LIVING WITHOUT CELL PHONES
Life has never been the same. Ever since the
cell phone services were abruptly stalled on February 1, Rashmi Thapa, 20, a BBA
student in Kathmandu, has had to stay out of touch with friends and families
back home in Biratnagar.
“It hasn’t been easy adjusting to a lifestyle without SMS and instant
information,” she explains adding. “You’re constantly worried about what might
be happening back home.”
And certainly with one of the most popular and convenient communications,
channels now completely severed, Rashmi isn’t the only one with grievance. Many
people, including students, bureaucrats, academicians and businesspersons have
had to change the way they worked.
Amarendra Bhoopati, a medicine retailer at Koteshwor, remembers the simpler
times when cell phones had made it all so easy.
“Now, even synchronizing all the different daily tasks like purchasing,
marketing, payoffs and retailing require so much more effort,” he says.
Of course, you don’t have to be hard working businessperson just to have felt
the absence of the mobile phones. Ishwor Adhikari, 20, realized their importance
when he was stranded in Thamel for two hours while waiting for a friend.
“We’d fixed the meeting four days ago, but it turns out that the entire plan had
slipped out of her mind on the day,” he says. “Had the cell phones been working,
I could’ve given her a buzz and reminded her to come.”
Yet the disruption of the mobile phone services has had a deeper toll on some
people. Dikshya, an MBBS student at the Kathmandu Medical College, still can’t
get over the communication void left by the disappearance of mobile phone. And
to add to her misery, she had purchased a new phone set only the day before
telecom shut down the services.
“Staying in a hostel so far away from home and old friends, it’s almost
impossible to regularly be in touch with them,” maintains the prospective
But for Jayan Acharya, 28, resumption of the services would mean more than just
an opportunity to hear the voices of the people he cares about. He had bought a
shop worth Rs. 300,000 dealing with mobiles and accessories on January 31 and
has been ironically out of business ever since.
“Nobody wants to buy cells anymore, so my entire life’s saving hangs on Nepal
Telecom’s decision to resume the services,” he reveals someberly.
With the urgent need to pay the rent for the defunct shop and support his family
of two, Jayan has presently taken up job as a salesperson in a local marketing
company. “But even there, without cell phones, work hasn’t been as easy as it
should,” he adds.
Well, most people would undoubtedly share Jayan’s opinion about the importance
of cell phone services. But there are some who would rather have it as it is
now. Niraj Shah, 21, an engineering student, considers that the time saved by
not having to write SMS or talk on the mobile can be used creatively for other
“Previously, I wasted hours on the cell phone but now I’ve all that time for my
studies and projects,” he says. Having discovered the joys of not having to
operate his cell, Niraj is planning to sell his when the service is resumed.
Meanwhile, Sukumaya Satyal of Hamro Pasal in Guheshwori is happy about the extra
profits as a result of the increase in the number of people using the landline
form her grocery shop. “Sometimes, there’s even a queue of people waiting to use
the phone,” she says.
But whatever the diverse opinions, one thing is for sure: the interruption of
mobile service is a giant leap backwards for the Nepali industry and
Source: Kathmandu Post - 7-3-2005
keyterms: cell phones, mobile
Kathmandu, SMS, Nepal
Denemarken schort financiering van ontwikkelingsprojecten op
without cell phones
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