The next time you hear a gun shot behind you and a woman screeching “nahin” —
don’t dial 100 in sheer panic. And if you hear a voice thundering, “Tumhare ma,
bachche aur DVD player mere kabze main hain” (Your mother, children and DVD
player are in my custody) — don’t fall down in a dead faint. It’s just your
mobile service provider turning creative.
Imagination is flourishing in the corridors of service providers. Forget the
days of sweet melodies floating into rooms or nostalgic airs captured in digital
mode. Today, the wackier your ringtone, the trendier you are.
So, it could vary from a ring tone like “Platform number 3 ke gaadi, platform ek
se jayegi” (as in a railway station announcement) to “Attention 1, 2, 3” (as in
a marchpast). The bottomline: the crazier, the better.
Some of the funniest ones now in circulation play on the voice. For instance,
The Blackmarket, a ring tone uses a sly voice which says — Das ka bees, eh leta
hai kya? (A 10 rupee ticket for 20, interested?) Other providers use the voices
of renowned filmstars. You could have Amitabh Bachchan’s deep baritone saying —
Utha le rang rasia or Sanjeev Kumar’s inimitable grunt — Dekho, ghanti baj rahi
For those who want to play safe, there are sounds instead; choose from chimps,
churchbells, sealions, doorbells, frogs, roosters, trumpets, dogs barking or
even the beep of a rickshaw bell.
Some service providers go a step further. They have introduced a rescue button
in their menu which will let you escape from any uncomfortable situation you
might be in. For instance, if you are in a meeting, you could press a button and
you would get a call with messages like — “Mein tumhare bache ke maa bane wali
hoon” (I’m going to be the mother of your child). Many youngsters are delighted
to use funny ringtones but there are others who differ in opinion. “Why would I
want the tone of a dog barking on my mobile?” says 26-year-old Nandini Mehra. “I
hear them on the streets all the time. In fact, I normally use the silent mode
or a soft beep.”
Richie Sam George, software engineer finds the tones hilarious. “Of course, I
can’t use them in office because they would make too much noise. But when I’m
with friends I would enjoy some lighthearted fun with a wacky ring tone.”
Shivshanker H, software professional adds, “I don’t mind hearing them on other
people’s phones. But I prefer old melodies any day.”