Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Sorry To Say Sorry!

Image Source Pixabay

“We are Sorry to keep you waiting”….. “Your call is important for us”…… One of our Customer Support Executive will respond to you soon”

“We are sorry to keep you waiting…………………………………………………..”
Repeat “We are Sorry …………………………”
Repeat “We are Sorry …………………………”
Repeat “We are Sorry …………………………”
Repeat 100 times” We are Sorry ……..”

Finally, a voice. “Hi, I am Rocky, your Customer Support Executive”. How may I assist you today?

Me: I am not able to receive or make any calls and SMS from my mobile No. 98********.

He: I am sorry to hear you that. Let me help you with this.

Me: I would be delighted.

He (Mumbling): Not so soon sir! (Perhaps he has a devilish smile on his face at the other end of the phone). I am sorry to inform you that our system is not able to identify you as a customer.

Me: Why?

He: I am sorry Sir. But you are not calling from the mobile No. 98******** for which you want to register a complaint. Actually you must call from the same number for which you have a complaint.

Me: I told you that the number is not working. I am not able to make any calls from that number. Hence I am using another phone to call you.

He: Sorry to know that, sir. But again sorry to inform you that to get any help from us you must call us from that number only.

Me: (Raising my voice) Come on. How is that possible? I already told you that the number isn’t working. And this call to you now is exactly about this.

He:  Sorry to hear that Sir. But sorry to inform that as per our company policy unless you call from the same number, we can not identify you as a legitimate owner of that number.

Me: This is weird. How can you be so stupi…… Okay, okay. Why don’t you identify me with my details…. That mother’s maiden name thingy and all?

He: I am sorry sir for the inconvenience. Now tell me your e-mail id, your Aadhaar card number., your driving license number, your father’s name, your mother’s name, your aunt’s second cousin’s name, your High school English teacher’s name… your………

Me: Wait, why do you want me to tell my English teacher’s name? I don’t want you to speak to her and know how poorly I had scored in Spelling and Grammar!

He: Sorry about that sir….. I mean your poor grades in spelling and grammar. And I am sorry to inform you that as per our policy unless you give us these details, we can’t help you.
(After a pause) “And sir, we have a special package for you where you can learn English Spelling and grammar through our unique SMS based learning program. And you will get a degree from IIN too”.

Me:  (Gritting my teeth)Damn it!

Me again: Okay. Here is all the info you needed to identify me. Now please solve my problem.

He: Sorry sir for the inconvenience you are facing with your mobile number.  I have registered your complaint and our back-end technical team will call you within 24 working hours to solve the problem.

Me: Wait! What’s this 24 working hours? Do you mean that with 8 working hours per day the 24 working hours are actually 3 days? Will it take so long for your technical team to contact me?

He (Perhaps grinning):  Sorry Sir. I am sorry to inform you that it may be longer than that. Because next two days are Saturday and Sunday- non-working days for us. Then Monday is a festival-holiday. The Tuesday is our General Manager’s  wife’s birthday, so all of will be at the party… Wednesday is again a festival-holiday, Thursday is our group picnic so a non-working day for us. Friday is as you know the Good Friday. Then Saturday……….

Me (screaming): This is madness. You mean to say that I will have to wait for next to next Thursday, a good 12 days from now before your 24 working hour period is over?

He: Sorry Sir, but we are not allowed to do any calculations about this. We can only inform that our team will contact you within next 24 working hours.

Me: I demand to speak to your senior.

He: Okay sir, I will connect you to my senior now. Sorry again for the inconvenience you are facing.

Silence for a minute then a voice appears from the other side of the phone.

The Voice: How may I assist you sir?
(The voice seems familiar)
Me: Wait…. Are you not the same person I was talking to? See, I asked you to let me speak to your senior. Didn’t I?

The Voice: Yesssss Sir. But actually I have just been promoted. Looking at my splendid performance during this call, they have promoted me to a senior position just now. So technically now I am the person you were wanting to speak to.

Me(Despaired): Never mind. …… Ok just give me a complaint number.

He: Sorry sir, but I can’t give you any complaint number now. The complaint number will be SMSed to your mobile number 98********.

Me: But that number isn’t working. I am not able to get any calls or sms on it. How will I see my complaint registration number then?

