Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When Akbar called Anthony to go shopping online for Amar

The following is a true story. The names and places are real :)

Sunday was almost over and I was enjoying the last few moments before resigning to sleep to face the work week again. Suddenly the phone rang with Akbar's name flashing on it. "Bol bhai, wassup?" "Bhai, vhai chod, what we doing about Amar?" "What about Amar?" "His birthday is 2 days away? We're gifting him something or not?" "Aah, yes. I knew I was forgetting something. We in Bombay he in Vizag, how we going to do it?" "If we meet up and then decide on something and then send it will take ages. Plus next week I’m loaded with work and won’t have any time. It’s better we do online shopping. It would be the best - fast and perfect. Would get delivered well too.” “You have a point” “Meet me online soon.” “Ok.”

Soon Akbar and I were on our system's - he in Thana and me in Malad seeing the same product and giving our comments simultaneously over the phone. “Akbar have a look at this tie and cufflink set. It would do well on Amar.” “Yes, but wait, let me send you another link, I feel this would go better. Change the color to brown and see. Also if you zoom in you'll see how deep the design is.” “Hmm, right.” “This same thing can be found on another site and the price is cheaper too. Also they ship in 3 days. This is good.” “Where can you see it? I’m getting a Site under maintenance message.” “What?” “Wait, let me check.” “Oh, bloody hell, yes. What horrid timing.” “Now forget, lets choose from the options we have.”

Akbar and I scanned through the items available. “Akbar I think this one is good from the lot. Also since we have got this set quite cheap and well within our budget we can go for a wallet, what say?” “OK, lets do it.” After spending a few more minutes on some wallets we made a choice. Ordering was a breeze. We just put in our details, Amar’s address (which we quietly sneaked out from him in the pretext of sending him a friend’s wedding invite which was more than 2 months away) and our credit card number. There were many other options available like Net banking and Cash On Delivery, but we IT people love to flaunt our credit cards . Within no time we received the invoice through mail and a delivery date.

“Wow, just an hour of shopping and that's it, we’re done. Yes, after seeing 4 shopping websites I think I’ve had enough. In the process we have signed up for free and earned around Rs.3000/- each for our shopping, now how cool is that?” “Very cool. Plus we didn’t have to move a bit and thankfully not worry about the packing and sending it to him with additional charges.” “Yes, here we can get regular updates on the delivery and also act like we didn’t send any gift when Amar calls up.” “Yes, that would be fun.”

We informed out friend group in office and told them the plan. All of us waited patiently for the day to put our acting masks on. Unfortunately, after a few days, like as if from nowhere I received an email from the site we ordered.

“You are receiving this notification because one or more items in your order XXXXXXXXX have been cancelled.

We were not able to keep up with the overwhelming orders received and unfortunately have run out of stock. We deeply regret the inconvenience caused to a valued customer like you. Please come back and check for these products again.”

I showed the email to Akbar and he went, “Bloody hell”. That means once again tonight it’s online shopping time. Hearing this both of us burst into laughter. We got online, ordered an item even better than the previous time (lucky we), filled in the details, swiped the credit card and were done.

Soon Amar received his first gift which he thought was his only and thanked us profusely for it, even though we played as if we had got nothing to do with it. In a week’s time he received his second gift and was totally bowled over. This time none of us could control our laughter.

I have never shopped online before for whatever reasons may be, but this experience makes me very comfortable with the idea. The best part being Amar receiving 2 gifts in a space of 1 week – shocked first and then surprised.

Online shopping not only made our day and brought a smile on our face but also surprised, shocked and overjoyed one of our closest friends far far away. So what if we are not together, we are still linked heart to heart.

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