The longest affair I have had in my life ended finally on Wednesday evening at 6pm. Some of my friends even called me to ask how I was feeling. Some gave condolences that now I am not committed, but others were just plain shocked. I never thought it would end this way, but I must say it was relief more than heart-break. I mean, it was time that I switched. Three and a half years is a lot now a days. But that was the catch when you took a Reliance connection in the days of yore. I was under the Dhirubhai Ambani Pioneer Offer, famously known as (DAPO). It gave me three years of free smses, super high rentals, great connectivity in lifts and far flung places like Dhanushkodi, but I was never happy that I had to pay for giving missed calls and when my fiance was too sleepy to pick up my calls. Also I never got messages or calls from many people who insisted they called and my smses got delivered atleast 3 times to everyone’s inbox.
But with a sad heart, I went over to the now so familiar Reliance Webworld to handover my account. I say familiar because I made the rounds of the shop for a month before getting my hi-fi flip-flap phone three years ago. Then I ran from one Webworld to another searching for a replacement phone for the hi-fi (but useless) flip-flap-flop phone. The latest running around was for retrieving my number from a hacker who made ISD calls from my number while the phone was still with me. Yes! That is possible and it is a crime. There is a department in Reliance that takes care of the same, but it is a secret department. Even the webworld employees or call centre employees do not know about the existence of this department.
Somewhere along the way I realised that the only people owning a Reliance connection were small businessmen, people who had a corporate connection or just people who liked to cheap. All these categories were not acceptable to me. Then there was a class of couples who would both buy a reliance phone to talk seamlessly and endlessly. So I settled for the ‘Ok-I-am-a-cheapo-so-what-you-people-are-big-snobs’ tag. All along a nagging feeling of what people must think now that I am self-employed and have a reliance phone kept surfacing every time business was slow. Slowly and surely I started hating the fact that I was the last to enjoy ringtone transfers, mms and all the goodies that my GSM friends boasted of. I was to be one of the millions of children of the lesser God.
But things changed and I soon understood that it is in my hands to change my fate. GSM technology ruled over the world and even if I play the underdog, I guess the rest of the world could be right at times. They are always right when I buy an electronic appliance which cannot get serviced because no one else in the world has it. So with technology i realised that the more number of people have it, the lesser hassles you have. Because technology has to be seen as an enabler instead of technology itself as an end…… That was from the speech I was to deliver in “CDMA: ‘Loop’ wholes in technology” at the World Mobile Summit held in Never Neverland on 30th February, 2007. But I digress…
Anyways, how many times have you got messages that say ‘Change of number’ and how many times do you call back to ask ‘Why, what happened?’. Well, I got calls from concerned friends who could not understand why I would do such a thing. It was almost as if they loathed trying to remember another number and every time they thought of me, 9322104060 would play across their memory of my face. But for all those who are worried, I changed it because I am not longer under the 3 year plan (which has penalties amounting to Rs. 8000 if you choose to withdraw earlier) and I own a GSM PDA which I feel is being grossly under-utilised as its main function till recently had been to entertain my husband with a game called Bubblebreaker (which he claims he has top scores in).
But I must sign off by saying that Reliance Mobile is a great product at a great time for a great deal of people, and had the servicing been as good as the product benefits, it would have made it to the case studies of our children’s BSchool texts as a company that single handedly revolutionised telecom industry in India.