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Yesterday I met an old friend and shared with her my family photo which was in my phone. I didn’t think much of it when she took the phone off my hands. All the better to look at it, I thought. I must have taken just a moment to peep into my handbag when I heard her say,

“You mostly have pictures of your dog on your phone!?”

I looked up in surprise and found her scrolling through all my pictures. Like hell! I fumed silently at the intrusion while quickly going through my mind to make sure there weren’t any pictures I didn’t want anyone to see, though what good it would do now that she was already in my phone, I didn’t know. No, I am not in the habit of storing pictures in my phone that I want to hide from people. But yes, there are the kind where I am making faces or ones where I made a try to take selfies with the dog and due to the uncooperative nature of said dog when it comes to selfies, ended up with some part of my anatomy not meant for public viewing.

Thankfully a quick scan of my brain threw up the fact that there were none of the kind in store (and the phone was returned because she was bored of the dog pictures). But that’s not the point. It doesn’t in the least matter if there was something to hide or not. Someone had intruded into my private space without permission. And THAT is simply not done.

This incidentally, is not my first experience of the sort. A couple of years back, a young couple related to me wanted to see pictures of my children whom they hadn’t met as yet. I obligingly opened the laptop and clicking open an album, showed them one of all four of us. Just about then I turned my head for a moment to listen to the conversation between my mother and the husband. Before I knew what was happening, my hand was unceremoniously pushed away from the mouse-pad by the wife and she started scrolling merrily through my album. Not even a,  May I?’!!!

While I tried to contain my annoyance and not explode at the *guests* she, adding insult to injury, stopped at a particular photo of my son and friends to ask if one of the girls was likely his girl-friend. When I told her they were all colleagues, she lost interest and turned away. I took the opportunity to firmly shut the laptop and put it away. Hrrrmph.

Good manners, where be thou?

©Shail Mohan 2016