Word count: 350
Mother with twin wailing babies.
Phone rings. She grabs a child, cradles phone receiver on crook of neck.
Good evening, madam.
Is that Mrs. Krishnan?
I’m calling from Eternal Insurance of…
Mother asleep on sofa. One baby asleep on chest. The other nestled in her arm.
Phone rings. Mother wakes up with a start. Feels around for the receiver.
She collapses back on sofa.
Mother is sitting on living room floor playing with kids. Phone rings.
Am I talking to Mrs. Krishnan?
Yes. Who’s calling?
Good evening, madam. I’m calling from Ignite Gas and Electricity company. Would you like to save on your gas and electricity bills every month?
Mrs. Krishnan, you can save nearly £500 every year by simply switching your service provider.
I don’t care.
Mrs. Krishnan, it’s me again…from Ignite…
Listen, you’re wasting your time…
Madam, please listen to me.
No…what’s your name?
What’s your Indian name?
Listen Sundar, I’ve no time for telemarketers. So stop calling me.
Mrs. Krishnan, are you also from India?
From one Indian to another, can I ask you a small favour?
Madam, I have an elderly grandmother at home and my wife’s pregnant. If I get your contract, I get a small commission. My mother has arthritis and it will go towards her knee operation.
Hmm…you get your commission…what do I get?
You get the best electricity and gas prices in the whole country. And we have capped our prices. So no increase for the next two years.
No, what else do I get?
You get excellent service including…
(interrupting) Sundar, did you say you have a grandmother?
My baby cries non-stop in the evenings…wind, I think. Can you find out from her if there’s a home remedy…call me tomorrow...same time.
Mother on the phone taking notes.
Powdered asafoetida? With honey? Mix the two and rub it around his tummy, is it? Okay, okay. Now, how do I transfer my account to you?
This is one of my entries to the flash drama contest, part of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. Details here if you wish to take part. Deadline 8th Feb 2009.