There was a far away time when conches were blown to announce battle. Of course, pigeons flew with messages. The temple bell rang to announce day, and night.
Those were different times though. It must have been wonderful, to live in those times. In the midst of simple joys and comforts of nature.
Well, the conches, don’t exist anymore. At least not as a communication tool. And definitely not to announce battle ! Pop corn fed pigeons don’t carry messages. And living life by the bell happens largely in prisons !
But think of the modern day mobile phone. Isn’t that a conch of some kind ? That which announces love, battle, news, net..what not ! A little stretched perhaps. But somewhere there !
There was a time, not very long ago, that a call on the mobile phone, used to cost Rs. 16/- a minute. These days, you can get by for months at that cost. Especially if you know of the “Great Indian Missed Call trick” !
The other day, the missus’s mobile rang. One ring, two rings. And stopped. The missus looked at who is calling, and didn’t pick up the call. But went about attending various chores.
Looking particularly puzzled, (which is a slightly different from the ‘perpetually puzzled’ look that the missus thinks is part of me), some sniffing around was done.
Only to find out, that two rings, at 9.00 AM, from the maid who comes to clean, translates to : “I would be late for work today”.
Not a rupee spent. Message conveyed. To simplistic minds like mine, this sounds like the Chinese Army exchanging war messages !
And when friends tell me ‘Give me a missed call. we’d come down to get you’, the mind leaps in amusement. For, my elementary mind works this way : “a call can be made. To miss it or not, is the receiver to decide. How can a missed call be given?”
But with a ‘missed call’ pact like that, what they mean is ‘when you call, i will be missing it…but i’ll get the message that you are here’ !
Zero cost ! Not that they are in abject penury. Or doing this blaming the economy. This has how it has been when Lehman brothers and the others were still standing.
So,if you are in India, and are wondering why call rates are going south, you know why. Don’t you! There sure must be many reasons. But, my elementary mind thinks only of the great Indian missed call trick!
With the vegetable vendor to the CEO carrying phone, of course, we have one of the cheapest call rates in the world. Take a look.
A glass of tea is Rs. 5
A glass of milk is Rs. 10/-
A glass of badam milk is Rs.15/-
But down there…intercity dialing. All India..is 1 Rupee !
Here is a Choice. Between a glass of milk and ten minutes of talk on the phone ! My elementary mind stays with the mobile phone.
For with calls, you can miss them, and still convey the point. There is no point with spilt milk. Not even crying. Hmm.
I rest my case.