Conked up!

In the best of my outfits I was ready early one morning and walked out of my room with some files in my hand. Curious mom could not hold her questions anymore , so she blurps them out " Whats going on? Where are you heading to?". I gave her the details of the meeting I was going to attend in a couple of hours and as I headed to pull out my bike the bowl of cereals on the table invited me for breakfast. Yes was on my way for an important meeting and I was getting late. So hurriedly I gulped the healthy cornfakes that I claim to be doing good for my health and set off for the day on my Activa Honda.

When I was riding my bike I sensed the vibration and realised that my phone was ringing. I stop at a curb (wondering how the hell I could find a curb on bangalore roads - remember I set off early that morning , traffic still not heaped up! and the pavement hawkers still not ready for the day!). I See an unknown number flashing on my cell phone. Not recognising the caller, I gently answer "hello Its [me]! who is it on the other end?" A sweet voiced lady starts with her well trained lines "Mam, this is Preeti calling from [XYZ] bank and we are offering you a free lifetime ..." Oh bull shit! It was one of those credit card or personal bank loans call representative who was calling to promote the new offer they had launched with. I have asked them to delete my number from their database every time they call me but I end up getting their calls every alternate day. I doubt their database imaging and refreshing happens in the meantime and my number reappears the following day after its deletion. Else why would I get these repetitive calls ? Am I the only one eligible for such an offer? I simply deny and end the converation by saying " Thank you Preeti or whosoever. I dont require any card". Unsatisfied she was trying to extract more information but I end the call and got back into the zooming mode.

Upon reaching the destination for the meet I turn the phone into silent mode to get rid of the likely inappropriate calls. I am in the middle of talk with the company's VP and I sense the vibrator on my phone turn on. I was almost done with the meet as it went grrr! grrr!. I took my leave from there and as I walked out I remove the phone from my handbag to check on who's calling?? For be those advertising company then probably I would not even think of answering. But I saw a caller name flash this time. It was from my uncles' landline number. I received to find out whats the matter - this time it was my cousin bro on the calling end!

After a simple "hi - hi " I ask him whats the matter ? Poor chap got so scared and said sorry if he had disturbed me. He actually needed some technical help in analysing why his computer behaved so unruly at the first place, and secondly he wanted to let me know that his computer is really acting weird on boot up and it does not allow to execute any simple thread on it. With that little talk of over 2 minutes what I understood from his shreaky voice was that this Big system at his place was virus attacked and it needed a cleaning - Format. So as a piece of advice I asked him to be away from handling it for the day and assured him that the system would be doing fine , nothing to worry about it. I said I would come home and check if I could be of any help, else will give you details of whats gone wrong and whom to approach. Think he was still confused as his replies were short err.. emmm ..yess .. okay.. thanks. I got into this thinking mode of whether I am spurting out any spanish or latin.

As I end the call I hear a dark fat old lady call my name for the next presentation. It was 20 min past noon when I checked hands on the clock after the presentation completed with a Thank you slide. Time to leave thought I. Left the room and as I go back home I see the Caller ID flash again with my uncle's landline number. This time not surprised I answer "Yes tell me Bro...". He replies " Hey dont tell mom and dad that I called you home okay. If they come to know , they would think I am the one who got the computer to its current state ". I go bursting into short giggles " Dont worry ! I would pretend to have come for something else okay. No one would get to know that you've called me home". He sighed his fear off.

So we go (Sis and me) to check what we could best do to get this conked up system to right and working condition as before. When we reached their place in the other part of the city we acted so well [could possibly get nominated for Oscars: - )]. Casually asked bro about why he is not commenting on any of the recent photos I uploaded. He says with a sheepish smile on his face "Hey dont know my system is acting a little abnormal. Can you please check what the heck is going on with it ?" . That was the cue for our act to start. We turned towards the computer room and there we go booting it up. It was hilarious to see what popped up on booting. The words read something like - "Your system has been hacked ! you will not be able to run any of the system related services" (something close to this was up as a screen saver.) There was some virus routine which called itself to be run every 2 minutes - I vaguely remember its name say system block or something similar to it. We did not carry any Software CD's , also we did not have any OS boot up CD in order to format the C drive which was screwed. There is a guy who had helped bro once when the system had to be formatted before, so I asked bro to get the system formatted again seeking help from the same guy and assured everything will be fine on doing so. Upon format asked bro to use internet only after installing an antivirus software thats up to date - as a preventive measure.

A little snack at their place and off we are set on the journey back home.

Its been a week now but everytime I get a call on my cell phone I remember the conking machine at my Bro's place and the funny lines it threw across. :)

- Ashwini

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