Thursday, February 24, 2011

Of Unsolicited Calls and Credit Cards

Unsolicited calls are largely annoying. When in the middle of some urgent work –by that never-failing law of Murhpy, you are bound to do something very important – suddenly your phone rings and a voice announces her name and the company she works for, and then going thru the details of very exciting and unique offer they have come up with. That is irritating, to say the least. But you gotta enjoy whatever comes your way:


Nobody can match the credit card companies when it comes to making unsolicited calls and sending cards. They have insatiable desire to throw cards at you. We don’t even distribute our visiting cards at the frequency with which they send us credit cards. I never knew I had so much credit in the world before I started getting these cards! Thanks for the enlightenment! They are the ones who know the mathematics of the permutations and combinations by heart, and practice it every day and night. So they have one card for every food joint which sells you junk food, every petroleum company which also houses a junk food joint in their petrol bunks, every music channel which plays enough songs in between the commercial breaks just to be qualified as a music channel and anything else they can think of(see, I find myself not good at these permutations and combinations). Then they try to put some art into it by making cards of different shapes and sizes and colors.  One real benefit is, –give the credit where it’s due – now I know that platinum and titanium are the precious metals along with gold. Unfortunately miners and scientists are not discovering precious metals faster than these companies can dole out plastic currencies, depriving ignorant people like me of acquiring precious knowledge.

So how do you stop these calls? You can’t! They always pretend that they did not hear your NO, and never fail to call you back. I realized that I may be better at lying than at saying NO, so I always say I already have the card which they are offering. It works, believe me. They will ask if you use any other bank’s card and you should answer NO. That is the only NO they like and accept. The call is over there and then until the next time. But I only figured that out after I accumulated 10 cards, 8 of them sent without my agreement or knowledge. Like Angulimaal, literally the one who wears a garland of human fingers, I could have worn a garland of cards but I decided not to flaunt my ill-gotten wealth for which I am supposed to pay later! Rather I decided to take the path of renunciation without any Buddha to guide me. I cut them to pieces, taking violent pleasure in the process. Even the scissors’ blade became blunt by the time I rid all of them. At last, Buddha inside me was smiling.


Out of need, I applied for an account with some ABC Bank. I submitted all the documents to an executive(everyone is an executive officer in the age we live in). In due time, I got the account. That’s straight-forward, isn’t it? After a few days, I got call from the same executive, but he was employed by some XYZ Bank now. He requested me to open an account with XYZ Bank. The reason? “Now I work with this bank, and if you open an account with us, that will help me.” He replied. “Very well.” I said, “But aren’t you guys there to help the customers, not the other way?” I do not remember his vague answer, but that day onwards, he never called. Either he had no urge to move to any other bank or he had no urge to help me. My account with him was closed forever.


Is…is this Mr. So-and-So?”, a reluctant voice asked in a low tone.

Ye…ss?”, I tried to match her reluctance and almost succeeded.

Good morning, sir! I am from MoneyMatters. Do you need a loan?”, this time with more confidence.

No, I do not need any loan.”, I started reaching for the disconnect button.

Are you salaried or self-employed?”, she asked before I could hang up the phone.

Salaried.”,instinctively I replied.

Then you can take a loan, no, sir?”, almost implying that getting monthly salary and not having a loan burden is a sin in this world.

For that matter, lady, I can kill you. How would you like it?”, my mind already conjuring what else I can do.

Next I heard is a loud thud. Complete silence after that. I assume her life was very dear to her, since I never heard back from her. Between the money and the life, you see, the life still matters more.

I wonder if they would call the God for a loan had they had His phone number or any hotline existed between the earth and the heavens. They surely would. Going by what is happening around us –droughts in China and Brazil, floods in Australia, earthquake in New Zealand, hottest summer in Russia, volcano eruption and coldest winter in Europe, and adding the troubles in Middle-East – heaven’s finances are certainly out of order. God may be desperately looking for some help, a possible loan. There is no better customer than the providence itself. Does anybody have His number?

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