Monday, October 17, 2005

The Pope visits the laidback Rebel

Very strange things happen when you take it on yourself, to mail anything to Italy from India. Recently my friend Julia asked me to mail her a copy of my book. This is an almost (though not quite) verbatim transcript of the mails we exchanged about it:

Julia: Uma, I would really love to read your book. I suppose I could order it out here but I wonder if you can send me a copy from India, which you can sign for me. If it’s a problem don’t bother. I am sure I can manage to order it from the net.

Me: Julia it’s no problem. I’ll send you a copy of the book.

Julia: If you give me your address I’ll mail you the money.

Uma: That’s fine Julia. Here is my address….

Julia: Thanks. I just sent you twenty euros. The note is in a sealed envelope between two post cards. Let me know when you get it. You can mail me the book after you get the money.

Uma: I will. I’ll write as soon as it arrives. I’m sure twenty euros will cover the expense though I really don’t know what it costs to airmail a book to Italy.

Julia: I think I’ll mail you another ten to be on the safe side.

Almost three weeks later:

Uma: The money hasn’t yet arrived but what the hell. The post is reasonably good out here. I’m sure your letter will arrive at some point. Am mailing you the book today.

Julia: Thanks – that’s nice of you. Am really looking forward to reading it.

Two days later an envelope arrives from Italy. Sure enough it is from Julia. Uma is excited at getting mail from Italy. She has almost forgotten what it is like to receive “proper”mail from anywhere which she can actually touch and feel and if she wants even chew.

Uma: Julia, your envelope has arrived. Thanks for the post cards. Very nice. Did you say you were sending the money with the PC’s or is it in another envelope?

Julia: Uma, the money should have been in between the post cards.

Uma: Julia, in between the post cards there was no money. There was only a picture of the pope.

Julia: The pope! For goodness sake, why would I send you a picture of the pope?!

Uma: I don’t know, I thought perhaps you respected the Pope and as a mark of your respect wanted me to have this picture.

Julia: Well I may have said I have a leaning towards the Catholic faith but there's plenty I can't find my way to agree with and anyway what about dear Osho etc. I have lots of books on him but only one in English and I'm going to send it to you unless you tell me expressly not to.

Uma: I guess we’ve been had! It seems to have happened on the Italian side but whoever did it seemed to have had a sense of humour!

Julia: Yes I guess it must have happened in Italy. I can’t imagine a postman in India slipping in a picture of the Pope in place of the twenty euros!

Uma: It’s no problem. When I come to Italy you can treat me to lunch.

Julia: I would love to do that! And meanwhile I’m going to send you that book by Osho.

Moral of the story:

If you must gyp someone do it with humour. It hurts the victim less when you make him/her laugh while swiping their money.


Jules said...

I'm glad you can take it like that Uma. Enjoyed your version of what happened and really I'm still laughing. It's as if the person who stole the money is saying 'Look, Uma, I'm sorry to be taking your money but I'm sending you a lovely benediction from the Pope to make up for it!'
No particular preference to Osho by the way. I like both!

Sujatha said...

This is hilarious! Sorry about your loss, but am happy I had a good laugh.