Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Get your balance to minimum. Below 1 Rs. (NTC Pre paid SIM cards) and call.

Anyone. Anywhere in the world.

You can talk to the person for only about 1 second.

You will be punished, you'll receive an SMS saying "Your account fee:0.39 Rupees. Please recharge in time. Thank you!"

There is a lot of things you could say in a second. "HI, Helllow", "Wazzzap", or "Namaste", or "CALL ME" or "I MISS YOU" or "DIE" or "Wait" or

Just bad mouth them. But nothing more than a second.

Its news for me. I Did not know about it. And I found about this during my exams. At KU, exams last till one month, like a mela, but exams are when most of have free time. And, there is 16 hours of load shedding. So, there is a lot of free time.

And Its not a sin to play with your cell phone. Especially when there's no electricity.

And its no Intrusion on Privacy, in any country if you call someone and the phone cuts right after the person says "Hello".

But I didn't really think all that when I dialed an international number for the first time. It just happened.

First you have the usual NTC warning "Your Balance is getting low, Please recharge your account soon.", and then a different connecting tone sound. If the number does not exist or if the user has switched off the cell phone, You hear a completely different voice. Very different than that of the NTC chick.

Also, the connecting tunes are very long. Unlike Nepal.

My first call was Qatar. Everyone I called were cheap bastards. No one called back. I mean you're getting a missed call from Some other country and you don't reply.

My adventures were getting over before they started. Then I saw this advertisement.
You know, Karina Kapoor, in her anorexic body, says something about caller tunes.

Right there, I knew who to call. INDIANS. 0091 and 10 cell phone numbers.

Indians because they are the second largest populated country in the world and they are our neighbors, we know their language, we have seen their films, we know their culture, and we know how to um, flirt in Indian.

And yes, most Indians too are cheap bastards but some are really good ones. The good ones always call back.

When they call back we have to talk to them. I talked to them as a tour guide, who has some tourists coming to India and the person in the phone is our only hope in booking a hotel. They didn't book the hotel though.

I sometimes genuinely tell that that I was giving them crank calls. Because it doesn't cost me a cent. And I have this power to talk to anyone anywhere in the world. Only, they have to call back.

When I say this they either call me crazy or just switch off the phone blurting out really unheard Indian Slang.

But there is a must follow rule: ALWAYS TALK IN ENGLISH.

And, calling India, you get to hear caller tunes. Very different, very unique ones. I have been dialling 0091 971 (7 random numbers) and have been reaching south Indians. You can tell. Their caller tone is really you know, South Indian.

And they call back and you say "I like your caller tune, Its nice". That way, you can talk.

Its a nice pass time.

I had some fears after the first day.

I had called, India, Qatar, and America, and must have cost NTC some money. I havent recharged yet. And NTC cannot legally cut money from my account because it is a pre paid cell phone.

At the back of my Mind, I had the intelligence of India and America. You know, all those wild stories of RAW and CIA. But I have not done anything Illegal. I am not a terrorist. and Bush is no longer in power.

Yeah, I also feared the Indian Media. You know, lets say they found out. "One number TERRORIZING everyone in INDIA" will be their headline in Red color with dripping blood.

Indian Journalists will demonize me like I am some murderer, or a Drug lord.

Yeah and Nepali Journalists have not fallen far from that apple tree. There are some really great cases of character assassination in our own Dailies. But that's some other note.

For now,I dial. Randomly. And I talk, to strangers.

I am going to call.
I am going to call different people, from different backgrounds, who grew up differently, who got their cell numbers in a different way, who bought their cell phones in a unique way, and people who are brave enough to take a chance by calling an unknown number.

But these people who call back have one thing in common. They are all enthusiastic, and everyone says,

Hope NTC doesn't find out.