Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CHAOS THEORY - The Butterfly Effect

Anyone heard of the above ?? Am sure people would have got familiar with this after the release of 'Dasavatharam'. The 'Butterfly Effect' is a concept in Chaos Theory which says "A small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere". Example, a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro might change the weather in Chicago. You might question "How can a Butterfly flapping its wings influence the weather in Chicago ??". The logic behind it is, a small event at one location can trigger off a sequential of events, which ultimately might result in a huge catastrophe somewhere else. I experienced it myself.

"I forgot to take my mobile when going to witness a Cricket match in Dubai. My friend got arrested in Chennai". Do you see any link between this two incidents. To understand the Butterfly effect, just read through the below.

07-May-2009 : It was a Thursday. I was in Ajman project. Me and Balaji Murthy (my team leader) were rushing to pack-up for the day. We had sought permission from the Client to leave early for the day, the reason being, to travel to Dubai to witness the 20-20 match between Pakistan and Australia. The match was scheduled to start at 19:30 and we were already running short of time. We managed to start from office by 17:30. We booked a cab and proceeded towards Dubai. Just as we started, I suddenly remembered that, in the hurry, I had forgotten to take my other mobile (had two mobile. One with UAE number and other with Indian number). It was loaded with my Indian SIM card which has a postpaid connection and International roaming. Since our test lab was a pretty safe place, I didnt bother to return back to collect it. The priority was to be on time to watch the match.

The match turned out to be one dull, drabbing, one-sided game. Pakistan won the match pretty comfortably. After the game, Balaji Murthy proceeded to Abu Dhabi and me went to my sister's house in Dubai. After spending the weekend there, I started to office on Saturday early morning from Dubai. Dubai to Ajman is just a 40 mins drive by cab. I remembered that my mobile had been left behind in office on Thursday. So I ensured that I reached office well ahead than the usual time to retrieve it. I reached office at around 8 a.m., pretty early for me to report on a weekend. I saw my desk and the mobile was missing. Panicking, I called up the security, he said it was found lying unclaimed on Thursday, so he had kept it safely in a locker. Feeling relieved, I thanked him and got back my mobile. Rest of the day went on as usual.

11-May-2009 : As usual I was exploring the T24 system to unearth defects in the TF module when my friend Ganesh from Chennai called up. It was unusual for him to call me at this time of the day. Wondering what the matter is, I picked up the call. He didnt even say a hello. Straightaway he started with all the bad words that can be found in the Tamil language. He further continued by questioning me 'To which girl were you flirting for the entire night over the phone for the past two days'. I was surprised. Although my Indian SIM card has an international roaming, I hardly use it for outgoing or even incoming. Last week, by mistake when I had picked up an incoming call, which eventually turned out to be a sales call from ICICI for a credit card offer, the amount charged was close to Rs100 per minute for an incoming. After that incident I have not used it for any calls, I explained him. "Then why the hell is the Hutch representatives standing at my doorstep early in the morning and asking for immediate payment ??" he asked. My Indian SIM card was registered in Ganesh's name, but I was the one using it for the past 5 years. All these days, I had never defaulted on any payment. Even the last month payment was done on time. I was wondering why then the Hutch people are troubling him now. Coming back to the conversation

Ganesh : "You say that you have never used the SIM, then how come the bill amount is so huge and the Hutch agents are pesturing me for immediate payment"

Me : "What are you blabbering. The bill amount was just around 1000 Rs and the payment is already done. After that only a couple of incoming call was attended. Anyway what is the bill amount now ??"

Ganesh : ******* (some bad words).. "Its more than One Lakh da"

Me : "WHAT CRAP !! Are you drunk early morning"

Ganesh : *********(Again some bad words)

Me : "Ok ok. I think there might be some problem in their billing. They might be using some crap faulty system. Don't bother them. Tell them to go off. If they insist, ask them for the bill

Ganesh : "Its not the one month bill da. Its the bill for just two days"

Me : What !!!!! Tell them to give the bill details. Scan it across to me immediately once you get it.

