Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Guess who am I?

Whoever invented mobile phones, and especially the caller id feature on it must be a “pathetic at recognizing voices” soul like me. And all the credit goes to those aunties around us who always call up on the land-line and ask the same question each time – "hello beta, pehchana muje? Guess who am I?" 
You become their favourite and get the warmest (read bone breaking tight) hug from them if you guess their name right. But if at all your day is bad and your guess work fails you, then god save you from their taunts, their slaps which they pretend as if they have come out of affection for you and a long lecture about the stupid most thing so that you register their voice in your mind forever.

Yes you guessed it right. I have been that unfortunate victim so many times. It was all still fine before marriage. My guess work was comparatively better too than now; for i knew most of my mum’s friends and relatives properly. So it was most of the times easier to get their name correct after talking to them for two minutes.

But post marriage; oh my, it is catastrophic if at all you fail to recognize the caller and god bless your soul if the caller happens to be a relative! I once failed to recognize one of Mandar’s aunt; and till date she greets me with a taunt – "beta, aawaz to nahi, shakal to yaad hai na ya wo bhi aap bhul gaye? (you don’t recognize my voice, but do you at least remember my face or you have forgotten that too?)". Oh I forgot to mention one thing – at the time of this incident; I was talking to this aunt in law for the first time over the phone!

There is one more thing I am pathetic at – remembering faces. It takes me quite some time to register a particular face I have seen only once before. So many seasonal (you see them only in weddings) relatives end up asking me whether I know them or not. Most of the times I get away with a lie that I remember them; but certain species cross-check too – if you remember me; then tell me how am I related to you? And I am speechless!

My trouble does not end here people. Apart from being bad at remembering faces and recognizing voices, I am really very bad at guessing a person’s age, noticing obvious (?) changes in his/her physique, complexion, hair cut etc. Even if you reduce 20 kgs and come in front of me, I won’t know the difference. Imagine the trouble this must have put me into – especially with my mother in law. She once went to the gym regularly for two months and reduced good 8 kgs; and i failed to notice that. Ah, that time she didn’t speak with me for two days and kept throwing her weight around all the time.

Another Aunt came and asked me – guess my age. I looked at her and thought she looked around 50, so to be on a safer side, i gave my flashing smile to her and said “Aunty, you look like a 40 year young lady.” She turned out to be 36. Now i always maintain one answer for all for this question – 30 years if I spot a bit of gray on their head and 20 if their hair is dyed. 
I am still looking out for the solution for saving myself from the trouble of recognizing voices and registering faces all the time!


  1. Oh the cross-check ! Just when you think you are getting away with a fib "Of course I remember you !", comes a "What's my name and how am I related to you.."

    A father(35)-Son(3) duo were introduced to us. A week later we bumped into them again and my wife having bonded with the kid was gushing " Ashwin is so cute" while this lady turned beet red. Ashwin was the dad and Raghavendra, the son. My wife assumed Ashwin was a more modernistic sounding name and had to be the son !

  2. hehehe..same here girl.. I face the exact same problem all the time. I once failed to recognize my friend's voice since it was noisy and still get blastings for that :( And the face thing! dont even remind me. In office, so many people say hi and start talking and I will be like "who is this person? which project does he work in? When did I speak to him earlier"..hehe..cute post

  3. Oh my!! that was funny; even though I relate with you about these stuffs. I am peeved if anyone asks me "Remember me?" I just want to say "Sorry, I dont. Care to introduce yourself?" But thats offensive you know!!!

    I can remember voices very very well. But faces; many a times; I have been branded snobbish and proud; all because I would just walk straight ignoring a person because I dont recall their faces!!!

    Ages and "How do I look?" puts me in dilemma.

    On a serious note; most people do end up sulking for days on these trivial things

  4. Oh..do people ask you ' guess my age' hmm

    wonder why ! Wonder why !

    While i can spot a few things from a mile away there are a certain things that i cant spot.

    Like the changes the missus does to her hair and such else ! Will post something on this soon !!

    Thanks for sharing ! :)

  5. ROFL...
    But you scare me! I am very bad with voices over the phone. I make a faux pas every other day. (I think I'll always let someone else pick up the phone post-marriage! ;)
    But the other questions, think girl, think! And save thy skin!! :P :D

  6. hehe..happens to me all the time and my hubby used to say that only I am like that, but recently I met a friend, who also said the same thing:)..why people have such age complex?

