Missed Call..!

Trust us for coining words that have no parallel. “Give me a missed call!” I told my American friend as I left him at his hotel.

“A what?”

“A missed call!” I explained.

“What’s a missed call,” he asked still looking perplexed, “Either I call you or I don’t call you. You can miss my call, if your phone is off, or when you are on another call, but I can’t give you a missed call!”

“Oh yes you can,” I said, grabbed his phone from him and rang my own number, “Now watch!” I heard my own phone ring and grinned at him. “Now see what it says. What does it say?”

“It says you missed a call!” said my American friend, “Is that what you mean by ‘missed call’?”

I grinned with happiness, I was happy he’d finally come to know how we people operate, “A missed call,” I said, “tells me you have called, and I can call you back at my own time. A missed call,” I also explained, “is used by wives to remind their husband about something she told him in the morning, used by mothers to tell their children they are being remembered or well loved and for a host of other reasons!”

“All this without paying a paisa!” said my American friend with wonder.

“We are an ingenious people!” I said.

“I am sure you are!” he said looking at me seriously. “What happens if I accidentally pick up the phone?” he asked.

“That could be disastrous,” I whispered, “But then here in our country nobody does, we give time to the other party to place a missed call, then we pick it up on the third ring!”

“But if I picked it up on the first ring?”

“You would be considered very impolite, and would find nobody calling you at all.”

“But then when you make a missed call to me, you expect me to call you back, isn’t it?” asked my American friend.

“Yes of course, and within the minute, otherwise it would be considered very impolite!”

“So in other words I pay for the conversation which you want to have with me?”

“Right!” I said, smiling at him, for picking up so quickly.

“Suppose I don’t call you back?”

“You will,” I said, “Suspense is what the missed call is all about. You know you have to pay for the call, but it’s easier making that call, than spending time in suspense, and finally an ulcer!”

“You are a clever people!”

“Which is why we will become the largest economy in the world in twenty years time,” I said, “On all your missed calls, we don’t pay for..!”


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