Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beep! Is the Message for You?

“You’ve got a message! Beep! You’ve got a message! Beep! You’ve got a message! Beep!”

My father groaned awake. “Who the hell is this? Mid afternoon!” He snatched his phone from under the pillow.

The anonymous message said, “I love you!” Stunned, he checked the number. Not registered. Who was this? He dialed the number.

“Hèlo?” a raucous male voice answered. “Hèlo?”

“Hello? Who’s this?” inquired my father. A male voice? Good god!!!

The phone went death. Chuckling silently, he imagined the poor fellow’s reaction. His romantic eloquence had been misdirected. The embarrassment at being caught must be stinging.

“You’ve got a message! Beep! You’ve got a message! Beep! You’ve got a message! Beep!”

The message read “I am sorry.” The number was the same.

Laughing aloud with the family, I wondered at the coincidence. Recently I had heard and experienced many such similar incidents.

Last Sunday, during breakfast, a friend had recounted how he had received about 10 to 15 sms, from a guy, some in Tamil and some in English… All very romantic! Instead of calling up the person to inform him of his mistake, he had waited to see how long it would take that guy to understand why there wasn’t any response. At one point, our friend had also wondered whether he should send a sms, asking for a rendez-vous, to catch a glimpse of the ardent young man! LOL!!!

A couple of months ago, on my classmate’s birthday, I wished him via sms. It just said, “Happy Birthday. May you always be happy!” Unfortunately the phone number that I had, had been his old one, which he had discarded. A girl then called me up, demanding to know who I was. Apparently it was her number. I apologized profusely. Half an hour later, the girl’s mother called me up, insisting to know why I had messaged her daughter, what were my intentions etc. Again, I apologized to her and told her that I had mistaken that number as my friend’s. An hour later, her father called me up, threatening to tell the police. Fed-up with the whole tamasha and incensed at being falsely accused, I told him that I would call the police if he dared to call me again and hung up. After three more calls, which I did not pick, they never called again. Wow! What a mix-up for a simple, innocent sms!

Several friends have recounted numerous stories, some hilarious, some very weird. That reminds me, when I was in Singapore, last year, I was using an extra sim card which was lying around in my aunt’s home. The first sms I got seemed like an overt pick-up line for a call girl or a male escort. I was shocked. When I showed it to my aunt, she immediately questioned her live-in maid, who had used the sim card some time ago. But the maid had no clue about the smses. She dialed the number, but there was no response. I received about 5 or 6 sms, in regular intervals. Then it stopped abruptly. The guy or the girl must have got tired of waiting!!!

Well, such are the vagaries of our modern day cell phones.

In spite of having new mobiles with slicker designs and greater capabilities, these mistakes do happen and with amazing frequency. That’s because, at some time or the other, it is an individual’s responsibility to either type in a number accurately or store it appropriately. Much depends on our little fingers. And perhaps a little on our ever-decreasing memories which we loathe to tax! Advanced technologies have been able to reduce the risks of human endeavours, but haven’t been able to completely eliminate the need for them.

So till then, we can regal ourselves with similar anecdotes and laugh our heads off. Until we become the victim!!!

Hey, before you go, just a friendly reminder. Be sure to check if your passionate lines haven’t reached your old conservative grand-father, instead of your sweetheart??? It has???? Oh no!!! Don’t worry… It happens… :P