Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Agile Abode - What's in a name

It was the Feb of 2006, when Jithesh Kalliath Gopi (aka Kali) from my office decided it was time to move on to greener pastures – and went on to Bahrain – not exactly green in much sense, but I’m sure the greenback made the move worthwhile.

Anyway, I got the first preference to move into his much sought-after apartment nearby the office. Knowing nothing about the apartment, I asked around people whether I should move in or not. Doc and Chatty strongly recommended it. Only later it struck me why: both of them used Kali’s house to sneak out of office everyday for a quick siesta ;) No wonder they both had this earnest nostalgia in voicing their reco. Finally when Kali asserted in his quintessential Mallu tone “Tayg id !”, I decided to move in.

The house is good and all. Awfully close to the beach, Satyam cinema, Citi Center and, ahem, my wife’s office. Some trivial facts which didn’t deter me from taking up the apartment – other well-known tenants in the building were colonies of native red ants, and in the kitchen were home-grown breeds of cockroaches. Did I mention the total area of the apartment is slightly less than my office cubicle. Whole new meaning to the concept of super-built up area.

But believe me, the toughest part of living in this apartment is spelling the name to the pizza delivery guy. Who in his sound mind would name his house as AGILE abode?!?! – unless he wants the residents to move out very quickly. Well, Jithesh did move out eventually. The red ants didn’t.

I have wasted countless precious weekend hours spelling out the name of my building to delivery guys, couriers, insurance agents, credit card and telephone companies. Your typical pizza delivery guy comes with hearing skills worse than a boss-on-an-apprasial-day, spelling skills slightly worse than the red ants in my building and unique verbal comprehension skills due to which he doesn’t understand over phone difference between T & D, G & H, B & P, L & Yell etc. Phone conversation on a typical Sunday afternoon would be like:
Name is Sanjay, take down my address: Flat no. T1 on 3rd floor…
T1 T for telephone. Name of apartment is Agile Abode… A G I Yell E
A B O D E let me repeat ….
Usually this goes on for several minutes. And when the delivery guy shows me the bill, the name spells Sanjaee, D1, and the building spells in various variants- Ajyle Aboat, Agil abartmend… but surprisingly they manage to deliver it.

It’s a torture, but I still think it’s not so bad compared to many unlucky souls. Imagine the plight of someone living in some Chennai suburbs having to explain their residence to Northern Indians. How does Nanganallur or Nungambakkam sound? I would never want to be found anywhere near Nala Sopara for instance!!

Sarabjot Walia’s take on some of the Mumbai suburbs – Ye Borewali aur Kandewali samajh me a gaya, par ye Dombewali ka kya matlab hai? Grimy!!


zakeer said...

Atlast a blog post from the master.

Sanjay said...

Zak Miyan.. good to see you.. I though ppl would've stopped reading this blog :)

Will keep it 'posted' more often.