Back when I was in school, we had to ‘book’ a telephone connection with MTNL… it took months when it finally got installed. And that was a day of celebration. And obviously we didn’t get to choose our telephone number; we were given a telephone number. There was a time, when calling our relatives out of state was an effort… we had to go to a PCO or book a ‘trunk call’… and we had to literally shout in an attempt to clearly communicate over an STD call.
Forget about these ‘primitive times’… just look back 7-8 years… 2002-2003… rich kids in college discovered a new fancy tool called mobile phone (from their rich parents of course, who were in business or some senior positions in their jobs)… a serious upgrade over ‘pagers’ (btw it took me at least 15 minutes to recall the term ‘pager’ !!). It was a big, brick-size, heavy and black ‘something’. They would pay in double figures for one minute phone call; they would pay when they will receive a call. And suddenly, by the end of their college, half of their classmates had fancy, compact sized mobile phones. And within a year, especially in big cities, most of the young kids were carrying a mobile phone.
Mobile today has become the new way of life. I can call family even when I am traveling. I can call a hospital or fire station from wherever I am, within a second. I don’t have to run to a PCO to share the news and greetings with relatives. I can even mail when I am on my way to office. Mobile phone is not just another booming industry; it’s a new face of the society. No other technology (barring internet or world wide web) has managed to bring about a paradigm shift in the way we live our daily lives.
What’s most remarkable is the fact that it took just about half a decade to bring about a sea change in the way we communicate, to the extent that mobile is now so deeply ingrained in our lifestyle that we find it difficult to imagine that there ever was a time when we were unable to call anyone on the move.