Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Answering Machine Message

Sometimes you can comment on a person's outlook and philosophy of life by his answering machine message.

I called Jashim* (guy I know from intramural cricket) the other day and got his answering machine. When I heard it, I went back through all the messages this guy had over university. I remember the gist of those messages as it was a funny comparison to his state of life. So I emailed the following post to him and we had a good laugh. He had no problem with it being on my blog, so here it is.

First time I met him was during my second year - he had just arrived from Bangladesh a few days ago. He was a bit older than us, a transfer student to York, and played good cricket. Couple of days later, I needed a bowler for a match, so I got his number and called him up. He wasn't in, and his message went something like this. This was after a week in Canada.

"Assalam-alaikum-wa-rahmatullah! You have reached Muhammad Jashim Abdus-Sattar Noor [insert full name tracing lineage back to Adam here]. I apologize for not being in, so be kind to leave a message please."

A year later, the language now no longer a problem, and having gotten used to the Canadian way of life, the message went something like this.

"Hi!!!! [a very exuberant 'hi'] You have reached Jashim at xxx-xxxx. I am not in, so please leave a message, and I will get back to you ASAP. Have a nice day!"

Final year, Jashim is now fully entrenched into the student life. His dorm was the place to be for weekend parties, he had a girl friend, he was clubbing, and fully "with it". And the corresponding message (accompanied by a rap song with questionable lyrics) was:

"Yo!!! You reached the J-man!!! You know what to, so do it!"

I wondered if his parents called him ever.

Then came graduation. And the need to find a job to stay in Canada. The answering machine message became anglicized:

"Hi, you have reached Josh. I am out at the moment, so kindly leave a short message after the beep, and have a nice day."

Jashim ==> Josh. Maybe he should have chosen Jason?

Now, three years later, his latest:

"Hello, you have reached the Sattar residence. We are unable to answer the phone now, so please leave a message."

Needless to say, he is now married.

* Real name rhymes with Jashim



Anonymous said... have portrayed Jashim's behavioral evolution through his answering machine messages...

The very first one resembles to what Inzamam-ul-Haq would have on his answering machine. :)

And on an other note, atleast Jashim to Josh can be related to some extent as both of them start with a J. But who in sanity can derive a conclusion between
Amjad ==> Dylan? (someone has done this..this is why I bring it out...the worse part is this person has his business card printed with his name and then 'DYLAN' enclosed in brackets)

- Behbood

Irving Karchmar said...

As a thoughtful person, may I commend to you my book Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, a mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of Love.
You can view the book and read an excerpt at
In the Name of the Most Merciful, 10% of all profits go to charity.

Ya Haqq,


goBgoB said...

hahaha now that you mention it, how true!