Six One Nine

In exams I try to keep myself away from all distractions and the distractions away from me. I am not a genius in any way so academic books to me are like forced marriage. And one needs to forget, if not kill all his affairs in order to find the beauty in his marriage. So did I and on February 1st, 2014. I deactivated some social networks and powered off all my numbers in order to stay focused for exams. However on the night of February 19th, I got informed that one of my numbers is transmitting texts to one of my contacts who informed me. It was quite startling to me. I pulled the phone out of my drawer and turned the phone on. I was greeted by a “Registration Failed” dialogue. My number was in wrong hands. But that was not the only worry. All my accounts including some email addresses were linked to that number in two factor authentication. I myself found locked out because of the situation. Who and why would someone do this? It was the question hitting my head. I closed the books and opened all the email addresses one by one and with the help of some back-up codes I had printed and the password reset process, I was able to safely revoke that number as a key to the accounts. It took me some hours to do it. It was not a happy feeling removing that but it was necessary. It gave me an impression as I am dissecting a dead part of the body which if not removed would spread and cause more harm. At around 3 in the morning with my eyes hurting because of stress and wakeful state, I felt a little lucky that in there was no power surge which if had happened would have delayed things. In Pakistan, power outages are an unavoidable curse. I slept for two hours. The daily civil unrest in the country and use of technology tools in the spread of fear and terror across the country is one worry too. But why would someone want a specific number to do anything evil. They can use any number for that.


At ten in the morning, I was sitting in the customers relation office. After some reasonable explanation I was able to recover my number. I don’t know how exactly it happened but the CR officer told me that the number was reissued under a fake transfer and then ownership was also changed under a fake name. But who did that remains a mystery. In fact even when I am typing this message, I am getting a call from an unknown number which ends in a pretty similar number as mine. There are a million memories associated with this number which I never changed in more than a decade. And now another memory got added to it.


Aamir Bilal