Friday, July 22, 2011

The rebellious me

Oh yes, the rebellious me!

Coming to think of it, it is perhaps not rebel..not per se. It is a rather desperate attempt to move the wheel that has been stuck for ages.

Or you might call this a rebel against my unbelievability.

You see, people don't believe me. They never believe me when I say that I need to pee in the middle of an important discussion that somehow involves me, no matter how serious my condition is. They don't believe me, and that too just because I have the remote, when I say that the TV just went dark all of a sudden and I didn't do anything. I guess there is something unbelievable about me, something unearthly that does not commute with our senses. I dunno what it is, but it is there.

The same happened again when my modem started to blink irregularly a month ago. Long since I had learned not to lose patience (mainly after I started research I became aware of the universal truth that in most of the cases, the reason of something unexpected is most likely some mistakes in my part) when something went wrong. So I calmed myself down, analysed the case logically, checked and cross-checked my deductions and then came to the conclusion that whatever wrong was there, it was in the modem. But that was the easy part; I still had to convince people, specially the Internet maintenance guys, that my modem wasn't working properly. And that, guys, wasn't easy.

What happened is something like this : I called up the maintenance and described the problem. They promptly came to my house and asked me to demonstrate the problem. I turned on the modem and bling! The link was there, steady as rock, superfast like never before.

See, there is a reason people don't believe me! I don't blame them, for this happens to me all the time. Whatever I say, people get thousands of opposite examples like what happened with my modem. But I had learnt to be patient. After a couple of days I went to the maintenance guys once again:
Me: Ahem..!
The maintenance personnel (looking up and positively disgusted): Yes..?
Me: My modem is still not working ..
The maintenance personnel (amused, I swear): And what is the problem this time .. ?
Me: Err..the modem is blinking all the time and never connecting..
The maintenance personnel (tapping his fingers on the table): Well, we are a little short of people right now. Why don't you bring your modem here? We may thoroughly test your gear then .. what say?

So I came back, gathered my modem and the power cord, put them in a polythene bag and went back. The engineer who attended me was hardly older than me. He powered the modem on and connected the LAN. My I don't know what slang to use modem blinked for a minute (not to mention that I, for that entire minute, remained immensely optimist thinking that at last I could show them what my problem was) and bling! The connection was established.

Any comments? Any suggestions? Have you ever seen somebody more unbelievable than me? Well, I havn't. But one thing you gotta admit - I have persistence. May be I was thwarted twice, but I did not give up! I waited for a few days and then started afresh. This time I dodged the maintenance department and went straight to the big boss. He listened to me carefully (clearly, the story of my unbelievable unbelievability had not reached him yet), and ordered his men to take care of it immediately. Accordingly four persons entered my room yesterday - three new guys and a fourth, smug, shrunken, middle aged engineer who had lead the team the first time. The new guys checked my wiring, flipped my modem up and down and sceptically observed the window open in my ubuntu desktop showing the progress of a running code while the fourth stood behind, smiling silently and observing others. After a long fiddling with the wires, one of them turned on the modem. I held my breath .. one .. two .. three .. and bling! I seriously considered snatching the modem out of their hand and smashing it.

That was it. I did not have a single drop of patience left in the bottle. Those guys left giving me suggestions like be patient, rub off the moisture from the jacks of the wires, blah blah blah. After they left, I set my camera in front of the modem, focused it, started recording a HD movie and turned on the modem.

I went back to the maintenance department this morning with my modem and my netbook. The guy I first came across was the smug middle aged engineer who smiled at me.
Engineer: Still having problems with the modem?
Me (Opening my backpack and taking my netbook out): Yes ..
Engineer (smiling broadly): Still blinking, is it?
Me (waking up the netbook from sleep): Yes ..
Engineer (going back to whatever he was doing): Very well, lodge a complaint in writings. We shall see what we can do ..
Me (hitting the play button of my video): Here is the complaint.

I got a new modem today. Internet is working fine.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A number of wrong numbers

Some old things are bad to lose.. old friend, old mobile number, old watch that stirs up distant memories, old books that were gifts from someone dear (ahh, well..books are always bad to lose, old or new)..

Here is one example. I never known any Shrijit. Now I know Shrijit like I know any of my good friends, and its all because of my new mobile number.

I shall not go into those nitpicking details of how I managed to lose my old number, only the important factoids would suffice. Long story short: I had to do what I had to do due to some silly reasons for which I am absolutely not responsible (usually I am responsible for all the bad things that happen to me, but not this time). That was the easy part apart from the emotional turmoil that you have to go through when you gotta give up a number which you have been using for seven long years and shared with countless people. I changed my number, sulked over it for a while, recovered and got a new number. Getting something new instead of repairing is becoming easier and easier these days.

And along came the bad part. Within ten minutes from when I inserted the new sim into my cell-phone for the first time, my phone beeped.
Me: Hello..!
Who the hell: Shrijit..?
Me (confused.. or as per LH, befuddled): Hello..?
Who the hell: Hello, Shrijit..?
Me: Wrong number.

And again after only a couple of minutes..
Me: Hello...!
Sounds like the same *#*%&: Yes, Shrijit.. ?
Me (irritated): Wrong Number.
Yes, it's definitely the same *#*%&: Come on dude, stop pissing me off. I really need to talk to you..
Me (patience..patience): Please check the number, will you? This number does not belong to Shrijit..
That *#*%&: Shut up! You made me ring whatever his name was to check your number, you idiot. Now listen, tomorrow..

Apparently, the phone companies recycle prepaid numbers once they are abandoned by their owners. My new number must have been in possession of some guy named Shrijit - my storekeeper proudly informed me. Is there a way of knowing beforehand whether a number is completely new, or has already been used and chucked away by someone? Well, my storekeeper looked away absent-mindedly, entertaining other customers.

Clearly, giving a heads up to one of Shrijit's friends wasn't enough. It turned out that Shrijit indeed was a very important member of his friend circles (if there were Google+ at that time, I would have written G-plussian circles). Within the next couple of days, I received calls from numerous friends of his (I don't remember the names. Sorry Shrijit, whoever you are, for not being able to tell you whom amongst your apparently uncountably infinite friends had been enlightened by me and who are remaining for you to surprise them), his aunt who calls him, if I have heard correctly, Shunu (come on dude, you should have told her. She seemed a perfectly loving aunt to me), his non-Bengali partner who can barely speak anything other than distorted I don't know what, and the receptionist from a pathological center asking to collect his blood reports. Shrijit must have been really committed to his number; all of them were, again thanking LH's achievement to find the word, befuddled and almost disbelieved my claim of having this number in my possession. I don't blame them. I do sound unconvincing most of the time.. I am aware of that.

The number of wrong numbers dropped gradually over the next few months. I thought that I had hit some real influential node in Shrijit's friend network; the news must have propagated and reached full penetration. I almost forgot about this little incident until very early of this morning when my cell-phone woke me up..
Me (sleepily): zzzzzz...Hello.!
Don't have a damn idea who: Hi Shrijit...
Me (a little less sleepy): huh..wha..?
Must be someone from Shrijit's circles: Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Shrijit..Happy birthday to you..

I need a new number..