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Even a few years after mobile phones invaded Indian homes, I was still without one. The reason was simple. I was unemployed and, so, had no money to get myself that wonderful gadget.
Quite a few of my friends had acquired grand handsets, and they felt no compunctions about flaunting them.
Rajesh was one of them. The pampered son of rich parents, the guy had got himself a really fabulous piece.
Well, it would have been alright had he kept the cellphone in his pockets, hidden from our envious eyes. But that was not to be! The chap would fish out the mobile phone immediately upon seeing any one of us and start talking endlessly. Who he was talking to, we had no way of knowing. But the snob appeared to have countless friends who, like him, had all the time in the world to go yakety-yak.
As time progressed, most of my friends managed to find jobs. The first thing that they did with their first salary was to buy mobile phones. Now almost everybody had mobile phones, excepting me. I was still "immobile".
Rajesh was no longer looked upon with awe. His influence was considerably reduced.
Realizing that he was no longer holding sway over us, Rajesh adopted a different strategy.
Now, he would whip out his cellphone and pretend to be talking to the most important persons in the city - high-level police officers, top politicians and even high-profile industrialists.
We knew Rajesh was only pretending, but we had no way to call his bluff.
In the meanwhile, I too had managed to secure a job. Like everybody else, I also purchased a cellphone after receiving my first salary.
However, the handset was a cheap one and I was rather ashamed of showing it off to the others. I had, therefore, not revealed my number to anyone else; I, however, had saved their numbers.
It was a Sunday. We met at out favourite joint for a cup of tea. Rajesh, as was his wont, whipped out his cellphone and began talking incessantly to all the "important persons" in the town to impress us.
I could take it no more. I surreptitiously withdrew my own cellphone and selecting Rajesh's number, pressed the call button. I allowed Rajesh's phone to ring for a while and then cut off the call.
Rajesh, meanwhile, looked at his phone and began to speak very self-importantly. Only I knew that he was talking to no one!
After some time, he pretended that the call was over and joined us in our conversation.
"Whose phone was it?" I inquired innocently. Rajesh named some high-ranking police officer.
"Wow! You know him?" I asked him incredulously. "I don't believe it."
"You don't believe me?" Rajesh sounded hurt. "Okay I will call him again in your presence," he said.
His plan was simple. The plan was to redial the number, cut it off, and then speak nonsense over the dead phone.
He whipped out his cellphone, selected the last number from the "Received Calls" list and pressed the call button.
The jarring music that I had chosen as my caller tune began to play loud and clear.
"Hey, who is calling me?" I appeared surprised. I took out my mobile phone to check the number and exclaimed,"Hey, it is you Rajesh!"
"Boy, I am yet to become a police officer," I burst out laughing. The deception became clear to the others as well and they, too, joined in mocking the poor chap!
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu