Mumbai Meri Jaan

It took close to 60 hours to wrest Bombay back from terror. But it took barely 5 hours after that to circulate this SMS …

“The tragic events in Mumbai remind us how precious life is. We r with u always. SMS FG to 567678 for Total Insurance Solutions or claims if any. Future Generali”

Is it me or is it actually perverted that people take advantage of a tragedy of this scale to market themselves? In the first place, I find a total lack of professionalism to use SMS lingo in such corporate marketing, ala “We r with u always.”

I’m sure many of you have been bombarded with similar pitches for a virtual garage sale. For all I know, bullet proof vests, guns (machine or otherwise), grenades, will be hawked side-by-side with all sorts of insurances – life, property, hospital, general etc.

Somebody will make a video game; while someone will sell debris from the site online as mementos. Toy companies will make commando figurines and cellphone operators will make a killing from disgusting forwarded messages.

Facebook and Orkut will create patriotic/sympathy groups and bloggers will add their two-pence worth views. Some photographer will peddle his photos, while the media will do just about anything to get their TRPs.

Speaking of the media, it is amazing how they gain access to places where seemingly even the NSG and the marines can’t go. To get their ‘breaking news,’ they will broadcast any rumor that is doing the rounds. For a soundbite, they will shove their mikes into the faces of anyone who looks remotely, pardon the expression, terrorized.

And how can I forget … I am waiting for the beloved leaders of our country to shamelessly bellow their take on the horror. One party will fall all over itself blaming the other, while one will cry itself hoarse that this is a time for national unity.

National unity my a**. Those goddamn terrorists are more united than us, more fearless than us, more devoted to a cause than us. I give them that much.

Let’s take a leaf out of their book and learn from them the values of honesty, loyalty and sacrifice and use it for a better reason.

Saar Credit Card Saar

Some of the smartest answers I have seen people dealing with unsolicited calls for ‘sir free credit card sir,’ ‘sir, personal loan sir,’ ‘exclusive offer for only you sir,’ and other such calls:

Phone rings. Sir, xxx bank is offering personal loan upto xxx on unbelievable terms. Ok I am interested. Can you give me the details. Yada yada yada yada. Fine I also want to know about payments. Blah blah blah blah. Ok, ill take it. Smart choice sir, if you will help me with a few details, what is your name and where do you work? Oh, I thought you knew. I am unemployed and that is why I needed the loan. That person to date has not got a call from the bank again.

Phone rings. Female voice offers life-time free credit card with lowest interest rate in market, friendliest repayment options, exclusive discounts/offers on using the card. Great, that is exactly what I need. Thank you sir, if you can give me some personal details. Actually this is my office phone and I cant use it long, so can you come over to my place tonight at about 9 pm to complete the affair? No further calls.

Phone rings. Sir, I have a exclusive offer for limited period on a car/house/personal loan and if you take it now you will benefit by yada yada blah blah . Really, what luck I needed a loan desperately and which bank are you calling from? Sir, from xxx bank. You should have told me earlier, the state general manager is a chaddi buddy of mine yaar and how come he never told me about this, I’ll call and ask … hello? Hello?

Phone rings. Sir, we have an offer for a lifetime free…. Excuse me, but which bank are you calling from? Oh sorry sir, I am calling from xxx bank. Oh ok, and what did you say your name was? Sir, this is xxx. Ok, xxx thanks for the details and you and your bank can expect a call from TRAI authorities soon for an explanation on why you called me when my number is on the do-not-disturb list.

Till date, no further calls...