THE MISSED CALL
In this wonderful telephonic and mobile age, it might surprise people that I rarely initiate a call myself except on people’s birthdays/anniversaries or when I have some really momentous info to convey.
This is because I am hardly able to keep tag on days/ time on/at which people are available to receive my calls. One says,” Oh! I go to temple only 8 to 12 noon for my Bhajan classes and rest of the day I am free”. Another one claims, ”We play cards only on Mon, Wed and Fri. On other days people come to our house to play”. Third one claims, “I go for yoga classes only on Sundays” One more says, “Don’t ring me up at my serial time”. One more feels a bit disturbed as it is the time her overseas kids contact her. Thus I find myself incapable of interpolating all the data to find suitable time and day to ring them up.
So, I prefer to ‘receive the calls’ than to ring up. Mostly all my relatives call me on my landline which has a strident ringtone and which is easy to pick up. But, I cannot say the same of the calls received on my mobiles as the ‘wheezing’ sound that goes under the name ringtone misses me many a time due to my failing auditory facility more so as I do not have the habit of carrying the mobile in my hand indoors or outdoors.
Calls on my mobile I do get plenty from strangers mostly. Ever since I successfully underwent the ‘magnetic’ therapy for my arthritic knees, the therapists have been using me as a goodwill ambassador. Any time a new, nervous patient approaches them and insists on talking to a palpable patient who actually underwent the therapy, they give them my mobile number. So, when he/she rings me up I explain how the therapy helped me and so on. That really reassures them to undergo the therapy themselves.
Last week one such patient rang me up two times- once when I was taking my evening walk on the terrace obviously mobileless and next when it was plugged to the socket in the kitchen for charging and the TV was blaring in the drawing room. Both the times I had not been able to hear the feeble ringtone. But later seeing the two missed calls and feeling guilty, I called up the number. It was a lady, very friendly, bouncy and chatty who kept talking for quite some time obviously forgetting that I was footing the bill. Next evening, again there were two missed calls from the same number during my golden hour to clarify some more doubts. She was as chirpy as ever at 10 in the night wanting to come and meet me in person sometime. I asked her to access the video on the therapists’ website where I have been shown walking, climbing stairs etc. Next day at the same hour, I found two more missed calls from the same lady. When I rang her up she told me that she could not access the video. After another long chat at my own expense, I told her to look up under ‘video testimonials’.
On the 4th day, again there were two missed calls. By now she was no more a stranger. I myself was curious to get her feedback on the video. That sadly prompted me to ring her back. Oh, how she gushed forth! She told me that she was bowled over by my fitness after seeing the video. She wanted not only to undergo the therapy but also wanted to recommend it to all suffering ladies and blah, blah. I could see secs and mins ticking off my talk time. Finally, I terminated the verbal cascade promising myself never to give in to the weakness of answering ‘missed’ calls.
Later, it struck me to text my landline number to the missed-callers and asking them to call me back on it saving my precious talktime.