The telemarketing calls on my cell phone has gone up a lot recently! Some of them are downright irritating. If you answer the call, a mistake, you get a taped message in a artificially friendly voice promoting things neither you need nor want to know about!
Then there are the persistent callers who are taught to be informal, friendly and not give up. They are even trained to give you the impression that you just got lucky! It is as if they picked up your number out of a hat and were doing you a favor.
Their tone automatically becomes condescending, reminiscent of the quota days when you would be required to pay an advance for a thing which would be delivered whenever! Those days the sales guys would act supercilious and the boss man would not even deem to look at you.
Received such a call yesterday, a bad day, the carpenter was still on his way since morning and it was close to 5 pm and we had leave for dinner by 7 pm. 'Nothing new' a seasoned Bangalorean would say!
'Doreswamy' she asked 'How are you today?' in a tone which probably a rich aunt would use while addressing a poor nephew! She obviously had not read my blog on first names used by her breed of sales persons!
'Doreswamy is no more, gone!' I said and added 'Srinidhi here!'. There was a slight pause as she probably figured that I only knew colloquial English and replied 'Not there! No problem, can I interest you about the special offer we are making for a chosen few?' I would have pulled my hair out, if I had any. But trying to be polite, you do not mess around with people who sound like rich aunts, said 'Sorry some other time' and switched off muttering to myself 'Is there some way we can stop them?'
An answer of sorts came as I scanned the classifieds in Deccan Herald as we circled over Pune airport waiting for the weather to clear. There were scores of insertions for a 'Change of Name'. Curious I read them seeking to understand why so many wanted a change in their names.
There was one insertion where parents changed the name of a minor from 'Tejaswini Shamma R.... N....' to 'Tejasri Bangalore Raj' in the USA. That probably makes sense as we all know how people struggle to pronounce our names (God only knows why!) in that God's own country.
Then I saw another change from "Hanamant' to 'Hemant'. Makes total sense as which girl would marry a 'Hanamanta' however divine the name or perhaps his bride must have persuaded him later on their honeymoon. I am sure he is still getting over the trauma of being constantly teased in school!
I have no clue why Ashok K B changed it K B Ashoka H..., except may be as per advice of a numerologist! Probably Ramamohana became Ramamohan for the same reason. While Karpagam became Karpagam Sarah she would have no issues with the telemarketers as she would still be Karpagam, unless of course she wanted to be known as Sarah.
I noticed that some changes were totally drastic; like Shankar Singh became Ishaan Mehra. There could be many reasons for this. In one change the children adopted the name of the step father! Could become a fascinating study if we could interview them and get the real reasons for the changes they sought to legalise.
It is about this time, as the pilot announced that the weather was cleared to land and there was no reason for us to fly to Mumbai and we all applauded in relief, I found the way to stop the telemarketers from calling me Doreswamy! I noticed 'Pushapalatha G' had changed her name to 'Nikitha'! Just only one word.
That is it, I am all set to make an affidavit before a notary and let it be known to the world at large 'Henceforth I shall be called 'Srinidhi' only'. Of course those who are used to calling me 'Nidhi' may continue to do so! The only problem seems to be to tell the telemarketers about this. One way is to call them up one by one. Should be no problem as I have their numbers on my cell phone!