Late in the evening, it was my seventh desperate attempt to get the MMS service activated. A customer care executive, seated perhaps in those spacious, multi-rowed back offices, greeted me with an official greeting.

Here is how it went:

“I wish to activate the mms service.”

“Ok, may I know your name and phone number?”

“Sure, my name is … and my number is…”

“Ok, thank you, can I put you on hold for 30 seconds?”

‘Sure”

After half a minute…

“Thanks for holding on, Sir.”

“Ok”

“You will have to send an sms message to this number. The text is…and the service will be activated within 24 hours.”

“Ok. Is that all?”

“Wait, Can you tell me your mobile model?”

“The model is…”

“Ok, can I put you on hold to verify if it is compatible?”

“Sure”

“Thanks for holding on sir.”

“Ok”

“Yes, it is compatible.”

“Ok, thanks a lot…”

I am about to hang up, when she interrupts.

“Let me give you full details…after sending the sms, you will receive…then switch off the phone and put it on again.”

“Ok! Thanks a lot. Just to confirm, the sms text to be sent is…with a space?”

“No, there is no space between the two words.”

“Oh, I see! Thanks!”

In the end:

“Are you satisfied with the company’s service, sir?”

“Yes, thanks a lot.”

“This is so-and-so from the company wishing you good evening. Have a nice day.”

“Same to you, thanks.”

She was well meaning and in earnest; there was a desire to help. It does affect us, the emotion of being in earnest. I appreciated the motive and felt happy.

At the time of writing, I am still without the service. The sms message I sent begot a reply saying the database (don’t know which one) could not be accessed. The MMS database is being updated, I later learnt.