He: Sorry Sir, but I can’t give you the compliant number. As per our procedure the complaint number will be SMSed to 98******** only.

He (continuing): …Sorry for the inconvenience sir. But don’t worry, our technical team will call you on 98******** within 24 working hours.

Me (shocked): What did ya say? They will call me on 98********? But the number isn’t working. And that’s what all this is about!

He: Sorry to hear that your number 98******** isn’t working sir. But as per our policy, our team will contact you at your number 98******** only. So please be available when they call you at this number.

Me (Pulling my hair now): What the ****!

He: Sorry Sir??

Me (gaining consciousness): Okay, okay, enough. You don’t have to be sorry for the poor services you company is providing to me. See, this isn’t personal. I am just annoyed with the services I am getting from your company.

He: Sorry Sir. Sorry to note that.

Me (sympathetically): Why do you keep on saying sorry for every small and big thing? Please understand that your sorry doesn’t not help me. All I need is a resolution for the problem and not apologies from you.

He: Sorry Sir. Sorry to note that you do not want to hear sorry from us. Bur Sorry sir, we have been trained to tell you sorry again and again till you feel sorry for us. In fact I can say sorry in 30 different languages…. English, Kannada, Arabic, Bengali…. Which one do you prefer sir? And if you want to hear sorry in French, press ‘5’ the next time you call us, and press ‘6’ for hearing sorry in German.

Me (Banging my head on wall): I am sorry. I am really sorry that I made this call to Customer Care……

He: Sorry sir to hear that you are feeling sorry. But as per our policy…………..

Me: #$%^&***&**
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Sorry if this brings you back memories of similar experience you have had with Customer Support.


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Friday, 4 November 2016

The Tirupati Moment

I could have easily skipped writing on this week’s prompt had I not read Ashwath’s post (Since I am very uncomfortable writing about myself or my life). Ashwath’s post prompted me to share a similar experience I had with Tirupati and the God presiding there. And the line in his post, ‘It’s not chivalrous to live in denial of one’s emotional identity….” gives me courage.

Unlike Aswath’s post, which is a tale of his honestly keeping his end of deal with God breaking the strings of ‘pretentious molar of false ego,’ as he calls it, mine is a tale of my failure to keep my promise arising out of my inhibition to shed the coolness factor, which I assume, came from my arrogance of not acknowledging my limitations in the functioning of universe.

I had never claimed to be an Atheist, even an agnostic. Perhaps this makes my offence more serious than that of an atheist. In my case, it was an offence committed not in ignorance but with full knowledge, a breach of contract.

We humans are helpless yet greedy beings, always wishing for things which are beyond our capabilities or entitlement. I am no different. Behind the cloak of my self-confidence and ego of self-reliance, lied my desire to turn the dice of luck in my favour.

Seeking to be granted favours from the powers of the universe I had pledged my hair the God who presides over Tirupati. But once favours granted, my false ego and inhibition to accept my frailty, (to lose the coolness factor), I acted conveniently,defaulting on the promise.

A convenient breach of contract, and act of deception with someone who I thought was too indifferent to remind me for his dues, was an act of dastardity on my part.

However, in the time that followed, I found myself cursed with adversities beyond the control of human means. The universal dice unfavoured me in its each and every throw. I was surrounded with troubles which although I did not expect yet knew that I did not qualify to undeserve them either. Surrounded with situations beyond the influence of human means or will, I experienced the futility of money, power and resources.

Having the convenience of being a believer, I turned to the God at Tirupati to help me sail through the circumstances no human has neither competence nor resources to cross. Finally, I accepted my defeat and paid my dues to the God to seek forgivance.

I remember having been told in my early childhood, “As you grow up, you will start believing less in things like luck and God and more in your ability to change things by yourself." However, the opposite happened to me. The experience made me realize limitation of tools humans have-  will-power, money etc., and the influence the unexplained, not-fully-known alien power known as God exercises over the universe and its laws.

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This post is written on following prompt

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Monday, 31 October 2016

The Zeroth Dimension!

Lucifer was agitated. The Nobel Prize for physics had been announced and not him but his fellow scientist Richard had won it for his theory on 5th dimension.

