Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Pending Connection

I am about to get myself a laptop, so that the lonely hours I spend at home in the evening, can be put better use than reading novels, lying under the fan, sweating half my body mass off... but that needs a landline and broadband connection too, to be able to surf the net….

About ten days ago, instead of going in for the government-owned service providers who gave me hell in Pune, I went for a private company. The salesman turned up sooner, much sooner than I had imagined. Yes, their office was five minutes' walk from my place.
He made me fill up a simple form, asked for a minimum number of documents and those silly 'proofs' of my existence and took a small cheque. Free broadband with the I was on cloud nine when he left. Minimum five day, maximum seven days.

Today it's the eleventh day.

He rang me up and said his people had come to fix the phone line, but I was not at home.
Didn't you remember, I asked him, that I am staying alone? How do your people expect anyone excepts ghosts to be here at eleven o'clock when I leave at nine thirty?
Sir, sir sir... listen sir..
Don't you also remember I had asked you to give me a ring before coming here?
But my people came -
What use is coming here when you know I am not there...
But sir...
You said five days, remember? At the most seven days...
But sir...
What is your excuse for this delay, Mahesh?
We will give it to you in two days.
I don't trust your word, my man. Stop playing games.
But sir, listen sir...
Give me a date, my man. Two days will stretch to two months, I am beginning to know you guys very well, that's how things work here...
Mahesh did you hear me? I was a date. Say four days from now, but don't come back to me with lame duck excuses like your people came...
Saturday sir. Honestly I promise.

I knew it in my bones that he was lying. The honeyed manner in which these young salemen talk when they want your money or have taken your money and are at fault, gives them away.

I thought I'll give him a scare.
Mahesh, do you know I am from Gujarat.
Yes sir, NO sir... I mean yesssah.
Do you know I used to play marbles with your managing director?
Yes sir.. I mean glad to-
Half your company executives know me.
Yes sir...
If you don't install the phone on Saturday, Mahesh, start looking for a new job.
Oh no..
Oh yes. I mean it.

I cut him off. I recalled his office was being shifted to some place near Thiruvanmiyur, that's one and hour's drive from here.

Now I have to sweat it out till Saturday.

© Max Babi, 052506


At 10:38 PM, Blogger Batul said...

Your comedy in tragedy gets better. It's getting darker and funnier. Hope your laptop yields more words from you, God bless. I can feel the heat, the despair, the sounds of unfamiliar accents.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger david raphael israel said...

. . . and saved by a (fictitious) childhood game of marbles !?

I was all ready to congratulate you on discovering the glories of free enterprise (when the guy showed up quick the first time); but it seems the need for dark comedy will have its way.

Best wishes -- we'll all be beneficiaries when you're wired.


At 9:00 AM, Blogger Max Babi said...

Batul, read between the lines, there's much much more than that...

tks for the encouragement...



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