January 23rd, 2008

boy with dog

Mistaken Identity

I have a Vodafone connection for my mobile, and the number I got on June 3th 2003, let us call it 98860abcde is still the same one that I have. Considering Vodafone, then Hutch, had just about commenced its operations in Karnataka, and it was yet to engage in the process of recycling numbers, I think it is safe to assume that I was the first and so far, only owner of the aforesaid number.

I have had the occasional case of mistaken identity when I have been mistaken by some thugs to be the leader of a rival gang, and had received death threats in lieu of the same following which I had to resort to going underground for a while until they realized that they were after the wrong guy.

There has been another occasion during which I have had some people from random towns all over Jharkhand call my number, asking for food recpies and such, and asking when I would come back home cause everyone there at the association missed me so much.

Such minor happenings did have me quite non-plussed but none of these have impacted me as much as the case of a certain Mrikunj, some arbit person for whom I have kept on receiving calls for a prolonged duration at the oddest of times.

I think that poor sod has the number 99860abcde (double nine eight) as opposed to my 98860abcde (nine double eight), and either him or someone else who knows his number has made le grand error of actually misplacing a digit while transmitting this information across to other parties that have wanted to talk to the said person.

This has resulted in many days of my existence that I have deemed as the worst of my life, including occasions on which I have received calls while riding bike through busy Bangalore traffic, in which case I have actually stopped on the road and called the person back, only to know that it is that arbit chappar that the caller wanted to speak to.

Imagine hanging up on a conversation that you are having with someone you know, when you have another call waiting and to then receive the call for this said nitwit who couldn't even give out his number properly.

I was initially assuming that it was a case of mistaken identity, just like my number was assumed to belong to some thug and subsequently to the Jharkhandi pickle makers association President, but when I got more calls for this guy than I did for myself, I just was wondering if it was time to retire my phone number, just like retiring jersey numbers.

It isn't funny when you are sitting on the john in the morning and you finish your business early to rush to pick up the phone, only to know that it wasn't meant for you. It got to a point where I used to pick up the phone and automatically say - 'please dial 99860abcde, this is not Mrikunj's number' or something like that.

(it would be cool to include some fiction here in this piece and mention how two or three people on my actual address book called my number and asked for this now annoying Mrikunj, but I have been told by about a billion people that I should not exaggerate, and hence I shall refrain from doing so).

Anyway, after a long hiatus, I just got a call for this guy again today, and I was again thinking of how, had my scruples not prevented me from defacing public property, I should scribble his number in shady toilets all across town and on BMTC bus stops and have him receive calls for alcoholics anonymous or some STD hotline.

Should these calls continue, I have a very good mind to actually put all my nefarious schemes into actual implementation!
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