Rain Gods, all over the world, have developed quirky little sadistic tendencies in response to the Global warming. But those in Bangalore seem to have lost the touch this year. Right up to 2008, it used to rain heavily exactly between 6 and 9 in the evening. Those who have suffered know how cruel that timing is. This year however, it rains when the city sleeps (siesta time included) or after 9 at the worst. I am not very pleased with the situation though. Life has taught me to be wary if someone naughty starts behaving like an angel.
Anyway, here’s an entirely hypothetical question. Would you pick up your expensive mobile phone from a shit-pot (clean and western style, to make matters clearer), back in 2002, when recession was still very much there and incoming-calls were still not free? If yes, would you tell that to the world?
In my 3 year old mobile, the received calls’ duration is 320 hours while the dialed calls’ duration is 405 Hours. That ratio used to be 1:2 once upon a time; now it highlights the behavioral shift. Also, I am not very proud of the nearly 45 minutes/day blabber that these statistics indicate; though there are a few excusable reasons. There have been quite a few interesting minutes in those 725 hours. For example, two weeks ago, I received a call:
“Hello” I said, following the usual protocol. The number displayed on the mobile screen was unknown. There was a pause and the call was disconnected. It was midnight. My mobile beeped again a couple of minutes later with the same number and I picked up the call without speaking a word.
“Hello Priya !!” a nasal voice from the other side. He was probably drunk too. I disconnected with a succinct “Wrong number”. Phone beeped again.
“Hello, who are you?” we both said together and then he repeated it without the “Hello” and then I did the same.
They taught me at the school that the one who calls must first introduce oneself; I agree with the principle. I also find myself putting chewing-gum wrappers or any other paper in my pocket if there is no dust-bin around. However, the worst suffering is inflicted by the habit of turning up on time. Damn those manners, but now they are wired into me.
Coming back to our caller, let’s call him Ranjha, since I still don’t know his name. He told me to give the phone to Priya. I gathered that he was expecting her to pick up the phone when he called. I didn’t tell him that there is no Priya here; just me and my..errr..thoughts. He kept calling and I kept disconnecting after a few seconds, allowing him to scream “Priya” everytime. Apparently she must have been sleeping with me.
Later on I got bored of him and put the mobile in silent mode. There were 28 missed calls by the morning. I was pleased with my enviable status and saved his number as, guess what, Ranjha.
Ranjha called me again next night while I was surfing around and the last night’s pattern followed. I was now in no mood to clear the misunderstanding. On the third night I was ready for him and when he called, I let him listen to the “Bheegey Hont Tere” on my laptop. Man, how he swore.
Next he called me during the day time. When I picked up the phone, he realized, probably for the first time, that the phone number might actually belong to me or maybe I keep Priya’s phone always with me. That should have given him some respite and he should have logically concluded that it’s not wise to infer Priya to be with me during the nights if I pick up the phone always. I can’t say for sure whether love is blind, but Ranjha is definitely dumb.
Ranjha started flooding my mobile with SMS’s now. The plan was to irritate me by flooding the Inbox and force me to call and talk to him. Little did he know that my flat-mates used to call me “Baba” not for nothing. Scratch your nails on the table and I shall smile. Serve me the food of your canteen and I shall gorge. Turn off the fan and I won’t mind. Ranjha must have wasted at least Rs100 that day even with the best of the postpaid plans.
He still calls me sometimes and gets ignored mostly. Once in a while, I experiment if I am in the mood. Till now he has heard the spoon hit against various plates and bowls in my attempts to create music, the flush of the toilet and my futile whistling attempts.
I am not planning to let go of this toy soon, but let me announce the way they do it on Radio “If Priya is reading this blog and her number ends with something similar to 26267, she must contact me to claim a jealous, confused and by now definitely broken-hearted idiot.” Till she contacts me, I would take your requests and suggestions to torture him further. Suggestions like “get a life” would be courteously ignored.
Of course, his misery comes to an end if he introduces himself politely instead of demanding to know who I am and the same has been conveyed to him. But he refuses to learn those basic manners. He should have studied in my school.
Coming up two more tales of the phone in the next post:
1. The one who knew why you called.
2. Bloody Indians in Vegas.
Let me finish with a small incident while I used to stay in Gurgaon. My phone rang and the voice at the other end said “Hello Prashaaanttt” in a typical Delhi accent. I was expecting an invitation-for-Diwali-dinner call from my friend’s mother that day and I eagerly replied with an obedient “Namaste Aunty”. She clarified that she was calling from a bank and so I apologized, as sincerely as I could, while friends around me laughed aloud. She wanted me to have a personal loan from her bank, but by then she had lost the conviction in her voice.