  7. very well said Neha. I had landed myself in trouble numerous times for the 'Guess' game. I thought I was the only one. Glad to kno you share the same apathy too :)

    Vishal Pore

  8. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! You actually told her she was 40 when she was just 36? Why wasn't I there to see the expression on her face when you said that! Oh my God!

  9. People ask you to guess their age ? Wow, different species me thinks :) geee...

    Funny things happening to you re guessing games. Well,this "pehchan kaun" bemaari is spread across people all over.. Me too get some calls likes these and specially from aunt-in laws and you know they feel so happy if I have guessed correctly who they are..LOL as if that's THE important thing for them !

    Solution eh ? May be keep away from these kind of conversations...ask for hints if you are on phone and if confronted face to face then may be change topics to how nice is the saree and the jewelery of the sorts :) heheheh

  10. I think everyone of us faces this issue at some point or other.
    I had several ocassions when I didnt notice people losing weight and has been stuck when they asked "did I lose weight?".

    Good writing. Liked it very much :)

  11. I, too, am terrible with names and faces. I just plaster a smile on my faces and greet people at weddings and nudge my husband the first chance I get to find out who the hell they are. He is better at this.
    So far nobody has asked me to guess the age, thank god. If I ever come across such a person I will say '18 till you die', I guess.

  12. Very difficult. Over the years, people have stopped asking" Do You recognize me?" on phone as I never do. So, Neha you too will be spared after a while.:D

  13. @ Avada, I can completely understand girl, what u must be going thru...people - wish they understood we have a bad memory :)

    @ Kavi, oh yes, aunties who think they look younger than their age usually ask this question - to another female :D
    ah, men! I got a hair cut today, and Mandar didn't notice it...waiting for your post on this issue now :))

  14. @ Madhu, your comment left me LOLing...hahahahahahahaha, poor lady, she must have felt so embarrassed na..but still its too funny :D

    @ Insignia, wish we could simply ask that question..but alas, we do care about what ppl feel n think...wish they thought the same way..it could have helped us so much..sulking people - others are fine, but a mother in law is very dangerous when she is sulking :P

  15. @ Guria, save your skin? well you do wanna get married right? then i m sorry sweeite, nobody can help u :P

    @ Hobo, Inspired by baba Ramdev these days? hope you have not started to walk around the world :D

    @ Antarman, totally agree...y such a complex ya...be what u r, and let us be how we are na :D

  16. @ Vishal, we certainly ain't alone...there are many like us here :)

    @ Ramit, all the ladies react the same way...try this on an aunt, you will know the reaction :)

    @ Nu, a correction - people who think they look younger than their age do ask the age :P Nu, can't stay away from them na..can't avoid them at all :(

  17. @ Aparna, lucky you, that nobody has asked for the age; and you have a husband who is good at remembering relations...my husband is worse than me in this case...

    @ Holy Lama, Amen...I wish people will spare me soon :D

    @ Elizabeth, welcome here..thank you for your comments..oh the weight loss is so difficult to notice na...
    I am glad you liked the post :))

  18. Aunty you look so young,have you been on diet?Rest assured that once you say these words,no more discussion will take place and you would have done aunty the great service.
    Also,it is a very nice subject for a blog post

  19. Heee...i know how tricky this situation is,specially if the caller is from one's in-laws side's.At times it is irritating and annoying too ,that is if these call appear at the time you are writing a comment on your friend's blog,or a kid is waiting for you to be washed up in the toilet and the most if your assistant is the one holding the cell near your ear for you while you are busy pulling out someone's molars....grrrr,brrrrr !

    Buddy don't worry i will give you some forensic tips for age determination....just tell the questioner to open his/her mouth,check the dentition...bas mamla solve....IDEA SUCKS...i know,but i am trying to help na ..

    But not noticing 8 kg loss of one of the most important woman in your life...hmmm,yeh to serious problem hai

    Remembering faces ..i am an expert here,just few days back i met someone and greeted him with lots of enthusiasm and asked him about how is his wife and daughter...he replied very politely that they are doing good.Later my husband told me that i asked him about his next door neighbors wife and daughter.

    Fun post Neha...i love reading you.

  20. This blog was on my radar!! :)

    its same at times..you remember the person..but dont remember the names. it can be embarrassing.

    loved the funny writeup.

