"What the hell is happening? Who called from my phone?"
Sudden shouts that came from the sitting room caused ripples throughout the house. Seethamma, who was busy boiling tea, shuddered at the voice. It was a rare occation. Rajagopal Master, her husband was a man of cool temper and if he is making this noise, matter is serious. Seethamma ran towards the sitting room.
Akash and Anu had already reached there. Both of them where quite perplexed seeing the usually quiet, amiable Master fuming with his mobile phone in his hand.
"Who called and finished the balance? Tell me the truth!" Master's sound boomed again. His friends had compelled him to buy that phone. For years, when the whole population of the village was basking in the new found sensation of cell phones, SMS and SIM cards, he resisted the compulsion from friends, former students and family. What good was mobile phone for a retired school teacher like him? He used to maintain that it was for business men, who need connectivity on the go.
It took his friends, his former colleagues all now in the same age of autumn as Master, almost three years of continuous persistence to make him consider buying himself one. And Master, a careful spender, or miser in Seethamma's own words, used to be very particular in recharging it. Only once in a month, not more than Rs 30 and that too if there is a full talk time offer. He had charged for Rs 50 last day, and Rs 20was cut immediately thanks to the devotional pack that Seethamma activated. He was quite irritated by this waste of money, but Seethamma was a very devoitonal kind of lady who will not budge in that particular matter.
"I send an SMS for a quizz programme." Akash admitted.
"SMS is free for us, isn't it?"
"No daddy, not for contests." Anu chipped in. "Rs 10 gets cut for every SMS." There was a sound of blame in her voice.
"But Dad, there was a chance to win a DVD player, if the answer is selected."
"But what guarantee is there that you will get the right answer? I have seen some of your answer sheets and am sure you are not the type who wins quizzes." Master mocked his son.
"No Daddy, infact I got it right!"
"Tell me what was the question?"
"Who is the PM of India?"
"Hm.. and the options were, Manmohan Singh, Obama and Tendulkar."
"What a silly question? Who does not know the answer? Every indian will get it right and what are your chances of winning against that many entries? These are tricks by companies to loot money from customers, traps set to cheat fools like you. What a waste of money? So are you sure you have send only one SMS? "
"Daddy, I sent an SMS to India Too Have Talent!" It was Anu's turn now.
"Daddy, it is a reality show in TV. We can vote contestants through SMS and those who get more votes win." Aakash was taking revenge now. "The first prize is a flat in the heart of the city!"
"So what do you get after helping them?"
Master's face mellowed and he became quiet. He noted in his mind to offer some sweets to temple and burn a candle in the nearby church, for good luck with the contest.