MIDWAY : Missed calls

The use of mobile phones in the capital city has gone up by leaps and bounds, even as the average age of the mobile users seems to be plummeting. Everywhere you go, you cannot fail to notice people mumbling away into their handsets. With the increasing use of headphones, more and more people seem to be talking to themselves rather than chatting with someone on the line.

Having said that, I have discovered of late that it isn’t necessary to talk via the mobile set at all. The missed calls do the trick most of the time. Ring anyone up, anytime. But why waste money when you can convey your message by a simple tinkle?

The other day as I was having lunch with my colleagues in a restaurant, I overheard a conversation between a couple sitting behind us. The boy was explaining to his girlfriend how his message would differ according to the number of rings on her mobile. “One missed call, I am home and you can call me back. Two, I’m missing you very much. Call back immediately. Three, I am busy.” Needless to say, the girl listened cheerfully and was delighted.

Later, I found good pal of mine furtively communicating with her ‘special’ friend through missed calls as well. Even during the busy hours when she could not talk to him, she somehow managed to ring him up a couple of times.

Similarly, not long ago, my sister was insisting that I gift her a mobile set. “Except myself, all my college friends have mobiles,” she complained. “You don’t need one until you start to earn yourself,” pat came my reply. However, she was adamant and tried to convince me that she need not spend a penny in maintaining her mobile.

All her friends, she said, used their mobiles only to give each other missed calls. If someone wanted to talk, he/she had to call him or her back through the landline.

I must admit that I was not aware of this rather novel use of the mobile phone. I am growing fond of decoding the implicit meanings of the missed calls. On further research, I found that most of Kathmandu’s denizens employ the missed-call method to convey their messages. I have now started believing in the power of unspoken words, or rather unanswered phone calls.