Letter from a Concerned Reader | Columns

‘I will be back,’ warns J. Mathrubootham

Respected Sir/Madam,

Sometimes like me, maybe you have also spoken on the telephone to customer service department in some bank or water purifier company or mutual fund criminal Charles Sobhraj underworld mafia. After listening to the same music over and over again for 45 minutes like A.R. Rahman concert, some young man or lady will say, “No problem Mr. Mathrubootham, you just send an email to my email address and within 24 hours I will send you all the details.”

So immediately you think to yourself: “What a professional and polite person behaving with decency. I will immediately send them an email to show that Mr. J. Mathrubootham has exactly the same level of professionalism.” You get up from your sofa, go to the computer, sit down, open Gmail. com, and spend the full morning drafting a detailed email with all the relevant information.

In between, as usual Mrs. Mathrubootham will come and make some unnecessary comments like, “Why are you writing one full Ponniyin Selvan to get a new chequebook?” or “Shall I tell the neighbours that you are sending this email, and internet will be slow for two or three hours?”

Ha ha ha ha I will laugh along with her on the outside, but on the inside I am mixing cyanide capsule in her evening Complan.

Then, continuing with professionalism, you will take a printout, read it, mark corrections, rewrite the email, take one final printout and then send the email. Suddenly, without warning, within two minutes you will get a response from the customer service executive in your email inbox. Kadavule! What a miracle is this, you will think.

Sir/ Madam, it is a total fraud. You open the email and it will read: “Thank you for your email. But I have gone on family trip to Kodaikanal and will be back in office only on the 21st of December 2045. In case of any urgent official matter please send email to my colleague Shahul Hameed who will assist.”

Urgent official matter it seems. As if you are Mr. Eureka Forbes himself sitting in the office and making water filter with your own hands.

Also bloody fool, you were talking to me on the phone just this morning. Suddenly to make plan and all like this without telling anybody, you are going to Kodaikanal or doing demonetisation?

Sir/ Madam, what to do? So you spend another 20 minutes and send the email to Shahul Hameed.

Once again you get an email within two minutes! Oh Shahul Hameed, you are the real professional, is what you are perhaps thinking. Useless. When you open email it says: “Hi! Due to unforeseen circumstances I went on maternity leave 10 minutes ago. In case of any emergency…”

No, it is ok, you carry on. (Ha ha! Some comedy.)

Sir/ Madam, I never want to commit such a mistake myself. That is why today itself I am informing you that Mrs. Mathrubootham and myself are going for one month trip to Kerala to meet our extended family members. We will celebrate Onam festival and also do some sightseeing in Munnar and Kochi and Quilon and all. During this one month I will not be able to send you any letters. And if you send any email, you will not get any response.

Kindly convey this message to your readers and ask them to manage somehow till October in my absence.

Yours in excitement,

J. Mathrubootham

Mr. Mathrubootham has threatened to resume his letters from October 1 — Editor

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 11:01:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/i-will-be-back-warns-j-mathrubhootam/article19554458.ece

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