For a long time, whenever I was called on my mobile, the caller would hear a dignified ‘trrng, trrng’ not unlike a landline connection. I, on my part would hear a strident tinkling. And I had no complaints with both the sounds.

But, one fine day I was shocked to hear my son remonstrating, “Mom, what is this new music I hear from your mobile when I call you up? Do you know they charge you for it?” I protested, “What music? I never asked for it. Must be some promotional gimmick.” and left it at that. After a few days, my sister-in-law called me up and I was a bit late in picking it up. When she heard my ‘hello’ she said, “I heard ‘Krishna nee begane baaro’”. I was totally nonplussed. “What are you talking about? When did you hear it? Was it Hariharan or Balamurali? On TV or on radio?” She explained, “Why, on your mobile of course” I said, “Good God! Is that thing still on? I never asked for it.” She said, “I thought it was your own voice recording”. After she signed off, I ran to my landline and dialed my mobile number. Yes, there it was. It was neither of my favorite singers nor was the song tuned in the traditional ‘raga’ laid down by the original composer. It was a totally different version rendered in a high pitched female voice! I am not a hater of music. But you have to credit me with bit of taste. This was a tune improvised by a highly creative music (mis)director for some Kannada movie. Hearing it was a totally painful exercise and unwittingly I was subjecting my callers to this weird aural torture.

Deciding to put an end to this, I rang up the helpline. After crossing so many hurdles such as, “Press 1 for this, Press 2 for this etc”, I finally managed to reach a human voice on the line. I blasted her in Kannada (nothing like your mother tongue when you want to let go a tirade). I told her, “Who wanted this stupid sangeetha (music)! Who asked you to put it on my mobile? Who authorized you to do it?” One advantage these call centers have is they can always pass the buck. She gave me a number to contact assuring me that it was a toll free one. She also begged me, “Madam, please don’t refer to it as ‘*# sangeetha’. They are called ‘welcome tunes’”
I tried the number. Got the reply, “This number does not exist” Then I tried to SMS. “Your request could not be processed as it was an invalid one.” I tried different numbers 3-4 times, every time getting the reply, “Invalid request”. Instead I got a message, “You have been charged Rs 10 and the welcome tune has been extended for 30 more days.”! And they sent me a fresh lot of tunes to choose from. I did not respond. But, since there was a number on it, I thought I had finally nailed them down. I texted, “I don’t want any tune.” Promptly came the return message carrying 5 tunes all starting with “I don’t want…..” and asking me to choose one of them! I also noticed that in my eagerness to get rid of the obnoxious tune, I had forgotten which number was toll free and which one was not and I was being merrily charged Rs 6 for every call and my credit balance had come down like the Twin towers of New York.

In total frustration, I gave up. Now till they, whoever is the provider of the infernal ‘welcome tune’, decide to stop the service to me, I am afraid the callers to my mobile will have to suffer the tinny, screeching of ‘Krishna nee begane….”. If it would discourage any, I want it to keep off the continuous stream of advertisers and service providers who keep calling me everyday at all hours.

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19 responses »

  1. vimala ramu says:

    Yes, the last resort. Thanks for visiting.

  2. Seetharam says:

    ” More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”- remember ?
    Just pray to Lord Krishna himself to save you. ‘ Gathi neene Mukunda hari………’

  3. knot2share says:

    Hello Vimala Ramu
    Hilarious episode. What got me into a loud laugh was the title “Welcome tunes” hahaha! We don’t have it in our part of the world. At least I have not come across it to date and thank god for that! I remember calling a cousin of mine from India once on his mobile and we kept hanging up and dialling again only to be welcomed by “Chaand sifarish” from Fanaa. Hubby and me had no clue if this was meant to be ringing or that the call just got transferred to somewhere else. I would like to find out what the person who is receiving the call hears. Do they also hear ‘chaand sifarish’ or ‘krishna nee beganey’??

    Enjoyed the post and humour.

    • vimala ramu says:

      Thanks for your comments, knot2share. No, the receiver of the call hears only a ‘decent’ ring or the tune which he/she has asked for and not ‘Krishna….’. I would have gone totally bonkers if I were to hear it 20 times a day!

  4. Irene says:

    Happened to me too, but I managed to get rid of it after some infuriating calls!

  5. d.om prakash narayan says:

    Madam,
    Your blog was funny and nice – but it also gives one the true picture of the cellphonewalas taking us for a ride.

  6. Indrani Talukdar says:

    Beautiful blog, Vimala. It happened to me, so I know how it feels. This was a morning alarm that rang out with a solid religious discourse while I would be doing my yoga!

  7. Sonal Shree says:

    It happened with me too and the song was AANKH MAARE O LADKI AANKH MAARE, SEETI BAJAYE…

    I was aghast especially because I was looking for a job change and there were so many recruiters calling me.

    Imagine my plight.

    These things add spice to life but can only be tolerated till the level of spice is moderate 🙂

    • Shail Raghuvanshi says:

      Ha Ha! Aankh Maare was it? My! My! It must have been terribly infuriating Sonal. I am laughing here. But then, it must have irritated you to no end.

      • Sonal Shree says:

        Yes Shail, this was indeed the song. Even I laugh recollecting it but back then , it was tremendous mental torture.

      • vimala ramu says:

        My dear Sonal. I can’t help but repeat Shail’s comments.’Aankh maare….’!!!.Atleast my tune assumes my callers to be religious minded!

    • Indrani Talukdar says:

      My non-welcome tune was a dreadful Himesh resmaiyya number!

      • Sonal Shree says:

        Ha,ha that must have been worst among all the cases mentioned here. Which song by the way? Himesh Reshamiya…yuck!

  8. Sneha says:

    Hello Vimala,
    I know…even I’ve mentioned this to you whenever I’ve called you. Hilarious but frustrating as well.
    Sneha

  9. Shernaz says:

    Thanks for making me smile Vimala with your narration, but it can be maddening when you have to face the music. (pun intended)

  10. Beyniaz says:

    Vimala, your blog made me smile although when i went through a similar episode of welcome tunes which just wouldn’t leave,I was furious!

  11. Droll ! But the fact remains that you get charged for things you haven`t asked and its not right. I have rebelled and got it corrected and even obtained refunds at times. You ought to do the same , please , just do it !

  12. Shail Raghuvanshi says:

    Vimala, your style of narration kept me laughing. Really, these e-tunes can be really irritating. This experience is quite common I think for most people.

    Keep it going Vimala:)

    • vimala ramu says:

      Hi, thank you all folks for your comments. If my travails can bring a smile on people’s faces, what more can I ask for?!As for your suggestion, Sreedhar, I am not cut out to be a fighter. I am one of the helpless victims.Thanks anyway.

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