Meet the SIM card from hell! Incessant calls from banks asking for a Mr Ashok Gaitunde made our writer’s life miserable.
In the year 2004, I passed class 10 and as I entered FYJC, like all protective mothers, mine decided that the time had come for me to have a mobile phone. Not because I was old and responsible enough to own one but because she knew I was old enough to fly further away from the nest. With a mobile phone on me she would be able to track me down at all times. Even today, she still calls at least two times a day. So my first phone was a Nokia1100, then known as ‘woh mast torch wala fone’. And rightly so because greedy rickshaw drivers wouldn’t get away with more money in the night.
Somewhere between blissful second year of college and falling in love, an evil wench stole my cellphone. No matter, loss of one meant I would gain another. So I convinced my folks that I got mugged in the train and I got myself a cool gamer interactive cell. Now little did I know that my SIM card came with added advantages! I’ll explain one of them. I started getting calls for the-one-who-holds-this-article-ka-title ‘Ashok Gaitunde’, from Standard Chartered and other banks. Now for the first three weeks, I didn’t think much of it and always used the wrong number reply. But after a month it started getting on my nerves. In three months, three different banks started to call me up for Mr Ashok Gaitunde. Apparently, he had outstanding dues in three different banks with each one going higher than the rest. Being the nice boy that I was, I politely told them that they had the wrong number. Soon, they started calling me up every alternative days but chal, even that was okay. Then it started to coincide with the days I spent with my girl. I now have an annoyed girlfriend and bank agents on my hands.
Now switching off the cell phone is not an option as Mommy would get suspicious. So I decided to play it the hard way, fight fire with fire. We decided the time had come for Mr Ashok Gaitunde to pay for his sins and rot in hell. So we killed him. This guy had seen it all – from car accidents, lethal bar fights, heart attacks, blow from a cricket ball, pelvic cancer, brain injury while playing Goti and he even died in every one of the many bomb blasts in the world. But they were relentless. All three banks decided that a week was more than enough to mourn for the scum bag who couldn’t settle his accounts with them. And before I could say Cha mailla they were back with a vengeance. So we decided to take a different approach – we started to put ourselves in his shoes and answer the calls. As soon as they started to ask for the money we would boldly say, “I won’t pay! Sue me.” When we realized that they actually could sue us (who would’ve thought of that, eh?) the game was up. I even complained officially to all the three banks and at last there were no calls for a very, very long time.
Until today, when I saw the bank number on my phone again. How did I know? Well its simple, all you have to do is add up the first three digits, subtract with the last two digits and multiply it by two and then divide it by two again, and if sum is 666 then you know that it’s a bank calling you. Trust me on this. Standard Chartered called again and the vicious circle started once more with me politely telling them that I was only a student who can’t possibly pay Rs 20,000 for a Mr Ashok Gaitunde who I have never even met. I assured them that if I did come across Mr Gaitunde I would definitely not let him get out of my hands either and they in return assured me that henceforth there will be no more calls. Yeah right, like I haven’t heard that one before.
– Oscar Varghese