Lucifer was one of the most renowned physicists, just like Richard. However, given his belief that the forces of universe are evil, he was nicknamed Lucifer by the scientist community.

Both he and Richard were working on dimensionalism, i.e. discovering dimensions beyond the four known till then. While he was working to prove existence of 0th dimension, Richard was researching on 5th dimension.

Lucifer too had submitted his theory on 0th dimension for the Nobel Prize. In his theory, he had claimed that not only does the 0th dimension exist, but it rules over all other dimensions including the known four- length, width, depth, and time.

Although both Lucifer and Richards completed and presented their research at the same time, the world lapped up Richard’s discovery of 5th dimension with applause and rejected Lucifer’s 0th dimension theory. The scientist community laughingly called his 0th dimension theory a wild imagination or a science fiction at best.

Lucifer found it hard to digest the insult. He knew he was right- the 0th-dimension really existed. A dimension which represents nothingness. A dimension which supersedes all other dimensions of the universe and can destroy all of them- including the 4th dimension called time.

His logic was simple. If E = MC2 is true, so should be E – MC2 = 0. It means that all the energy and mass of the universe can be converged into nothingness represented by the 0 in the right hand side of the equation.

The Nobel Prize announcement was the last straw on camel’s back. Jilted, Lucifer knew what he wanted to do. He would have to show the world in practice, and not just in theory, that the 0th dimension existed, that he was right.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

He walked through the security checks to get into the Large Hadron Collider tunnel. A scientist of his eminence hardy deserved to be stopped or asked any questions at this most advance particle research facility at Geneva. 

Inside the tunnel, different particles like Photon, Boson and Hadron were streamed continuously and their collisions studied in order to unravel the mysteries of universe. The research had already led the scientists to believe that there could be up to 10 dimensions and not just four as was believed earlier. What they didn’t believe in was the 0th dimension.  

Lucifer inserted in a small chip into the particle emitter tube. The tube started emitting Photons which travelled back and forth at the speed of light through the 27 Kilometre long tunnel. But these weren’t ordinary Photons. These were the ones which could attain 0th dimension, and could make the surroundings attain the same.

Inside the tunnel, as the newer photons collided with the ones reflected back from the end of the tunnel, they lost a dimension. First, they became two dimensional entities, just having length and width but no depth, then they turned one –dimensional – linear entities. And after the fourth collision, they turned into something which had 0-dimensions.

And this wasn’t the end. The Photons which went into the 0th dimension, behaved like tiny balckholes spreading 0-dimensionism. They triggered a chain reaction where all matter surrounding them got sucked into them and vanished.

Soon, everything inside and around the tunnel started vanishing into the newly formed tiny blackholes, the 0-dimensional entities.

First, the tunnel collapsed, then the city of Geneva, followed by the Earth, Solar System and the galaxy Milkyway. Soon the Universe started to implode, with stars, planets, black-holes and all matter rushing towards the 0-dimensional vortex and vanishing therein forever.

                                        Soon the universe started imploding
The Hadron Tunnel became a 0-dimensional blackhole
gobbling up the matter around it.          

And all this happened instantaneously without any time lapse, since the 4th dimension time had already been gobbled up by the 0th dimension.

Lucifer’s prophecy that “if E = MC2 is true, then E – MC2 = 0 should also be true”, had come true. the sum of all the energy and the matter contained in the universe had become 0. His revenge was complete. Only that he wasn’t around to witness it.

It is not known if the universe, converted into 0-dimensional nothingness will remain like that for ever, or this would be the beginning of next big bang with matter again borning out of nothingness and start forming a new universe.

Because no one really knows how 0-dimensionanism behaves.

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Another of my Sci-Fi is here E = MC2

This post is written for following prompt

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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Thus Spake Ravan!

This post is written on following prompt-

To write on this topic, I began by imagining the ten-headed creature called Ravan, inside my head. An image of Ravan, with all his ten heads, popped up in my mind.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hola”, he replied, surprising me by the trendy language he used. But then I noticed that he wasn’t the Ravan fromTretayug, but with a tight polo shirt, faded jeans and ‘RA1’ tattooed on arm, he looked like someone from our times.

“Eh, I am here to kill you,” I informed. “I have vowed to kill you, the evil residing within me, this Dasshera, instead of burning an effigy.”

“By killing each of your heads one by one, I will get rid of ten evils within me and become a better person,” I declared happily.

He shrugged off the threat and looked at me contemptuously, as if to say, “If you dare!”

Ignoring his look, I said, “Your ten evil heads are in front of me now and I recognize them well.” “The first one is greed, the second looks like lie, the third is ego, followed by selfishness, lust, aggression, intolerance, deception, narcissism, and envy” I said, proud of my self-awareness.

As I aimed for the first head 'Greed,' with an imaginary bow and arrow, Ravan signalled me to pause. 

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked.

Greed is the thing which has brought mankind where it is today,” he informed.

“It was their greed for better food, better comforts, and better life that the cavemen ventured deep into forest, invented tools, discovered fire, learnt to cultivate new crops and finally invented the wheel,” he told. “It’s the greed to live a better and longer life that made humans invent medicines,” he asserted.

I decided to leave greed and aimed for the second head, Lie.

Ravan sensed my purpose and hurried to say, “Think twice before you kill lie”.

Lie is not as bad as you think it to be. In fact, you use it everyday for your survival,” he continued.

“You lie to your company’s shareholders and lenders that all is well, even when you feel otherwise, just to keep up their confidence in your company and also to keep your job. No?”

I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable talking about the second head, lie, so I turned towards the third one, Selfishness.

“Not so soon,” said Ravan, upon watching me aim towards selfishness.

“Whether you know or not, selfishness is the building block of all life-forms. Haven’t you read Darwin’s 'Origin of Species'?” he inquired.

Noticing the dumb expression on my face, he offered to help.  “Each living being, whether it’s an Amoeba or a vertebrate, displays selfishness in order to survive. The selfish nature of various species allows them to kill and eat other living beings, whether plants or animals, for their own survival. As biological entities, the species need to be utterly selfish to survive and humans are no exception.”

"The most selfish of the species have the maximum chance of survival.”

Not willing to debate with him on Darwin’s theory, I looked for his fourth head, sparing the third.

The fourth head was labelled Ego. A harmless one to get rid of, I thought.

Ravan looked straight into my eyes and said, “Don’t even think of it."

Ego is something that makes you you. Without the ego, you aren’t you,” he said.

“It’s your ego which makes you believe in yourself. It’s your ego which drives you to excel in your work, to achieve better than others.”

“It’s you ego which make you stand up for your values and beliefs. Without your ego, other people will treat you as a doormat,” he warned.

Alarmed by his advice I left the fourth head intact.

But by then I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go further. I wasn’t sure if Ravan will not come out with reasons to spare the remaining heads as well.

Noticing indecisiveness written over my face, Ravan offered to help.

“Look, you won’t get anything by killing me,” he claimed. “Rather, you may lose because I have been helping you in getting what you really want - success, as you call it.”

“You won’t survive for long without me,” he looked towards me contemptuously. Without me, you are a helpless, docile creature in this big bad world,” was his stern message.

"Without me, you are nothing. Actually you are nothing but me," he retorted. Suddenly I understood why this ten-headed creature was wearing my polo shirt and my jeans.

“You better accept and learn to live with me. I can be of good use,” he advised.

But he had hurt my ego and I had to protest. I had to prove that he is just a creation in my head. I am the master, he is my imagination.

I spoke up firmly, “Hey, you are something which is inside my head, something I am imagining just because I have to write a post for Dasshera.”

‘You are just a virtual reality,” I told him.

“You are wrong,” he said, “You are virtual, and I am reality,”

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Thursday, 13 October 2016

I Am Selfiesh, But Will Do Something For India

So, what should do for India? With so many people already on to the job to eradicate corruption, clean-up streets, protect womenfolk, I wonder if anything is left for me.

But yes, I will do something for India which everyone will remember for ever.

With the gloom in the air about India’s medal tally at the Olympics, here is my opportunity to do my bit for the nation.

With a crooked mind like the one I have, surely I won't be doing something straight- like running a campaign for improving sports facilities etc etc. Such things will yield results in, say, after some 30 years and I need my results now.

Instead, I will work tirelessly, campaign, fight, and do everything, including killing, to ensure that a particular sport which the Indians are very good at, rather invincible, gets included in the Olympics.

