Where’s the good old Tring Tring?

“Rishtey mein toh hum tumhaare baap lagte hai! Naam hai shehenshah!”
“Hello, kaun bol raha hai?” “This is Jay calling from Tata AIG Life! How
are you doing sir?” I realized I had missed to greet him Good Morning,
and so did the Quality Assurance team noticed. May be my newness to the
business went unaccounted. It was my 4th month in the Call Centre
Industry and probably just the second month of dialing. All other time
was spent in Soft Skills training and Product Training as well as
preparing for the IRDA Exams – a pre requisite for people who want to
sell insurance. Also I had switched over after completing 3 months, for
a 100% hike, from another Insurance Company (who claims to be no. 1 in
the United States)! Tele-marketing of Life Insurance was on hype and
only 2-3 private insurers had inaugurated the concept to Indian
Consumers. I wonder what went on with me that I had missed greeting the
Prospective Customer? It struck to my mind – the caller tune!

Whatt-e-weird concept is this Caller Tunes! And the Telecom Companies
making about 20-30% revenue from it. When you pay for a service, you are
generally expected to enjoy the service! But with Caller Tunes, you pay
and the callers get entertained – may be you have one of their favorite
tracks as your caller tune? Or you have one of their favorite bollywood
dialogue, or even their favorite Comedian’s best joke as your Caller
Tune. Sometimes you would even find funny caller tunes as well that
would take you all together to a different world!

You pay a confirmed rent of 30 bucks a month for the service. To
activate, you pay at least 3 bucks to 10 bucks and when your dear
callers are bored of listening to same one, you change it by paying
another 15 bucks per shuffle! Shuffled? Your best buddy says that the
new Caller Tune isn’t good! You shuffle it once again, at cost of 15
bucks! Your uncle finds this tune indecent one and he would complain to
your parents, if you are still the tender coconut of your family. Your
mom would then call you to check what is your latest tune. With first
ring on your cellie, you see its mom – SoS!! Pick up the phone urgently,
just to listen – “fone kyun uthaya, caller tune sun ne tha mereko.
Lakkhan Mama bataa rahe they, bahut bhadda hai tera tune?” Time to
shuffle again. You are spending a good time with your group of your
friends, and suddenly you find someone within the group calling you. You
would hold your phone in hand and look at him. He would acknowledge you
by replying – “Tera caller tune sun raha hun! Bunty bola mast hai, toh
dekh raha tha.” Sometimes they would even add – “Phone utha mat. Balance
cut jayega mera.”

Imagine a donkey braying in your ears or the squirrels squeaking in a
caller tune? You might even listen to bullets shooted by cowboys in
their street fight! Or Airplanes and  Fighter Jets zooming in your ears!
Imagine an Sardar singing the Punjabi Version of “Johnnie Johnnie, Yes
Pappa”, when you are calling up someone for urgent cash? There are some
regional fun stuffs also for you! Call up an Marathi Manoos and you
would listen, “Jai Jai Jai Maharashtra maajha…” Or call someone in
Delhi and you would get to listen Appache Indian’s “Jinhe mera dill
luteya…” Calling in South Indian States and there is hell lotta drama
there! A gentleman’s caller tune may be, “Yenna Rascallaa, Mynd It
(followed by a gunshot)”! Call an east Indian state and you can listen
to the sweeter Folk Music as well! Vibrant Gujarat, you will listen to,
“Sannedo Sannedo, Maataji no Sannedo” or “Prem thi Bolo, Jai Mata Di!”
An friend of mine got engaged and you call him to listen, “Jabse tere
naina….” from Ranbir Kapoor’s Sawariya. Caller tunes have been used as
a medium of expressing your feelings as well. You would call up an
Panditji to fix an appointment for a Sarpdosha Pooja and you get to
listen the Vodafone Song – “Everyday I want to fly….” You would then
think about Panditji kaa bhi kya choice hai! And he is unaware who
activated it for him? Your thoughts break when he receives and you
listen, “Jai Shri Krishna..Kahiye!”

This job of mine has given me a chance to experience so many caller
tunes, all over the country. From Srinagar to Kanyakumari, from Barmer
to Siliguri and even the hills of Darjeeling. The oldies have the retro
songs like, “kasme vaade nibhayeengey hum…” or “aaj rapatt jaaye
toh…” and don’t forget the “Meri umar k naujavano…” or
“dard-e-dil…” The college-going-boys has Ranbir or Salman Khan tracks!
The College-Going-Gals have the Aishwarya Rai or Ayesha Takia track. The
Working men may not be aware of what caller tune they have. Whereas the
Working women might be seen arguing with the Customer Care about the
wrong caller tune getting activated. With any new movie promotions
starting on Media, you would certainly see the Codes of respective
telecom company’s Caller Tunes. SMS that code or keyword and the tune
gets activated on your Number. Sometime back, some seniors of our Samaj
had approached as well few Telecom Operators and they got through with
Vodafone. With Vodafone, they managed to launch the Caller Tune of our
Navkaar Mahamantra.

Another new feature that was launched sometime back – “press star to
copy the caller tune! Monthly rentals 30 rupees and activation charges
10.” This feature went a top hit as well. People then found it easy to
have a Caller Tune as good as their friend or business associates, even
without they been aware of. I have heard a lot of people criticizing the
feature and lot of people fighting for its de-activation, but the
Telecom Operator’s revenue from the Caller Tunes has been never declined
sharply.

I remember the bestest ever caller tune of my Jijaji! It had almost
shocked everyone! I was calling him for something! The call got
connected and after 2 rings, there was a female yak-yaking! “Hello, Bolo
naa! Woh abhi bathroom mein naha rahe hai……..” I did a “Hello” with
a thought in my mind, my sister doesn’t sound that super soft and sugar
mellowed. Also my sister would never talk to me in Hindi! Amidst all
this thoughts, he received the call and I heard “Hello, kee aaiyee?” It
was my jija finally and the first thing I asked, “iske pehle kaun tha?”
Most of the times I speak in Hindi to him. And he asks me, “naya caller
tune tha! Kaisa lagaa?”

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