My father had a friend, a really interesting man. He was into some kind of garment business. But what I remember most about him was the way he gauged people's personalities.
When he was out having lunch or dinner with people, who were almost strangers to him.. he would observe what they ate.. if they had water before their meal or after.. did they chew long and carefully or just gobble up their food?.. did they eat rotis or rice?
I don't know what his calculations were but more often than not, he came up with an accurate understanding of their personalities. I tried doing that but in the age of varied cuisine, my calculation chart never reached completion point.
My search for the indigenous people personality meter had to be abandoned. The social scientist in me was quite dejected. Then came cellphones.. and all that changed.
The Caller tunes gave me hope. My project kicked off once again with brighter prospects than before. The age-old tring-tring has given way to different kinds of songs and lines of dialogue. I believe that the choice of the caller tune is a huge personality giveaway .
My writer-friend has Aaja sanam madhur chandni mein hum, while an other has Pink Floyd's We don't need no education. So you can imagine the fun I have when the three of us discuss a script.
I get the traditional and the modern in one stroke. My pathologist has a sweet sounding bhajan while my physiotherapist, invariably, has a lilting romantic song for a ring tone.
My hero of 1920, Rajneesh Duggal, has a fantastic action based theme. This inspires me to make an action film while my heroine has a man saying, "The person you are trying to reach is on the beach having a tender coconut," with a south Indian accent. All varied personalities. Takes all types But this is worth a try really. Try calling up someone, and guess his or her personality type, from his or her ring tone. At times, even the physical appearance might not match the person but the damn caller tune is a dead giveaway .
There is the lover of old songs, bhajans, funny lines, new Hindi songs, old English songs or trendy tunes. There are all types. And behind them, is the person who would have thought to himself or herself, "Gosh, this is great. This is so me."
The reality that comes through is that behind the facade of modern day uniformity is the thinking , individual who might not raise his or her head when it comes to social or group behaviour, but is very different when left alone. So don't believe anyone who says to you, "These days people don't like this." There's someone for everything.
And I also believe that what you might choose today, you may not like tomorrow. Your tastes change with every passing day .
So when you want to gauge someone's mood for the day, just ask him or her, "What's your caller tune for the day?" You are in luck if your girlfriend feels like Shakira today .