Catch a falling star

N. Arunkumar *

Police personnel checking the mobile phones in Manipur
Police personnel checking the mobile phones of passers by launching a drive to ascertain the owners of SIM cards in September 2009
Pix : TSE

Love Is Like A Star,
You Know That Reaching It Is Impossible,
But You Keep Reaching,
Hoping That One Day,
It Will Fall For You...

The story is quite out of date now, perhaps. We have already heard, seen and come across incidents of many families breaking down in recent years, thanks primarily to the mobile phones, which have been turned to extensive nuisances among the users today. We have come across and heard many stories of couples breaking up, even married couples with children for that matter, due to the promiscuity offered by the mobile phones. Many a home has been devastated beyond repair and will never be the same again.

As a continuation of this story, I recently came across another such elopement by a young mother, who abandoned her three year old son and husband and vanished one morning, never to return back. The young husband was taken by surprise and is now left searching wildly all over the state for his wife, who is pretty young too, and can easily pass off as an unmarried girl due to her age.

Yet, as facts come to light of this disgusting episode, I find that there are two sides to the story unfolding before me. The first part is the story of the girl deciding to quit her home, husband and son, a sort of lock, stock and barrel resolution.

The other part is about the endless misery of the girl due to the vagrant behaviour of her young husband who is employed as a salesman in a shop at Paona Bazar. It seems that this young man was an alcoholic who was seldom sober when at home, and used to ill treat the wife frequently. She suffered the agony of having to live with such an alcoholic and was fed up, it seems.

These facts came to light only after she disappeared from the midst of her relatives and neighbours. They began to recount tales of the couple's constant arguments and the chaos within the walls of their home, on account of the unchanging vice of her husband.

She used to go visiting to her relatives in and around Imphal, and the relatives now recollect that whenever she went to them, she used to be busy chatting with someone on her mobile phone. Now they understand that she was perhaps chatting to her beau with whom she is suspected to have eloped for a new life and into a new dawn.

However, to a nosy observer like me, this is the speculation. Will she be able to find the kind of peace she is looking for? Will a new alliance bring her the kind of love, stability or happiness, which is her priority, like that of every other human being on the planet? The mobile phone is the real culprit in this scenario. This device does not give an exact idea of the actual personality of the character at the other end of the wireless network.

Impresarios abound in this world that can influence gullible people and warp them in their charms, thanks to the blanket of secrecy offered by the technology. Many young naive girls and boys are effortlessly jumping into doomed alliances blindly, living in a dream world of falsehood. The adage that 'love is blind', is truly functioning today more emphatically than ever before in time!

Young boys and girls are using this technology profusely for every purpose under the sun. Many a young girl and boy cannot walk out of home without the phone hidden or open in their person. Schools and colleges are having a tough time controlling the deluge, which has now taken draconian proportions.

School authorities are finding it almost impossible to impose a successful ban on these devices as the students have found many various ways of hiding the phones in their person and getting away with breaking the code of conduct. Even if the authorities do seize a phone, it is imperative for them to return it to the owner with a stern warning not to repeat it again.

Now, that is a pretty lenient form of punishment given for breaking the code. But then, is there a more stringent punishment at hand with the authorities to deter students from misusing the device within the classrooms? I guess everybody is looking for answers to this question. I remember a couple of years ago, when students of a college in Delhi united and went up in arms against the Principal who had penalized a girl student for having used a phone within the campus of the college.

It was widely covered in the national media and even a panel of experts had come on air to chat about the matter, and throw more light on the subject. Ultimately, in order to bring back sanity and peace to the campus, the Principal had to apologise to the errant student. The matter ended in the victory of mass protest, where the logic is 'might is right'. I wonder if the use of mobile phones comes under Fundamental Rights, protected by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.

Conversely, even if it is so, then where should institutions draw the line to prevent the misuse of this technology within the campus? Students are wildly devouring up talk time with impunity and also burning holes in the pockets of their parents. These lead to various other complications too. There are a number of girl students disappearing from their classrooms for many days on end, and when they return back to it after the long gap, they look changed and matured much beyond their age.

Secret abortions are another nuisance parents have to deal with due to the sexual promiscuousness permitted by the secret use of the mobile phones. No one can deny that it is a scourge on the youth as well as married couples today. Man will forever find ways to misuse anything meant for his comfort and luxurious living. Every possible crime or sin will be indulged in, if given the opportunity to do so. That is what is happening with this technology today and it is slowly but surely creating a hollow in the social fabric of our society.

The sooner people realize that, the better it will be. When young teenagers tend to move away from earshot of their families and elders while chatting on their mobiles, somebody concerned at home must notice it and intervene, to avoid a messy situation sooner or later. And if your husband or wife is doing the same, the best you can do is offer your prayers if you wish to continue in the relationship. The foundation of a happy married life and the institution of family are trust and compromise.

A lot of clandestine affairs are doing the airwaves today, and for that there is no age limit at all. Even the elderly can be culprits in this great rush to find the intangible Utopian love. And, let me assure is true. Promiscuousness's are the mantra today and, please search for the meaning of this word in the dictionary...okay? Or will be unhappy like many others. Sure of that!

* N. Arunkumar contributes regularly to . The writer can be contacted at hareedesiree(at)hotmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted on June 30, 2011.

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