Even in this age of Whatsapp, there are some who have the habit of giving missed calls to friends on mobile phones. They do so hoping that the receiver will call back. Though some of them are well-to-do persons having enough money in their pockets, they don't want to waste their talk-time discussing unimportant things.
I have some 'missed call friends' as well, who consider it their birthright to consume my talk-time at any hour of the day or night. If I fail to call them back immediately, they react as if I've committed a crime.
A few days ago, I received a missed call in the middle of the night. It was from an unknown number so I took it for a prank call and went back to sleep. After about five minutes, the phone rang again and the same number flashed on the cell phone's screen . When I received the call for the third time, I answered it angrily. The person on the other end was equally angry and said sternly: "Why didn't you call me?"
I retorted: "How could I have known that the call was from you? Moreover, is there something so urgent that you had to give me a missed call rather than waiting for me to answer it?"
My best buddy replied: "I just wanted to tell you that I will not accompany you for the morning walk. So, don't call me up in the morning because I want to get up late."
Thanks to my sleep-loving, missed call friend, I was robbed off my sound sleep.
I don't remember my wife giving me a missed call in the last three years. In the rarest of the rare occasions, she would give a missed call that would last for a minute or two. However, when I don't take her call or fail to call back immediately, I am bombarded with five to 10 disturbing calls in a row.
When I look around, I find that the lovebirds in the country are one of the biggest patrons of the missed call culture. To woo them, mobile companies have introduced offers in which if you purchase a Sim card, you get another one free. Fortunately, the good part of this culture is such missed calls are not always disturbing. Sometimes, they prove to be pleasant exchanges.
Thanks to the missed call, I now have a friend in a Shimla-based professor. Two years ago, I received a missed call and when I called back, I heard a friendly voice on the other end. He asked me my name and when I was not the person he wanted to talk to, he apologised for dialing the wrong number and hung up.
However, after a few days, we exchanged calls and became buddies.
Unfortunately, miscreants these days make a fast buck through missed calls. I realised this when I was charged heavily for calling a number from which I had received a missed call.
I don't respond to such calls anymore.
Recently, one of my friends asked me to give him missed calls as he had sufficient talk-time that mostly remained unused.
I am now on my way to becoming his 'missed call friend'.
It's now time to find out what it is to be on the other side of the fence.