Living without cell phones - Nepal News

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Living without cell phones - Nepal News

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 doctor.

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 purpose.

“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 communication culture.

Source: Kathmandu Post - 7-3-2005

keyterms: cell phones, mobile telecommunications, Kathmandu, SMS, Nepal

 

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