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Friday, April 15, 2011

Best wishes for Assamese New Year and Bihu

No, this is not about what you thought it would be. It has thematic relevance to the headlines though.

It is not about wishing you all a very best Bihu and a New Year en mass, but about how heartless that can be. It is about mindless adoption of economies of scale in large production of a ‘wish’ and the practice of wholesale mass distribution of it to a vague and faceless entity in our mobile phones and email accounts called “all”.

Today is Assamese New Year and Bohag Bihu. I have not replied to any of those hundreds of SMSes carrying the highly impersonal few words wishing me best of everything. I am sure I had received them because I, fortunately, happened to be one of the insignificant constituents of each of my acquaintances’ mobile phones called - all.

Today, I did not send any such SMS either. Nor any e-mail. I never ever did. When our son was borne, my brother-in-law suggested ‘broadcasting’ it with an SMS sent to all my contacts in the mobile phone book. I took three days to individually call and inform all the people whom I thought I should share the news with. I did not have to explain that to anyone then. But, this time I had to give an explanation to my wife. I can jolly well share that with you.

A wish is something that comes from our heart, not head. It is too personal a thing. You share it with only people whom you know, care for and keep close to your heart. I cannot make such a personal emotion so much impersonal by converting it into an SMS and sending it to all. If I have a wish I will take the rather more interpersonal mode of communication called speech.

Above all, I cannot be honest if I do so. How can I have the exactly same wish (and by extension feeling) for all? And if I do send such SMS wishes someday, I would know it is a fake. Please do not reply to such a fake SMS from me and waste your money.
How difficult is it to call and wish someone a happy New Year and Bihu if you really want to? And if you actually do not want to, then why pretend so by sending an SMS?

Moreover, SMS cost you more than talking over phone. The mobile companies are actually fleecing you by charging 50 paise to 3 rupees for each SMS while it costs them not even one paise. They are not happy if you communicate through short speech over phones; but are very happy if you communicate through short messaging service. I am not in a mood to make them happy by loosing my money. And, I hope I will receive less SMS next Puja.

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