  21. neha..u have the same problem that i face often yar..recognizing voices and faces..one guy was talking to me for 15 minutes..hours after he left i could hardly recollect where i had met him..god knowss..tc care dear friend..will be visiting mumbai soon..my most loved city...cheers...

  22. yes this happens,
    very difficult situation and can turn out to be funny.

  23. Very jovial post. If someone ask me a question like that and i don't remember them, I usually smile and keep looking at them. Most of the time they will volunteer who they are. If that does not work, the second defence would be I would say "Come on I sure do remember you but I forgot your name". This will bring more information from them about them. The final defence would be "I am sorry I don't know you".

  24. hahaha, I am wondering if these predicaments actually have names... will find out, pls let me know if U find them.

  25. Sure thing, Neha. These things happen with me all the time. I still don't know who is related to whom among my relatives. :P
    It's kind of embarrassing when they ask whether I remember them. :D
    A very funny write-up indeed. Enjoyed it. :-)

  26. thats best option for age.. i guess so.. :)
    i too sometimes couldnt recognize voice. Early this month my mobiles screen got broken n that too occurred around my b'day n many of my friends said, "u have forgotten me, u were not that bad, u have changed etc etc." Till now i cant find a way out of it... :)

    i too have problem that i forgot persons name, i know i know him/her bt cant recoil there name. n they look wandering back at me, how can i forget it..

    that was too much big a comment from me.. but feel good to say so... thanks... good post... :-))

  27. LOL. I really have no wise words to share but I enjoyed your narration! :-) cheers.

  28. ha, i know, i have been through some. Aunties hate being called aunties. But i am good at remembering faces. I dont know, but my memory is reasonably good, esp remembering names. TC

  29. @ Sorcerer, welcome back :) and if the person whose name you have forgotten happens to be an in law, then god can also not save u :D I am glad you liked the post :)

    @ Kavita, I repeat, you are my true friend :)) you can understand my problems so well and give me solutions too all the time...thank u buddy...
    oh u r so right; the "guess" call from the in laws side come when I am cooking, drafting an agreement or reading an interesting post! sigh, when will my trouble be over?

    hahahaha, your idea made me laugh dear, so it does not suck...i will try that on someone, and say that you asked me to do so :P

    oh my god, bechara banda, kya soch raha hoga? you are more concerned about his neighbours...but again, this left me loling...:D

    and now a big broad smile on my face...do I need to say why? thanks a tonne :))))))

  30. @ BK Chowla, I so wish I had posted this 5 years back or knew you then, I could have saved myself from so many troubles...anyways, it's never too late...thanks a lot for such an amazing idea :) I am glad you liked the subject I selected..:))

    @ SG, smile and stare at them? oh my, that is as good as guessing the age wrongly and making that aunty older than she actually is..but I can use the other two ideas :D I am glad you liked the post :)))

  31. @ R. Ramesh, well you are most welcome in this club of forgetful people...Mumbai is waiting for u :)

    @ sm, funny and embarrassing and insulting too :D

    @ JJ, me finding this out - very rare...will be waiting for you to answer these questions :D

  32. ROFL :D
    I can recognise voices over phone..But guessing peoples age is one factor i flunk always!! These days ppl dye their hair do so many facials/bleaches and all those extra and TRY TO BE young..but still the prediction doesn't occur to me!!

    I loved the way you narrated!! I was laughing!! U are so thin re, how many times ur bone shattered!?!

  33. @ lostworld, thanks :))

    @ ZB, lucky you...u remember names... i usually forget the names of relatives :P

    @ Saurabh Aggarwal, welcome here..thank you for your comments.. no caller id on a birthday? my my, that's some problem..don't worry about the comment length here...I love them :)

  34. @ Karthik, hahaha, a pretty common problem for sure...now I know after reading all the comments..:D
    I am glad you enjoyed the post :))

    @ R. Ramesh, :)

    @ Shruti, I agree re...so many things to hide age na...n do it all, but pls don't ask us whether the outcome is showing or not..:P I know, a poor thin soul like me got crushed so many times, but luckily still in one piece :D

  35. LOLz! Always happens! Same here too! I too can't remember some people's names if I see them once in a year....but isn't that natural.
    I can understand your MIL's disappointment when you didn't notice her lost weight....eight is a big number when it comes to weight-loss ;-)

  36. Ha ha. I was just sharing my thought with Bindu after wondering how human brains recognise faces. Well, you wonder less about this I guess. Had a laugh after reading this one!