Business Standard

Privacy still a matter of perspectiv­e


When I asked the cook not to pack lunch for office, my wife wanted to know who I was meeting, my daughter asked which restaurant I would be dining in, and my son asked if I would be driving myself or taking the driver.

When my wife mentioned to her friend Sarla that we were going away for a quiet weekend break, she wanted to know which hotel we would be staying in, her husband asked what discount we had been offered, and their children checked to see if we were staying in a suite or separate rooms.

When my wife took my father to the hospital for a surgical procedure, my sister demanded to know whether we had checked the doctor’s references, my elder brother asked if it was affiliated with the ECH protocol, and my younger brother wondered why his opinion had not been considered.

When I decided to exchange my car, the neighbour asked about its fuel consumptio­n, my brother-in-law checked whether I had made charts of competitiv­e test drives, and the lady across the road asked why I’d opted for the same colour as her husband’s car.

When we decided to move home because my parents would be staying with us, the bank relationsh­ip manager wanted to know whether we were buying or leasing the property, the chartered accountant asked why we hadn’t explored the option of purchase, and my father wanted to know the rent.

He wasn’t the only one. Sarla wanted to know the rent we would be paying, my current landlady wondered whether we were paying the correct rent, my office wanted to know why the rent was so high, and an acquaintan­ce wanted to know why the rent was so low.

When we’re out to dinner, my wife asks everyone where they buy their sarees, everyone wants to know who tailors my jackets, my driver asks what time we will return home.

Once a month my daughter fires our service providers, demanding to know why the mobile phone package hasn’t been updated, the broadband consumptio­n regulated, or Tata Sky failed to bundled all connection­s together.

My landlord asks why our man Friday didn’t switch on the motor for pumping the water to the overhead tanks, my wife asks whether the gardener came, the neighbour phones to check if their newspapers were delivered to us by mistake.

My sister wants to know what my wife served my parents for breakfast, my son wants to know what’s in his tiffin, my daughter asks why she didn’t get what her brother did.

Sarla checks if we know who’s going to be at Poppy’s party, Poppy asks if we mentioned the party to Shashi who isn’t invited, Shashi calls to ask why Poppy didn’t invite her.

My wife asks Sarla what she’ll wear to the party, Sarla asks her what she’ll wear to the party, Poppy wants to know what they’ll both wear to the party.

A telemarket­er asks if I need health insurance, another wonders if I have health insurance, a third wants to know the details of my existing health insurance.

More telemarket­ers call. Do I need a loan, would I care to support a girl child’s education, buy a Porsche, take a gym membership, explain why I failed to renew my annual restaurant discount card?

When the hon’ble Supreme Court declared privacy a fundamenta­l right, did it take into considerat­ion the many curiositie­s and intrusions that make the subject of privacy a matter of perspectiv­e?

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