The intellectual, soon-to-be U.S. president Obama (whose visiting card, in India, would have said “O B.A., M.A.”) calls and our PM could not take the call because he was travelling. Vodafone he has!!! After 4 years as PM, he doesn’t even have roaming. What is he? A sub-prime minister? Anyway, Manmohan decides to rectify this and many other problems with his phone. He makes a call to customer service.
Husky Female Voice : Thank you for calling Vodafone. If you want to continue in English press 1. Hindi mein jaankari ke liye 2 dabaeeye. Woof bow wow bark woof 3 bow-wow.
Manmohan presses 1.
HFV : If you are an existing subscriber press 1…(and so on and on and on)
After pressing more buttons than a liftman in the Empire State Building, Manmohan finally gets through to a customer service officer.
CSO (in the tone of a waiter in an Udipi restaurant rattling off the menu) : Thank-you-for-calling-Vodafone-this-is-Rakesh-here-how-may-I-help-you?
Manmohan Singh : Namaste. This is Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India.
CSO : Yeah sure. And this is the dog from our TVC.
MS : Please don’t be pugnacious. I really am Manmohan Singh.
CSO (skeptically) : Er…is that so? In that case, you will have to answer a secret question to verify your identity.
MS : Go ahead.
CSO : What colour is your favourite turban?
MS : Light Blue.
CSO (startled) : Ofwwrwgf. You are Manmohan Singh. How may I help you sir?
MS : You see, I have some technical doubts regarding my phone. I checked with my Minister for Technology – Kapil Sibal. But he was busy allocating spectrum. He tells me Reliance is going to be given violet and Tata gets indigo. Anyway, coming back to the issue, I would like a tech person to visit me and configure my phone for me.
CSO : Sure sir. Happy to help. Could you tell me what you need? So that I can brief the technician.
Sure. Firstly, I am getting very confused with all the ministers’ names. You see, I have 78 ministers. 30 of them are in my cabinet (which of course, leaves room for nothing but one spare blue turban). To make my life easier, I want to store their names as nicknames.
CSO : That can be done sir. Why nicknames?
MS : It’s easier to remember them that way. I want Lalu stored as “fodder of the nation”, Arjun Singh as “reservation counter”, Ramadoss as “banned-it king” and so on.
CSO : Can be done. Er…sorry for overstepping my bounds sir. I know I’m just a mere citizen, but why do you keep so many of these people? Why, for instance, do you need Kamal Nath.
MS : Why not, I say. He follows customs. He does his duty. That’s what commerce needs.
CSO : Er… Shivraj Patil?
MS (indignantly) : Please!!! After seeing how Obama won, I am convinced that we need Shivraj. He represents the change platform. Moreover, as home minister, he has redressed every grievance.
CSO : er… I see. Sharad…?
MS : Oh, that Pawar hungry fellow. I don’t really need him. I put him in agriculture only so that our cricket team will do better. You would notice that these days, our players dig themselves in and plough through the opposition. In fact we will be top seeds in the next world cup. All this is because Sharad is the agriculture minister. Imagine what would happen if I gave him fisheries.
CSO : But what about the farmers?
MS : Aw. They are just a confused crop. They drink pesticide and spray Coca-Cola on their plants. Coming back to my problems… I would also like to upgrade from 2G to 3G.
CSO : 3G hasn’t been launched yet sir. Why the hurry?
MS : Oh, no real hurry. So far, 2G was enough. I had only Sonia-ji & Rahul-ji to call. But I heard Priyanka-ji may enter politics. So I just want to be prepared.
CSO : Umm. Noted sir. Anything else?
MS : Yes, yes. I would also like to have different ringback tones for different people. When Prakash Karat calls, I want him to hear “cheeni kum”. It’s good advice for him. Heh Heh. Amar Singh should hear “naach meri bull bull, tujhe paisa milega.” And so on.
CSO : Sure sir. And if Sonia calls…
MS : “Maa tujhe salaam.” And oh, before I forget, I want roaming activated.
CSO (surprised) : You still don’t have roaming sir?
MS (a bit apologetically) : Well, you know, roam wasn’t built in a day. In fact, I’m not a-loan in waivering on this. Chidambaram also doesn’t have roaming. You see, it’s not in our common minimum programme. So whenever I tried to get the facility, the left told me it wasn’t right. I used to think that I could manage without roaming because BSNL had installed a phone in Air India One. But I found out only last week that it was a landline. And silly me, I thought it never worked during flights because it had no air-time.
CSO : We’ll set it up right away sir. Anything else?
MS : Yes. Er… could your technician also teach me how to put the phone in silent mode. You see, the Indian parliament is the best that money can buy. So with all the buying and selling these days, I get calls non-stop. Not just from the MPs but their vassals also. And you know, the MP vassal makes the greatest sound. Heh Heh.
CSO : Of course. Of course. Thank you for calling sir. I’ll send the technician over. Where exactly do you stay.
MS (exasperated) : Obviously Race Course Road. The best address for horse-trading.
CSO : Sure sir. Thank-you-for-calling-vodafone-have-a-nice-day.
Disclaimer : The above conversation didn’t really take place. It is completely phone-y.
References : If you don’t follow Indian politics, this post will make no sense to you (please note that this statement does not imply that this post will make sense if you do follow Indian politics). In that case, do mention it in your comments and I will add the necessary links.