November 15, 2006

Where credit is due

One had a dream, people. This was back in the days when laptops were as large as briefcases and cellphones had monochrome displays. We speak of the time when the Rock ruled the WWF and Vikas Bhalla pretended to rule our music channels. When nobody knew Mallika Sherawat. Yes, there was such a time.

Anyhow, the point is that one had a dream. A Burning Ambition, no less.

Young folks, it is said, usually dream of such things as buying a house, buying a car, getting married and settling down. Not the One. No. One aspired only to enter the databases of major telemarketing companies as a potential customer.

At the end of a long day spent listening to the protests of assorted Unclejis, she would dial the next number in that neverending list. A nondescript sort of number, its perfection not immediately apparent to the untrained eye.

One would receive the call with a curt hello, delivered in one’s burnished baritone. "Sir, would you be interested in the new credit card we’re offering sir ..", she would stammer. Yes, one would have that effect on people.

One would gently tell her that she had precisely two minutes to make her sales pitch. We have very little time, you see, us high-tech sorts. She would breathlessly list the merits of the scheme, while one made rapid mental notes. When she’d finished, one would make a general remark thanking her for her efforts while managing to work in a stylish pun about, say, the current economic situation in eastern Mongolia. One might then ask for further details, compare this with competing offers, and construct cost-benefit analyses.

Subsequently, after thorough rumination and extensive correspondence, one might agree to the purchase and leave her quite speechless with gratitude. Yes.

One was all prepared, too. To the point of reading up on the current economic situation in eastern Mongolia. But privacy, it seems, is a much bigger issue out phoren than it is back home. And such is the tragedy of one’s life. Not one call from a dulcet-voiced telemarketer, not one single unexpected tinkle.

Nevertheless, one shall soon be the proud owner of a credit card from a Leading Financial Services Company. So what if one had to go and apply oneself. Look, it comes with free movie tickets.