And there’s one sport wherein India has impeccable skills, immense talent and is in general invincible.

That is “Selfie taking”, or “Selfie-ing”, or “Selfie-astics”, whatever you call it.

This sport is played in each town and village, street and lane, bedroom and bathroom of our country, by people of all ages, religion, class and creed.

Yes, I will force our government to declare “Selfie-ing”, the national sport of India.

And surely, the Olympic committee will not dare ignore the demands of 130 crore selfie loving Indians to include it their list of sporting event.

Even when I am writing this, I can see the glory India would be achieving, thanks to my efforts, in the next Olympics, and ever after.

The rules would be simple. Take selfies, and excel in some particular aspect of it, depending upon the variant of the game, like, taking maximum number of selfies in a minute and uploading on FB would be a criteria for winning.

Or in another variant of the game called “Pole-selfie” (like pole-vault), the player will use a pole i.e.  selfie stick,  to play the game. There could even be a “Produnova Selfie” even wherein the player will have to take selfie exactly at the moment she is upside down on the Produnova.

               Pole-selfie                                                                                                    Produnova Selfie

And in the “Relay Selfie”, a player takes a selfie and relays it to the team’s next player through WhatsApp. As soon as the next player downloads his teammates selfie on his mobile screen, he can proceed to take his own and pass on to his next mate, and so on. The team uploading of the last selfie to the Olympic’s official WhtasApp screen would win the gold.

I see immense possibilities, such as “Underwater-selfie”, “Synchronised-Selfie”, “Selfie-on-ice” etc. etc. And of course, India would be the dominating force in all varieties of this sport, collecting medals made of all metals from gold to bronze. The muscular thighs of Russian women, and the mighty lungs of African men will be rendered useless in this arena as the deft slender fingers of Indian women and men playing on selfie buttons will leave everyone behind. All that will matter in this sport, is lips with an ability to go “muaah” in a nano-second and a super thumb than taps with lighting speed.

Perhaps, thereafter  the SAI, the Sports Authority Of India, will proudly call itself  “Selfie Authority Of India”.

After doing my bit for the country, I would like to be present in the stadium in the 2020 Olympics when my countrymen (and women) stand on the victory stand with medals around their neck. I would then proudly turn my back towards them and take a selfie with that background.

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Saturday, 8 October 2016

What Is India, By The Way?

The other day, my foreigner friend, Humpty Dumpty, asked me: “What is India?

Me: Why do you ask? It’s a country, a subcontinent, a....peninsula perhaps?”

He: I mean, what actually is India? I am confused. Is it a place where guests get worshiped like God, or get raped the first time they reveal their fair skinned legs below the skirt?

Me: Huh?

He: Is it the land of monks, or is it where Sunny Leone comes from? Is it a place where celibacy is revered? Or is it a place where people reproduce like rabbits?  

I batted my eyelids. I was as clueless as him.

He: I am confused. I vaguely know that it’s a place where women keep their faces hidden behind a veil, but someone recently told me that your national dress saree allows an eyeful of their bare belly?

Me: Yeah, and perhaps the navel too if you are lucky.

I wondered whether we Indians knew what India is.

Recently a certain Pappu called it a beehive and drew flak. People who pounced on him were the ones who prefer to call it “Mother”, but with a pre-condition that only a particular set words - “Vande Mataram” be used to refer to her.

I am not sure what it is.

Is it where you get the spiciest of food, or spiciest of ladies? I mean the the ones from Bolly, Tolly, and Mollywood?

Is it the biggest exporter of Patanjali’s Shilajit (desi aphrodisiac)? Or is it the biggest importer of Viagra?

Is it a place where you may get free wifi at public places, but will have to pay to use a toilet?

Is it a place where people flock to one Baba’s shop to buy everything swadesi including noodles and chocolates? Or where everyone is looking to go UK for studies, US for work, and for all other things, Bangkok. (Although someone recently claimed to have visited Bangkok for Vipaasana only).

Is it some sort of concoction? (Drinking which keeps us intoxicated enough to bear the pains of being here?)

Perhaps India is a cocktail served with some Vada Pao, Patanjali peanuts, butter chicken, and no beef.

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Image Courtesy- Indiatvnews

This post is written for following prompt

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