My cell phone rings, “Raju” the screen tells me.
Hello. Happy New Year. How are you?
Fine, fine …
I got your message …
Oh good Raju (wondering why he hadn’t bothered to respond when I sent it, three days ago). So now listen, when do you think you can come and fix the telly. The kids are going nuts.
Well I’m not sure what you mean …
You know, Raju, you know … the telly. It broke and you promised to come and fix it and you did and you took away a little part from inside the satellite dish and said you thought it had been cooked in a lightening strike and you took it away to fix it. You said you’d let me know how the repairs were going but I hadn’t heard so I sent you a message.
Yes, but I’ve been away and I still don’t know what you mean. What television? What day? I have been away for Christmas.
I know that Raju, this was after Christmas; you came a few days after Christmas and promised to have the bit back to us for New Year.
Raju, rumour has it, enjoys the odd tipple. His utter inability to recollect any of the details of several telephone calls and a visit to the house to fix the telly is beginning to frustrate me. I am beginning to suspect he might be drinking now, even as we speak. Or perhaps he was inebriated when he came by which is why he has no idea what I’m talking about.
Oh Raju, surely you remember, I plead.
Sorry mama, this is Raju in Arusha. I don’t know anything about satellite televisions; I own a clothes shop.
Ah. Indeed he does. And the only reason I have his number on my phone is because I used to do a little currency trading with him.
I apologise profusely whilst he busily – and sweetly – suggests a number of people who might be able to assist with television where he cannot.
I put the phone down feeling ridiculous.
He doubtless now thinks that it is I who has the drinking problem.
Hat suggests I edit my contacts, ”why don’t you put RAJU Arusha for that one and RAJU Television for the other, then you won’t look quite so silly”.