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
Tags: Desi Answering Machine