The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jul 10, 2017

Telephonic Discoveries

A few years of working in Delhi after graduating from IISc, I took up a job in Chicago. Once there, I began to reach out to old friends who'd preceded me to the US. Emails were becoming quite standard at most workplaces and it was easy to track people down. The acquisition of a discount phone card also meant I could call half the planet with impunity.

I heard on the grapevine that one of my classmates was moving to the US. She was working for Tata Consultancy Services. They had tentacles everywhere. Their engineers would usually rent a big flat or house and share rooms, just like in college. I called my friend in Bombay and her father answered. We'd met before and he knew who I was. We exchanged a pleasantry or two.

"May I speak to such-and-such?", I said.

"She is at the airport, flying to the US later this evening," he said.

"Ah," I said. "Where is she flying to?"

"San Francisco," he said.

"Is TCS sending her?" I said.

"Yes, she'll work at a client site," he said.

"Is there a number I can reach her at when she arrives?" I said.

He gave me the number.

A day or so later, thinking she'd have arrived and probably settled down in one of those TCS shared hangouts, I called the number.

A guy picked up the phone.

"Hello," I said. "May I speak to such-and-such?"

"Hello," he said. "She hasn't arrived yet."

"Ah ok," I said. "When does she get there?"

"In about 4 hours," he said.

"Who is this?" he added.

"I'm so-and-so," I said. "We were at IISc together."

"Ok," he said. "I'll tell her you called."

"Will she be staying there?" I said.

"Yes," he said.

"At that same address?" I said.

"Yes," he said.

"So I will be able to reach her at this number if I were to call tomorrow?" I said.

"Yes," he said.

"She's on assignment with TCS, right?" I said.

"Yes," he said.

"Are you working on the same project?" I said, just to be friendly.

"No," he said.

"Ok, thanks," I said. "Bye."

"Bye," he said.

A few hours later, my friend called me, fairly sizzling in outrage.

"What the devil do you mean," she said, "by asking my husband if I am going to stay with him?"

"You're married?" I said.

"Yes, of course, I'm married," she said. "Didn't you know?"

"How the dickens would I know?" I said. "You never told me. And your dad didn't tell me either. We spoke for nearly ten minutes and he never mentioned it."

"Well, now my husband thinks I know some seriously weird people," she said.

"Next time you get married," I said, "Be sure to tell me."

Years later, I still haven't met said husband. My friend still occasionally brings up the story of how I called the man to ask if his wife would be living with him after marriage. I should protest every time, but a blog post is better.


Anonymous said...

And you still wonder why the boy recommends his dad get a vasectomy?

Feanor said...

Ha. Welcome back.

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