Sunday, 8 August 2010

For whom the bell rings


Irony (that thing that doesn’t have anything with your clothes being pressed to perfection), doesn’t get better than this:

The finance minister of India is in a meeting to discuss rising prices with other leaders when he gets a call on his mobile phone – from a telemarketer offering him a home loan!

On hearing this, the telecom minister, Raja (and you only thought horses at hill stations had names like that. Or heroes in seventies’ movies.), swung into action. According to The Times of India report: ‘A wide range of products and services are nowadays offered through tele-marketing which result in inconvenience and disturbance to telecom consumers,’ Raja said in a note to his secretary.

I wonder what Raja Saab (that would be a villain’s name in a seventies’ movie), had in mind when he wrote that note. Did he mean that the products and services offered through tele-marketing should be targeted at people without phones so the telecom consumers are not inconvenienced and disturbed?

I love our ministers. Once you get over your anger, frustration and all such logical reactions, they are a great source of entertainment. Some of them, like the Buffalo Bill of Bihar, the Statue-tory leader of UP and the Grassroots Express of WB, don’t even have to do anything or open their mouths to entertain us. One look can have you rolling in the aisles.

But I wonder what made the tele-marketer call our finance minister? I presume it must have been the minister's clean image. (Disclaimer: A clean image in politics is only an image and any connection or resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.) The tele-marketer must have thought, “Hey this guy is clean and so needs a loan to buy a house. Let me help him find a place where he can retire peacefully. The tele-marketer was right about one thing: All politicians take loans. It’s just that they don’t return them. And he was wrong about one thing: Politicians never retire. Not even when they are dead – look at the new blue-eyed boy of the ruling party; he is still nursing on his great-grandfather’s legacy.

Could there be another explanation for the call? A more sinister one? (The word sinister means a minister who has sinned.) Could it be that someone with vested interests was offering a bribe to our honourable and clean finance minister? Do my bidding and I will give you a ‘loan’ to buy a home (in the Swiss Alps of course). Or could it have been a representative of the opposition party making an offer? Join our bandwagon and we will give you the ‘home’ portfolio? Unlikely, because anyone with little brains (for example a politician), knows that a man who has ‘finance’ can get ‘home’ anytime he wants.

I had to get to the bottom of this. Because when the bug hits you, you start sneezing. When it hits me, I start investigating. I called up my highly placed source in the telecom industry (the guy who climbs telephone poles), and he gave me an insight into tele-marketing which explains why the finance minister got a call on a number that is probably unlisted:

Tele-marketing depends on humans only to make the actual phone calls. Everything else is controlled by monkeys who throw banana peels at various numbers being randomly generated on a giant computer screen. Peel hits screen, a number gets dialled and voila, the finance minister gets a call with an offer he is forced to refuse because he can’t be seen accepting a home loan in the presence of important political leaders without compromising his clean image.

But let them be, these high and mighty ministers. What does an average man or woman do when he or she gets a tele-marketing call? Here are my Top 5 Proven Tips to shoo away tele-marketers:

1] If it is woman caller and you are a man:
You: Forget the loan honey, why don’t we talk of nicer things?

2] If it is a man caller and you are a man:
You: Don’t try to fool me, I know you are Raja. If you call on my daughter’s phone again, I will chop you up and feed you to the monkeys throwing peels at…

3] If it is a man caller and you are a woman:
You: Daddy! It is that man again who calls and says obscene things. Turn on the recording machine and call the police!

4] If it is a man/woman and you are a man:
You: Namaste! Nagpada Police Station…

5] If it is a man/woman and you are man:
You: Do you know who you have called you moron? I am the finance minister of India.

That usually works.

Thank you for reading this post. Leave your number if you would like our representative to call you about our excellent offers. Have a good day.


2 comments:

  1. Thanks Arijit!
    I have actually used 1] and 4] and I am so looking forward to using 5]! It really stumps the dumb caller-seller of credit card/home loan/insurance/time share holidays!

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