Archive for November, 2009

Phoney Tales

I could bang my head on a wall. Or hang myself from the ceiling. Better still, jump into a well. No wells in Chennai these days, only bore-wells that I can probably peep but not jump into? Thanks for the information. Why, oh why God, am I so communication retarded? Why can’t I just pick up the god damned phone and talk every time it rings? Before that, why I can’t I turn off the silent mode and let the phone ring so I can hear it when I have to? Dad had called the other day. I was reading, the phone was just a few inches away from my hand which was holding JK’s Gangai yenge pogiraal. One hitch, it was on silent mode as usual. I missed that call. I happened to look at the phone after a couple of hours and saw that he’d called me four times in two hours. I called back and he told me that one of my closest childhood friends Joanna with whom I had been out of touch for the past seven odd years had dropped in at home looking for me. He had desperately tried to reach me knowing how happy I’d be to see her again. And I’d managed to miss THAT call. Now, can I have that rope to hang myself with, please?

Joanna and I were friends for six years before we went out of touch. Our parents went to the same church and we were Sunday School pals. Every Sunday, I used to walk to her home, which was a couple of streets away from mine and stand in front of the gate, yelling out her name as best as I could. First, her brother would peep out, shoot a hostile look at me and pull back inside. Next her mother would peep out, smile benignly and go back inside. All along I would hear soft musical talk in Malayalam, her mother tongue, from inside the house. Then she would walk out, hurrying towards me with a broad disarming smile that would put the Sun to shame. A typical Mallu, Joanna was all shiny black hair and golden hued skin. And her smile was to die for. She had an innocence about her that made her look like an over grown child even as we did outgrow childhood together. I still remember all those walks together to choir practise in Church , in the hot afternoon sun. And the fund raising exhibitions where we held lighting-10-candles-in-a-single-matchstick and hordes of other such silly games and made our very first ‘business money’. Those stage shows and dance sessions during summer vacations where she would always play the angel in white shiny clothes and I would always play a rogue or drunkard wrapped in torn blankets and ends up in burning hell fire. After 12th standard, Joanna shifted back to kerala to settle down and I heard no more. It was as abrupt as that. And now like two streams which meander away from a river and cross paths to mingle miles away, Joanna had come into my life again. And like a fool, I missed THAT call.

This time I’m making a solemn serious promise on the three tier Club Sandwich from Gallopin’ Gooseberries (What else did you expect from me?) that

a) I WILL NOT put my phone on silent mode except when I’m sleeping, eating or at work. Err…ok, these are the only three things I do in my life right now. So I’ll restrict that to ‘phone in silent mode only when sleeping.’

b) I will answer ALL calls, even if they are from numbers that I haven’t stored on the mobile (I never pick calls from numbers I don’t know as a rule), even if they look suspiciously similar to that number HDFC uses to pester me to sign up for their home loans and be doomed for life, even if it shares the first five digits with the number which a guy regularly uses to know if I’m interested in ‘prime locality real estate’ in Sholinganallur , 50 kms away from the city. But whatever happens, I will never ever pick up calls from numbers that begin with 9176….. All Vodafone caller tune marketing numbers begin that way. Argggghhhhh!!!

c) I WILL NOT procrastinate calling back if I do happen to miss any call despite my best efforts. (Maximum procrastination time allowed = 2 hours. Too much? Ok, one hour but I’m not promising on this one.)
And talking of phones, all service providers are getting increasingly stupid day by day. Vodafone calls me five times a day to know if I’d like to keep Vadivel/Goundamani/Vivek comedy as my caller tune. Or would I like Vijay’s latest kuthu from Vettaikaaran? Or maybe some Himesh and his nasal twangs? Guys, all you really make me want to do is unsubscribe caller tune facility asap. Go slow on the marketing, please. You kill us with it. The other day I’d kept a new caller tune, a song I liked and the first call I got I asked, “Hey how’s my new caller tune?” She asked back horrified, “God! Was THAT a caller tune??” I hid the disappointment in my voice and asked carefully, “You didn’t like Fiqraana?” She was like, “What Fiqraana? All I heard was an automated voice saying, ‘To set this song as you caller tune press # and dial…’ and by the time she was done explaining the caller tune selection process, you picked the call.” What meanies! I spend 30 bucks a month to let people hear something nice when they call me and you don’t even let them hear that and give your robot-talking instead. How on Earth can we decide whether we want a song on the phone if you don’t even let us hear it, airheads? Have some pity, Vodafone, will you?

P.S: Joanna took my number from dad and called me again!!! This time I picked the call and we plan to meet this weekend. Yayyyy!!! 🙂


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