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WhatsApp – handle with care! – Part – 1

“The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.”

–    Irene C. Kassorla (American psychologist, educationist, and author)

Two different incidents that happened in six months taught me the need to practice caution on social media groups.

In the crowded suburbs of Central Mumbai, an ordinary housing society bustled with children playing all day long; this was the annual summer vacations. One morning, Kripa, a thirteen-year-old girl accidentally fell from the terrace of a six-storeyed building. Although in a coma for almost a week, miraculously, Kripa survived with multiple fractures and recovered fully in eight months. The family – parents of the girl, brothers, and sisters, uncles and aunts – were all in anxiety during this period.

Since the girl’s mother is not enlightened on the ways of communication that the moderns have – Facebook or WhatsApp, she was spared more agony than what came her way. During the accident, while the neighbors rushed the girl to the hospital, a group of well-wishing women – not yet baptized by the Selfie and smartphone culture – gathered around to protect the mother. The first news they gave her:  Kripa fell while playing and met with a small accident, and had to be rushed to the hospital. While driving the panicked mother to the hospital, two women fully aware of the seriousness of the matter consciously downplayed the situation. They cushioned the grave news to her even as she repeatedly wondered aloud on what exactly happened. The ladies made up a story that the girl fell from a height of ten feet and is unconscious. In turn, different women from the neighborhood spent time with the mother, assuring her everything will be all right. Slowly, the mother figured out that things were probably worse and over a time, her internal cognitive systems readied to bear the news.

To be continued….

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