was alright for gentlemen to carry swords. I think in modern times cell phones have replaced these.
Generally, talking is considered a women's habit. Women are accused of constantly gossiping and talking about one's neighbors and other acquaintances to their girlfriends while men are considered to have more serious occupations like discussing politics and business, respecting one's colleagues while keeping out of their personal life. One has to just look at the popularity of cell phones among men to know that men are equally bad when it comes to talking non-stop or gossiping about each other. It is difficult to imagine how a person can talk so much. Are we so bored that we have to keep doing something all the time to keep ourselves occupied?. Somebody once said ultimately mankind will not die of disease, starvation or a nuclear disaster but of boredom. Maybe this is true. Two years back I happened to visit a local college a few times regarding some work. I was surprised to see the number of teenagers using cell phones. This may seem nothing surprising for somebody raised here but since I had just arrived from India, I found it a little surprising especially when I found they were quite at ease talking on their cell phones even in a crowded place. I wondered how they could concentrate on their conversation with all the noise around them.
Cell phones are so popular that some people have stopped using their landline phones altogether. Cell phones are easy to carry around and they can be used anywhere and everywhere. Cell phone companies post attractive ads in the media to entice prospective customers. 'Unlimited local minutes for only 49.99' goes the ad for a cell phone company, 'Talk until Hollywood gets real' goes another. Things start getting serious only when the phone bill arrives at the end of the month. People can't for the life of them imagine how the bill could be so high. Did they really talk so much?. "No I did not go over my minutes!" a lot of customers argue. Who should know this better than me who works for a cell phone company?.
In this fast paced, modern world cell phones are a necessity. Cell phones are handy and can be carried around in a handbag, purse or one's pocket. Having a cell phone has proved to be very useful in emergency situations like when the car breaks down in the middle of the highway, or when there is an accident or some other type of emergency where earlier one had to look for a phone booth and also search the purse for change. In some situations like last year's World Trade Center tragedy or the massive earthquake in Gujarat, having a cell phone has proven very useful. Some people who were buried under mounds of rubble could call on their cell phones and direct rescue teams and volunteers to the spot where they were trapped. Ultimately cell phones reflect the advances in technology. Wireless phones have evolved from cellular to digital phones. Cell phones nowadays offer advanced services like text messaging, fax, email and internet capabilities which are very useful in the modern world. A cell phone can be an asset if one uses them wisely and responsibly.
Coming back to this picture this could be a famous ad for a cell phone company.