After the phone conversation, I just forgot about the whole incident. I didn't bother about it too much since I was confident that it was a billing mistake

12-May-2009 : Early morning, I saw that Ganesh had sent the itemised bill. I opened the attachment. Every detail was correct. I scrolled down to see the bill amount. It read Rs 106,249.00. I didn't know how to react. I was sure that there was something fishy in it. Then it stuck upon me. I saw the call time and date. All the calls were done on 8th and 9th May. I realised that someone had used my mobile during these two days when the mobile was lying in the office. I checked the call register in my mobile. It didnt have any details. The person was smart enough to delete them. I kept staring at the bill. Such a huge amount. Only way to pay is to take a loan. Meanwhile back at Chennai, the Hutch authorities started harrassing Ganesh for payment. I was trying to figure out who would have made the calls. On 9th May, I myself had seen the security taking the mobile from a locker and handing it over to me. I used Google to type out each and every number which was listed in my itemised bill 'Outgoing calls' section. Google, as always has answer for everything. I found that 00880 was the international code for Bangladesh. All the outgoing calls in the bill showed that the calls were made to Bangladesh. It didn't take me too long to realise that it was indeed the security who had used my mobile. He was a Bangladeshi.

I was dumbstruck by the fact that, he had the guts to use my mobile for the entire two days (international calls made in international roaming) and to handover the same mobile to me the third day. I would not have even be bothered if he had stolen the mobile. The instrument would have cost me just less than 1500 Rs. I reported this to Balaji Murthy since he was my TL. He promptly escalated it to the Ajman Bank CIO. Meanwhile, that evening the security didn't turn up for the shift. It further confirmed our doubts. The CIO instructed me to lodge a complaint with the police. Me and Balaji Murthy went to the Ajman Police station. Meanwhie, the security was also caught and brought to the station. I have been to police stations in Chennai on a few occasions. But this was my first experience of lodging a complaint against a person, that too in a foreign land. A case was booked. Interrogation was done, wherein he accepted of having used my mobile. The CEO of the security agency who had recruited him in Ajman Bank came to the police station. He apologised to me for his employee's action and promised to pay me the entire bill amount. I felt relieved. I didn't expect justice this fast. That too within 24 hrs.

13-May-2009: I got the cash AED7,500.00 from the security agency. Although I got the money, I was sad that the guy will be imprisoned for atleast a period of 6 months. He was a young chap, younger than me. A dual case was registered against him. One from my end and the other from his employee (The security agency). The Ajman Bank CIO, on hearing this, took pity on him and paid AED7500.00 to the security agency from his pocket. He requested them to withdraw the case against the guy. He told me also to withdraw the case.

It took me a couple of visits to the Ajman court and some lengthy procedure to withdraw the case against the security guy. The irony was, I have never been to any of the courts in Chennai. Police station, Court..... this kind of sight-seeing, I didn't expect in my first onsite assignment. However, I was glad that the issue was solved. AED7500 was not exactly equal to the bill amount. It was less by around seven thousand. Paying 7000 from my pocket is far far better than paying one lakh, I thought. I called up Ganesh and narrated him the week long events. I told him that I will transfer the money in a couple of days. But he had a different plan !!

While I was busy solving the issue in Ajman, Ganesh had been getting abusive calls and all kind of ill-treatment from the Hutch collection agents. Even threatening calls were made to his mother and family members. During all these days he had sought the help of my elder brother, who is a lawyer. They had been fighting with the Hutch authorities explaining them that the SIM card had been misused by a fraud and the issue has been taken up legally in UAE. Moreover, it was the mistake of Hutch to not to have freezed the connection once the 'Maximum usage limit' was reached. But the Hutch authorities were not in a mood to relent. They continued with their unscrupulous attempts to claim payment. Considering all this, Ganesh had decided NOT to pay a single penny to Hutch because of their unprofessional and rude behaviour.

Ganesh : "Let's take it up legally through your brother and file a case against hutch".

Me : "But I have the money with me, lets better pay it. Why to complicate things".

Ganesh : "I will deal with this along with your brother. Why should we pay for a mistake done by Hutch. There is a concept of 'Maximum usage limit' beyond which if the charges shoot up, they are supposed to cut the connection immediately. The maximum usage limit for you is only Rs2000.00. Hence logically, they shouldn't have allowed the calls to go beyond that amount. It is their mistake. To add to that, for the kind of harrassment and abusive calls done by them, they dont deserve any payment. I will take it up legally.

After many such arguments he finally convinced me that we can discuss about it after I reach India. Till then no payment will be done to Hutch. So the money was lying with me.

