I picked up the phone, dialed a number and asked, “Hey! Are you Raju.” “Yes! I am Raju speaking”, came a thick voiced reply. “Are you really Raju?”, I tried to confirm back. “Yes, for sure I am Raju”, again comes the same thick voice. “But your voice seems to be different this time”, I tried to confirm in a different way now. “Yes! I am Raju, what do you want from me Sir!”. I was still trying to place and connect mentally. “I am looking for Raju, The Electrician”, this was the first time I tried to relate my objective with the name of the person whom I wanted to locate. I further made a reference to the ceiling fan I had given for repairs. “Oh! Now I understand, you are looking for the other Raju. I am also Raju, but I repair only refrigerators”. Meanwhile my wife, who was listening to this conversation, came to me and gave me the phone number of another Raju whom I was actually looking for. I called up this Raju and got my work done.
After this quite usual looking episode, I tried to search my mobile address book for names like Raju. I was surprised to see many Rajus. My wife told me that most repair and maintenance service professionals are named as Raju, Guddu or some similar short names. These people have kept short nick names which are very common. Then I connected the same reasoning to the names of voices that we hear when we connect to call centers. These are short names are like Pooja, Priya, Sapna, Rashi etc.
Like always, my mind turned philosophical regarding this Raju Vs. Raju episode. I think people are becoming IDs or codes rather than real persons. Very soon we would be short of real names and will keep alphanumeric names like Raju-1, Raju23.com etc. We might land up in a situation in which we call a person with his ID like UP-23421 etc. It may sound funny, but it does have a thoughtful aspect. Are we working anymore to make our language richer? When we cannot retain even our names, how can we talk of all other words in our language? Alarm is ringing. Hear it and wake-up, or tap it down for another long duration of sweet sleep. Choice is ours.