June 10, 2009

Aap Qatar me hain

Ceedy said this on facebook...

"When on hold on a phoneline in India they say - Aap Qatar me hain....... What if I want to be in say Jhumritalaya?"

The explanation for the usage of this tone is as follows:

Telephones are inventions of the western world. So, when they introduced phones in India, they could not get Indians to understand how to run them. So they pulled a wire all the way from Europe to India and located the backend exchanges there. Now, much like a single line railway section, you had crossing points where one could wait till the line gets cleared. If you note the map carefully, the Middle East lies approximately halfway between Europe and India's central provinces, and so the crossing point was located there. The exact location of the same happened to be in Qatar. The Saudi Arabian government offered to give free land for the same, but the Babus refused to have anything to do in deserts and so, the same was located in Qatar.

If there is more traffic on the phone lines, the calls were made to wait at the crossing point which happens to be Qatar. Hence the tone, "Aap Qatar me hain, kripya pratiksha keejiye" (Please wait, you are in Qatar)!

After Independence and the technological revolution, all other service providers changed their waiting tones, but Babus being Babus, they resisted any change and so even though the telephone exchanges have been relocated to India, still, even to this day, BSNL and MTNL subscribers get to hear "Aap Qatar me hain" !!

P.S Thought for the day: I've never known where the Telephone exchanges of private landline providers like Airtel, Tata and Reliance are located !