Ramakant Yadav the Internet edition

Random Ramblings Of Ramakant Yadav

8 March 2011

The late afternoon sun found me browsing the Internet. The seething frustration of the world at large, oozes out of the various personal and non-personal sites on the Internet, slips in-between the words on the screen, reaches out from the computer and slaps the reader in the face. The overwhelming pointlessness of the written word on the Internet, threatened to sweep me away in a flood of banality. With the last vestige of willpower, I switched off the computer and focused back on the real world. As the virtual world receded, so did my tunnel vision. I took a swig from the flask of water at my side, and thus refreshed, looked at the list of the other things I needed to do on that day.

My wandering eyes, fell on the sealed envelope lying on my desk. I tore the envelope open and out tumbled the contents. Among the myriad contents of the envelope was one large document that caught my attention. It was the phone bill. Two things stood out in the bill. Firstly, I was being overcharged by the phone company, other phone companies were offering better services for smaller consideration and secondly, the bill said in prominent writing at the top right hand corner, I was being offered bills in electronic form for free! I was intrigued; why would the phone company offer me anything for free? Early in my life I had learnt that companies do not offer good things for free. If they were to offer anything for free, it stands to reason, they would not be offering it for much longer. Money has a nasty habit of running away from companies that give away things for free. Thus, I was suspicious of the free offer being offered by the telephone company. In order to verify my suspicions, I looked at the "fine print" at the bottom of the bill. As most customers of most phone companies know by now, the fine print is where the real offer resides. Surprisingly, in this case, the company seemed to have environmental interests at heart and was willing to provide detailed bills for free, albeit via email. I was slightly tickled, maybe the environmental lobby at this particular company was really powerful. As I weighed my options in my mind, I decided to sit in the small balcony adjoining the study and think about the issue in the shade of the huge tree that grew next to my house. Open air and the bright afternoon in India, has a way of clearing the cobwebs of the mind. I made myself a cup of lemon tea to assist with the decision process. Lemon tea, as we all know, has both lemon and tea in it. The lemon shook me up from the late afternoon Internet induced stupor, and the tea made sure that I remained awake.

As I sipped the tea, with the letter lying on my lap, it came to me in a blinding flash of realization. I almost dropped my cup of tea, as the sly cunning of the telephone company came to fore from the fog of text that shrouded it in the letter. Of course the e-bill is being offered for free. Has anyone heard of a bill of another type? All bills are free. That is the nature of bills. They are supposed to be free.

To be continued...

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