After a week, suddenly the decision was made to end the project as the bank was going live. None of the team members expected this announcement. It was the month-end. Nobody had any money to spend for shopping. Then all eyes focused on me. I was the only rich man there, thanks to the AED7500 which I got. Within a couple of days, almost the entire money got spent. I distributed half the amount and the remaining I finished it off with my shopping. The project got over. I returned to India and happily set-off for a vacation to Manali along with my parents.

Days rolled by. The Legal battle between my brother and hutch was continuing through email conversations. I was reporting to Kilpauk office, spending my time happily in bench. Ganesh was also happy since the abusive calls etc had all stopped. Things went on smooth, untill one night at around 1 in the midnight I got a call from my friend's sister."Ganesh is arrested" she told. I immediatlely rushed to his house. His parents were standing on the gates, with terror-stricken face. They said he had been taken to the nearby Virugambakkam police station. I went there. My elder brother (the lawyer) was already in the police station negotiating with the police authorities using his Lawyer influence to somehow get Ganesh released. But they refused saying that the instruction was from a very high level and nothing could be done. They said he will be taken to Saidapet Police station, where the matter has to be taken up with the ACP, Chennai. Upon seeing me, my brother instructed me to go home immediately. While I was on the way home, he called up and told not to stay at home, but at his office. He said that I will be the next target for police so it is best that I stay at the Lawyer's office. He said "Go to my office. I have arranged for your stay. Don't come out until instructed. Switch off your mobile. Nobody should be aware of where you are. Not even our parents. Just stay there until I give further instructions.". It was around midnight 2 when I reached his office. I spent the night there wondering what had happened to my friend. It was a sleepless night.

Next day morning my brother reached office along with a bag which contained my dress and other stuff. I never thought things will go this serious. I asked my brother on the status of my friend and what happened the previous night. He explained me saying that the Police had watched Ganesh closely for a few days on his in-time and out-time to house and had deliberately planned to arrest him at the mid-night when he returned from office. They had all come in mufti and knocked at Ganesh's doors. Ganesh, thinking that they were some goondas sent by Hutch, pushed them and ran off to the street. He was chased by the policemen. While they were behind him, he had immediately made a call to my brother. Just as he was speaking to him, the police caught up with him. His clothes were torn and he was dragged. Meanwhile, the public had gathered. Hence, he was allowed to change the dress and was taken off to the police station. All this had happened in front of his parents' eyes. Hearing this, I felt really guilty. "I shouldn't have listened to him. I should have myself paid the amount" I thought. I called up the people to whom I had lent the money and arranged for 50K immediately.

Next day evening, the partial amount of 50K was paid at the Police station and Ganesh was released. That was the end of the drama I thought. It proved to be wrong when my brother told us that since all the calls were made to Bangladesh, the Police are doubtful about the caller being related/linked to ULFA militants. He said that, the investigation for that has been moved to the Central Dept. He said, the hunt for both of us will still be on, untill we prove that the calls were made by someone else. The hunt for me will be more intense since I had been dodging Police right from day one. They had already interrogated Ganesh and saw his passport. Since it didn't have a UAE stamping, they knew that the SIM card was being used by someone else. They tried their level best to get information from Ganesh about me. Thankfully, he was stubborn enough to deny them the information.

Me and Ganesh were locked inside the room in the Lawyers office for three full days. We were not allowed to even go out for food. Everything was given at the doorstep. I couldn't even call up office to inform about my leave. During these three days we managed to find all the documents related to the case which was booked by me in UAE, against that security. The problem here was, all the legal documents issued by the Ajman police and Ajman court were in Arabic. We got them translated by a Govt. approved Arabic translator. Finally on the fourth day, we came out of the hiding and visited the Saidapet Police Station. We both were escorted by half-a-dozen lawyers. Seeing such a battalion of lawyers, that too from the ruling party side office, the police were reluctant to drill me with questions. I was just asked to submit a statement and narrate what had happened. The hutch authorities were also present there. They withdrew the case against Ganesh since full payment was made to them. The chapter was finally closed a few days later after the Police authorities were convinced of the evidence provided by us and the cross checking done with the UAE police.

After this incident, the first thing I did was, to change the phone connection to my name. If at all, had I remembered to take my mobile along with me that day, all these wouldn't have happened. One small miss, lead to such turn-up of events.


Sri Kumar J


தமிழ் விரும்பி said...

Ask me about this.. i can still remember how ravi rushed out to police station when he got call from Ganesh - poor guy.

The Retardo Man said...

Whoa! That is some ordeal you've been through!