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Ban on bulk SMS -- for and against --for essay writing

Enough's been said about Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's ban on bulk SMSing and freedom of expression. But ask those in love what only five SMSes a day means, and you'll understand the full import of the 15-day ban across the country starting August 18. Intended to curb the spread of rumours in the wake of threatening messages being sent to people from the North East, the limited texting services have thrown the love lives of many youngsters out of gear. 

Love in the time of SMS ban
Tushar Mukhi, a hotel management student from Lucknow had a big fight with his girlfriend over this SMS confusion. "I was not aware about this five SMS per day limit. On day one, while I was able to send unlimited SMSes to my girlfriend - probably my telecom operators hadn't received the order till then, I'm guessing - she was not. And this created a lot of confusion. I thought she was ignoring me. Later, when myfriends told me that there is a ban on bulk SMSes for 15 days, I had to apologise to her for the unnecessary fight between us," he laughs. 

Package waste
For Parth Oberoi, a Class XII student, the SMS pack on his mobile is a complete waste of money now. "I don't use an android phone and so I don't have any free chat messenger on my mobile. For me, SMSes and calls are the only way to communicate with my friends. Since I am a student, messaging was way cheaper than calling. But I feel cheated since the SMS pack is not working. I am just waiting for this period to end so that I can start unlimited chat with my friends," he rues. 

Not surprising that cash card vendors are flooded with enquiries about the validity of SMS packages that people have purchased. "Everyday people who have bought an unlimited SMS pack come asking about what will happen to the amount they've spent on the pack, will it be refunded, or will the package date be extended for an extra 15 days. Frankly speaking, even the area sales managers of various telecom companies who deal with us, have no answers to these queries," says Mahindra Pratap Singh, who runs a mobile store. 

Free messaging at a price
Anuj Bansal, 24, marketing manager at a Life Insurance Company, had to spend a handsome amount in purchasing a new mobile set that supports free messaging apps. "I hate using complicated mobile sets and used to usually SMS my clients. I have never used an android phone, even though all my friends also were insistent that I upgrade to one. But thanks to theSMS ban, I had to get myself a smartphone finally, to keep in touch with my friends as well as clients," he says. 

Baat ban gayi!
But there's someone who's happy with the current state of telecom affairs. "Youngsters are hooked to their mobile phones, so we've fixed a budget for mobile expenditure for our 18-year-old son. So, he would SMS them through the day, instead of calling. Thankfully, he can't do that, at least temporarily," says homemaker Alka Srivastava. "He leaves his mobile phone in his room and we can actually have a conversation without the phone buzzing every minute," she smiles. 

High five on Twitter 

- If a girl sends you 5 SMSes, you know how desperate she is! - iamtushar 

- Guys, if u get 5 SMSes from a girl, marry her!!! - Andhra_Pasivadu 

- Who are the 5 people you SMSed today and who SMSed YOU using their 5 SMSes? PS. You're special to them for sure! - Miss Malini 

- Hilarious. So I can't send more than 5 smses at one time. But I can tweet, whatsapp, bbm, mail, call 100's - ankitagaba 

- Receiving an SMS in times like these makes me feel loved and special. Unfortunately the only ones messaging me are those offering $500,000

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