What I describe below, I swear to God, is a true event. No part of it is my imagination.
Midmorning. The lady of the house is franctic. How can a ten minute delay in waking up in the morning snowball into an hour's delay in everything else? The domestic maid needs tea. The garbage collectors ring the bell for their "Deepavali inaam", lunch is not even planned yet, let alone being made, the two reviews that are 2 days overdue have become mutant, the deadline that is fast approaching pricks her now and then, damp clothes lie all around the house, giving the entire house a typically monsoonish odour that will soon give her a headache, her husband, who has been working from home, wants some clarification on a document, she needs to leave a little earlier to school because it is raining and usually during rains, there is a traffic jam, and no place to park, which means that she needs to finish cooking lunch in another half an hour..and so on, until the stress threatens to explode somewhere.
The cell phone rings announcing an unkown number. The lady is pretty paranoid when she gets an unknown number when the kid is away at school because she always imagines the worst - could it be the teacher calling to say that the kid is ill? Did they leave school early because of the rains?Or is someone in the family ill and the doctor is trying to get to me? Or someone urgently needs A +.
Lady (L): Hello
Male voice (MV): Am I speaking to L?
MV: I am so-and-so calling from XYZ Bank. We believe you have a credit card with our bank, and in view of your stellar performance, we want to upgrade you to our premium membership.
The lady is taken aback. This is big. She switches off all four burners - sits on the dining chair comfortably, and says "yeah go ahead".
MV: You have been our member for a year now, and we want to to show our appreciation by upgrading you.
L: How would you do that?
MV: If you pay us Rs,. 6500, we will upgrade your account, give you a couple of free tickets to fly to Mumbai, and membership in a membership club at half the cost. We will also send you a gift package with two watches made by some international brand.
L: About this membership, what club membership would that be?
MV: We will give you membership in club A, club B, club C, and in addition the option of styaing in fivestar hotels in all major cities in India at discounted rates.
L: So, what are the cities that I can stay in?
MV: City A, City B, City C, City D, City E, City F
L: What about city G and City H?
MV: You can stay in City I, which is close to city G. We don't have city H in our membership now, but it will come soon.
L: So, what kind of hotels can I stay in city B and city C?
MV: You can stay in hotel M Hotel N and O in city B and Hotel Z in Hotel C.
L: Can I also use the card for hotel L in city M?
MV: Sorry ma'am, I don't know that. If you want I can find out.
L: Yes please do.
MV: I am sorry ma'am, that city is not covered.
L: Why is that?
MV: I am sorry ma'am I don't know.
L: So how long can I stay in these cities?
MV: You can stay for three days.
L: All my life?
MV: No, within the next seven months.
L: So what happens after seven months
MV: The offer expires.
L: OK, what is the watch like? Is it a digital watch or the regular one?
L: And does it have a leather strap or metal strap?
L: would that be gold plated or sliver?
MV: I am not sure, if you stay on hold, I can find out.
L: OK, find out.
MV: Madam, it is gold plated
MV: So, can I charge your card and send you the welcome package?
L: No, thank you. I am not interested.
MV: I am sorry, I didn't hear you properly.
L: I said I am not interested in the upgrade.
MV: Are you sure ma'am.
L: Yes I am.
L: Anything else?
MV: No ma'am.
Sure, the lady's work was delayed further. But she dedicated the morning to the time she rushed out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel, with soap all over, because the darn cell wouldn't stop ringing and she wondered if it were an emergency, only to answer a marketing voice. The time when she was trying to break her head over a proposal and just when she thought she was seeing a thread somewhere, a customer service representative promised to deliver a song she does not even like on her mobile for Rs. 3/month. The many times she had to pull over while driving on the road, just because someone wanted to sell her something on the phone.
Revenge can be sweet.