He can't send an SMS!
“Look at him sending an SMS…” he exclaimed.
“So what…” I remarked.
“You think he has enough knowledge of English…” he asked.
“Obviously he has some knowledge. May be broken English,” I said. “As if we all text error-free top class prose…”
“But I don’t know to send or receive an SMS…” he said with a shrug and a smile.
That was a bombshell to me. My friend is from the IIT. They guy used to write codes for computer software, and he presently deals with some high-end research in Washington DC.
I just froze for a couple of minutes lost in a whirlpool of thoughts. Around me were two guys: One a scientist who doesn’t know to send an SMS and another, an apparent illiterate who is sending an SMS. And in between we have lots and lots of people who are literate but who don’t seem so, with or without modern gadgets. I just didn’t know what to make out of this…
And, I thought SMS was the most quick and convenient method to pass on an information.
The report that India has overtaken China in the growth of mobile phone subscribers seemed to be making sense. Each month, 66 lakh people are getting a mobile phone connection in India: which means the daily growth is 2 lakh 20 thousand. I am sure this includes renewal of prepaid subscriptions besides fresh connections.
In India as on Oct 31, 2006, there are 13 crore 33 lakh 25 thousand 611 mobile phone subscribers. But, that’s less than the number of people in China with a mobile -- 44 crore.
Anyway, India’s mobile phone march is astounding. This is one single revolution that has touched every human being, rich, poor and those in between. Affordable rates and the ease with which one can get a connection are two factors which have catalysed the growth.
The increased speed of transmission of information has had its cascading effects on business relations and personal relations. And, that has made this world a different place. And, mind you, it’s changing still. And, changing fast.
Mobiles also have been a great leveller. And, it has turned on the head some of our existing concepts. Like that incident at the tea stall a couple of days back revealed.
Figures give you an impression that all people have mobile phones. No. There are still people -- working men and women -- who don’t possess one… They don’t need, perhaps. Obviously they aren’t very mobile; plus, they have good and continuous access to a landline.