Rahul da Cunha: Hello, is it me you're looking for?

By  Rahul da Cunha | Mumbai | Posted  18-Jun-2017

Illustration/Uday MohiteIllustration/Uday Mohite

So, I'm faced with a massive problem - a grave telecommunications issue - and it's this:

What song should I choose as my caller tune? I don't care about connectivity, wi-fi strength, more GB or less GB, or aesthetics, and no point having a diamond studded iPhone 17 or a Samsung Galaxy Android, which allows you to orbit Jupiter as well. No one will see these phones, most of the time they are tucked into a pocket, right? It's not like owning a Bvlgari Diagono Chronograph that's strapped to your wrist. Or a Rolls Royce X Amphibia Series that has a hovercraft component. These are mere cellphones, all similarly sized, usually black; even if you wanted to buy a Rs 20 lakh phone, it's not been made yet. So, how do you boast or keep up with the Joglekars in the area of handsets?

No, dear reader, you are who you are, based on the song that plays when someone calls you - it is that one decision on which reputations are made or broken. In short, what is your caller tune? Not a word needs to be spoken, you don't even have to be present; just call, and from the tune/song/melody that plays, you know a person, his taste, his metrosexuality or reterosexualty, his sensibilities.

Your caller tune defines you, it is your unique visage, the equivalent of your Aadhar card, your pin number.

Being a rockhead and a metal manic, for some time I had Guns N' Roses' Paradise City screaming into the ears of any early morning caller. This song played till my mother once threatened to never call again. It was Axl Rose vs my mother. Then, Vishal Dadlani solved my problem – he wrote the ballad Allah ke Bande and Kailash Kher cooed harmoniously into all my callers' ears. I lost all my Western music friends, who accused me of selling out, but I was pleasing the masses.

Obviously there was judgement – "Oh you SoBoite, who went to Cathedral School, and St Xavier's College, who lives south of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link - how can you listen to Hindi music?"

"Uhm, NoBoite, I don't know, I grew up watching movies at Naaz, Minerva, Super and Alankar, all of which were situated in South Bombay."

And then, one of the mobile co's came up with the invention of the century - multiple caller tunes.For different people I could select different songs.

So, when my mother rings, Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi plays. 'What a lovely choice, Rahul," she says happily. "At least I taught you something."

When my 70s rocker friends want to reach out, the comforting progressive melodies of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb wafts into their eardrums.

When it's a millennial who rings, and I want to avoid them calling me 'Uncle', it's David Guetta's Ricochet.

When my old Gujarati relatives call, from Rajkot or Gandhinagar, I want them to know that I am pious, and traditional. So, it's bhajans.

And, finally, to irritate NoBoites, who think I shouldn't trespass into Hindi, I've chosen, KL Saigal's Diya Jalao. What an idea, sirjee.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com

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