For today's lovers, sending romantic text messages may be chic, but for married couples they may bring in unwanted problems as the Mizo society is witnessing.
Replacing the not-so-much secret love letters, the text messages are a new tool in the hands of young lovers to express their feelings these days. But social workers point out that when the messages are exchanged in an extra-marital affair, problems sometimes arise.
Rev. Zothansanga of the Mizoram Presbyterian Church's Family Guidance and Counselling Centre here says more and more married couples in Mizoram are these days visiting councelling centres like his faced with emotional problems.
In a typical case, he says, a woman plainly denied having ever professed love to her extra-marital partner saying there was no proof. She acknowledged that she had deleted all SMSes of her lover from the inbox of her cell phone.
This is one of the problems that the SMS culture among young lovers has given rise to. Other problems of a more serious nature have come to him at his councelling centre, Rev. Zothansanga said.
Though no official data have been collected as yet, there has indeed been a rise in spousal disputes and tension leading to even divorce in some cases what with secret text messages seen by either of the spouses, the pastor says.
A social worker, who wishes to remain unidentified, says that text messaging has given a spurt to extra-marital affairs in the predominantly tribal Mizo society.
"As cellphone messages can be deleted at the flick of a button, a secret affair can be kept a secret for a long time," he said.
A married woman, having three children, admitted on condition of anonymity that she and her lover, also a married man, have been exchanging romantic text messages for almost three years without anybody coming to know of it.
However, some couples this reporter talked to insist that the affairs are more in the nature of flirting than serious romantic engagement as both do not want to leave their partners and children.
A 45-year-old office-going woman said, "They communicate more often during daytime when there is nothing much to do in the office.
Dr Lalthansangi, a psychologist and a college lecturer devoting a large part of her free time doing research on various social issues, also agrees that the introduction of mobile phone services affected relationships.
"Though I am yet to take up a thorough study on the effects of cell phones on the Mizo society, many young married men and women saddled with domestic problems admitted that their problems often began with text messaging," Lalthansangi says.