A month back Rekha gifted her father a mobile and asked him to start using it right away. He had always depended on a landline that would stop working because of something as trivial as a neighbor`s fart (lose connections can happen when walls of the house shake!).
Rekha did mention to me that she had gifted her father a mobile phone but I didn`t pursue the case any further.
Today, when I called up my father in law, he started complaining that I wasn`t calling him up as frequently as I used to.
“But father, I did try calling you a couple of times….you weren`t home.” I tried to reason out. Why fight with somebody who holds the remote control of the person who holds your remote?
“Ohh come on. Stop lying. If I wasn`t home….why didn`t you call me on my mobile?”
“Your mobile? How stupid of me…I never asked for your mobile number. So what is it?”
“What do you mean ‘what is it`…weren`t you guys the ones to gift me the mobile? Wouldn`t you know the number?”
“Are you using the mobile that Rekha gifted you?” I inquired.
|Did You Know?
(instructions as given on Pacific States Telephone & Telegraph Company directory in year 1906 A.D.)
How to Answer a Telephone Call
Remove the hand telephone from the hook and say “Here is Main 297” (or
“Yes. I charge it daily and always carry it with me.” I couldn`t doubt my father in law. He never lies to me, except that one time when he said his daughter was a good girl (I think this was before our marriage).
I thought for a while. In situations like this, it is the ability of Rajans (by this I refer to all generations before me) to think like Dell Computers Call center executives that has got us out unscathed.
“Father, let us start from the beginning.”
“Sure.” I loved the cockiness in my father in law`s tone. Perhaps, I will have it on the day I control the happiness of the person I am speaking to.
“Did Rekha gift you a mobile?”
“She sure did.” If my father in law participated in one of these quiz programs on TV, I am sure he would have won the buzzer round.
“Did you accept it?”
“I sure did.”
“Did you then charge it for one whole day, as is expected of the buyer when one buys a new mobile?”
“I sure did. Though I didn`t buy it but my daughter did.”
“That`s not a problem. And have you been using it reggggguuuuulllllllarly?” I stretched a bit so that he got my impatience.
“I sure do. I carry it with me everywhere I go.” He failed to get my hint.
“Ok…have you made any calls from this mobile?” My impatience grew but I didn`t stretch any word this time because couldn`t decide on the right word.
“No son. For all my calls I use my landline. I am using this mobile only for incoming calls.”
“Ok…so are you getting incoming calls on this mobile?”
“No son…I haven`t got a single call on this mobile, yet. Is it because I didn`t give the number to anybody?”
“Yes father! Why don`t you distribute it?” How much I wish I could tell him that writing his mobile number on the toilet walls of Cochin`s bus stand could get him a lot of incoming calls.
“But I don`t have it son. Your wife never gave me the number. She just gave me the mobile and asked me to start using it.” Smart chap….when a complaint is being lodged she is ‘your wife` and when she does anything good it is ‘my daughter`.
After twenty more minutes I figured out that my father in law hadn`t got a mobile connection – and was just charging the phone daily and carrying it with him expecting incoming calls.
I didn`t tell him there was something wrong with him – instead have told him that something was wrong with the mobile. Now, a friend of mine will collect it from him, sort it out and then give it back to him after a while. The only issue: The mobile bills will come to my Malayali friend`s house and I will have to transfer the money every month. But hey, my father in law is worth it.