Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Soon, no one will call me by my fathers' first name again!

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!


prasan said...

hey, have you become a "seasoned" bagalorean already ?! i thought seasoning takes a while longer. further, why not make the change of name unique ? "taranidhi" -- the guys will be foxed not knowing whom to expect, man or woman ! keep on blogging !! prasan.

N L Sriram said...

I use Nonavinkere as a telemarketer filter, very handy, just hang up the phone when addressed by that name!

I'm sure that the wife would have had no problems with the name if the Hanamanta was a hanawanta!(Rich guy!)

Old joke from Readers Digest - there was a person named R.B. Jones, who insisted that the R and B did not stand for anything, so in the records it was shown as R(only) B(only) Jones. His first paycheck was made out to Ronly Bonly Jones!

We selected a doctor once based on the name - Radha K. Balagani, thinking that it would be a lady, perhaps Sindhi, turned out that it was a Telugu man - Radhakrishna!

At a previous company, Mark became Melissa with a sex change operation, and had to be given a separate restroom as the ladies were not quite comfortable with her (?) use of their restroom!

P.Varadarajan said...

Hi Doresamy Srinidhi - now you should have no complaint - this is a good one and most people would have first hand experience to relate well to this. I have always been called Mr.Varadarajan during such attempts by
telemarketers; no - not because they are deferential to some, but only because I left them with no alternative,since I refused to expland my initial P, precisely to avoid situations like the one you describe. So, left with the choice of addressing me as P or as Varadarajan, they sensibly chose the latter. But, it is indeed true that some websites generate automatic messages addressed to me as Dear P. Cant win all the time I guess.

The reason I kept it as P.Varadararajan wherever I can was just to spare my father's name some mangling.
P stands for Periathiruvadi in my case and that is my father's name. When I ran seminars and other sessions in various countries and invited questions, the foreign audience invariably began with `how can we address you
in short?'. They were hoping that P stood for Paul or Peter or someting simpler than that, but I kept insisting they called me Varad. When they really got interested in knowing what that P stood for, I arranged for a janitor to stand by so that all broke teeth can be swept up quickly to clean the place up and then said what P stood for!
It is another story that the short name began with Varada, became Varad, then Vara and by the time I left Hong Kong
it was Mr.Va!!

Well. keep writing.

R.Shivashankar said...

Nidhi, in this part of the world thru the govt there is number to call & they can block those calls. They give u certain date from & to & need to call during that period only. Once you do that , u r free from telemartketers, find out they must have it in India also. Try googling. RS