It’s a pain. I meant the phone cards. There are good ones and then there are bad ones. Some steal money and some steal minutes. Either way, you stand to loose those precious quarters and cents. If you are a desi, you would have succumbed to the diabolic world of phone cards. It’s only through a phone card you might communicate, Amma Sowkiyama, Appa Bankla Check pottaachaa, Ammamma eppidi irukka in a single breath to reduce your the minutes running out of a phone card. When you do this a phone card would stay for longer days, allowing you to say more Sowkiyamas for 10 days. There are also cards with which you call up on a sunday and talk all the 45 minutes in one full stretch. I prefer the former. The later might carry a potential problem. You would have nothing to talk for more than 20 minutes and just to evaporate the remaining minutes, you even ask for, What happened to Mettiyoli’s Bose mama ? or gossip about Pakkath aathu Gaachu aunty. That’s boring.
Starting from 5c a minute or less there are all types of phone cards which rarely connect, usually disconnects abruptly and would round-off for 6 minutes making to blink with jaws wide open. Whatsoever, you just can get out of the clutches of these rectangular credit card sized telephone cards which have flashy colors and a rani-mukherjee-on-her-mobile-phone picture on the corner.
When someone told me Reliance Infocomm has a pre-paid option to India, I discounted it thinking about the state of Reliance telephones in India. Reliance in India has become junta’s mobilephone. And you know what happens when you go-public. The rich and the poor buy it while the middle-class fearing misuse is still hanging around with Aircel/tel/whatever types. While Reliance’s market is so huge the customer service is pathetic. They have definitely improved their billing system but it might take a few years to reach corporates and upper-middle class.
While I was busy typing a toll-free, a pin number and an Indian telephone number before I could hear someone say Hello, my friends were calling India without too much hassle using Reliance Call India. I set to try out Reliance. Reliance India Call really rocks, I should say. After tons of bitter experiences with the 10c phone cards, Reliance charging 12c a minute just doesn’t matter. They don’t eat minutes, steal money in the name of rounding-off or make you embarassed by disconnecting on the middle of the call with your In-laws. All you do is sign-up, give your plastic money details and then just register you US home/mobile number. Pickup a $5 card option or whatever that suits of your talking capacity!! From the registered phone, call up the toll-free Reliance number, it automatically recognizes your number and you just dial-up the India number. Vrooooom. Before you could lift you fingers from the number pad, Amma says, Ennada Kanna Saaptaacha. I love it.