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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

I want to be a mobile

Meenakshi Makkar , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 30, 2014
First Published: 15:47 IST(30/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:21 IST(30/7/2014)

The 21st century is of the rise of the machines and the fall of human independence: a time when parents play with mobile phone and children grow up neglected. These stories are about not just one gadget but every plastic box that we have made our best companion and which has made us forget that machine is made for man, not the other way round.

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A teacher once asked her class to write on the topic: “My aim in life”. After all the students had submitted their views, she collected the scripts in her bag; and at home, started to read the answers. She was happy to know that the students had diverse aspirations; they wanted to be teachers, doctors, engineers, and all sorts of other professionals.

Suddenly, while reading, her eyes welled up. Her husband, who was sitting with her but talking to someone on the mobile phone, asked her why she cried. The teacher told him about the class assignment. “Why should that move you,” the man was curious to know. “There’s this boy…,” said the teacher, “who wants to be a mobile.”

Her husband couldn’t resist laughing and told the teacher not to bother. “This is a unique student,” he said, “who wants to do something different.” The teacher told him this boy was not different but upset because of his parents. They were always busy on their mobile phones. They picked up their calls even when they were occupied, upset or tense, but had no time to chat with him. The cell was their favourite child; therefore, he wanted to be a mobile.

“Poor kid, yes, but why should we cry?” said the husband. “This student…” she said, “is our son.” The father was shocked. Sorry for what they had done, the parents promised the child they’d make up for it.

Another story is about a 21st-century child who was on the mobile phone all the time, playing games or browsing the Internet; and spent little time with family. Once, when the game had reached a critical level, his father wanted a few minutes with him to make a serious point. Without picking up his eyes from the gadget he loved more than anything and anyone, the child told his father, dismissingly: “Yes?” “I thought,” said the father, “If I were a mobile, you would spend time more time with me.”

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