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Meeting Cricketers Anil Kumble, Chris Gayle and Actor Aditya Singh … and Having No Clue Who They Are!

The Kolaveri Di guy is indeed one of the few famous celebrities who I would recognise out and about in town.

Last weekend I was at a party and due to a misunderstanding I was involved in a bit of a ruckus.  Well, okay, to be perfectly honest I sort of started the ruckus because I thought someone was being mean to my friend and I went to defend him.  Although my friend is actually bigger than me so I’m not really sure I would have been any real help but there I was.  Anyway, things started to escalate and all of a sudden the gentleman, who I’d only met briefly at Bangalore Club, said quite defiantly, “Do you know who I am?”  I said something sassy back like, “Of course I don’t, do you know who I am?”

Being good boys and girls at heart, we eventually made up and there was no harm done but the “Do you know who I am” comment really cracked me up and started me thinking about how common that phrase is used all around the world.  It plays a vital role on both large and small scales.  From world leaders to a ‘regular’ at a family owned restaurant, anyone can be a VIP for one reason or another.  Hell, I’ve used the “Do you know who I am” line already once here in Bangalore when a door guy tried to charge me an entrance fee the first time I went to Pebbles 6 months ago.  My saucy line didn’t work or improve my situation because – indeed – it was the first time I had been to Pebbles, I wasn’t a regular and – obviously – they had no idea who I am.  I paid like a good girl, complained for 2 minutes to my mates, and then I shut up, had a brilliant time and danced the night away.

Here in India, I honestly don’t know who the celebrities are because I haven’t been here for that long.  I don’t read the celebrity pages of the paper and I don’t buy women’s magazines.  Sure I recognize certain high-ranking corporate tech executives, politicians and activists, the Kolaveri Di guy, that one male actor who’s my age and the one older male actor who is India’s darling from Bollywood who are in every damn advert peddling something or other (it’s impossible not to recognise those two because they are everywhere), and of course certain cricket stars and heroes.  But that’s pretty much it.

But, you know?  I think that not knowing who people are actually plays to my advantage.  Through my network of friends and what I do for a living I have the luck and privilege of meeting some really interesting and wonderful people.  Some play sports, others are actors, politicians, India’s top DJs, leading industrialists and powerful entrepreneurs and more.  Since I honestly have no idea who they are, when I meet new people who are quite high up on the food chain for whatever reason I’m not nervous around them or intimidated.  Nor do I have a history of being in awe of them as I would if perhaps they were American or Spanish…because I tell you I would probably not be so cool in front of Tiger Woods, Javier Bardem or Hilary Clinton.  This ensures that I am able to interact with them as I would anyone else and just be myself – even cracking a jokes whenever I can fit them in.

My behaviour is in no way a statement that I wish to disrespect someone…but for me it would just feel completely wrong to treat someone differently, revere them or ‘sir/madam’ them because I know nothing about who they are…so why in the world would I, or should I?

I will never forget the day I met Anil Kumble...

I will never forget the day I met Anil Kumble…

A couple of my funniest memories so far with respect to meeting new people who I don’t know but maybe should are with an actor and a famous-throughout-the-world-of-cricket sports star, and both moments took place here in Bangalore:

  • Social situation – I was at Skyye last summer with friends and had left my group for only a moment to visit the restroom.  On the way there I stopped so I could type my message a bit easier on my Blackberry.  While I was stopped, an Indian guy in his early 30s came up to me and said hello.  I looked up from my BB message, checked him out, realised I had no idea who he was.  I gave him a quick head-nod and said “hey” as I continued typing away on my BB.  Later that night we ended up at the same after party and started talking and since then we’ve been fast friends.  Now I smile when I see girls flirting with him and even offering to buy him drinks or see guys coming up and asking to take a photo with him because they love his movies.  But that night I just knew him as the guy interrupting me while I was BBM’ing.
  • Professional situation – I was at the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) offices at M Chinnaswamy Stadium for my first meeting with all of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) team owners and the association president, secretary and CEO.  Up until that time, each of my meetings had been with the owner of the KPL team I worked with, the Bijapur Bulls, and the Secretary of the KSCA.  There were almost 20 new faces at that meeting so I started making the rounds at the pre-meeting breakfast (at the ungodly hour of 7am) and introducing myself, passing out my business card and shaking hands with everyone one at a time.  I was the only woman in a group of 20 that included the owner of one of Bangalore’s two largest property development companies, of a leading mobile retail chain and more.  I went up to one gentleman who looked familiar but who I had never met, extended my hand and introduced myself.  He said his name and I followed up by asking “so, what do you do” and he replied, “I used to play cricket and now I’m the President of the KSCA.”  Ohhhh, crap!  I really should have done my homework a bit better because I had just no, I don’t know who you are’d the bowler who won India the most Test matches in history.  He was cool about it though and I appreciated it very much.

I hope to not stick my foot in my mouth in my professional life again anytime soon like I did that day at the KSCA.  That was pretty damn embarrassing.  As time passes in my new life in India, that luxury of not knowing who people are is going to strip away little by little…and eventually I’m sure to be in awe of so many individuals here who are in the limelight and will go coo-coo if I ever do meet them.  And that, my friends, does not look as smooth and collected as the normal me right now!

XOXO Angela

© 2012 Angela Carson

I started Angela's Bangalore from my hotel room on the very first day I moved to India in 2011, while struck with jet lag! It was my very first blog, the country's very 1st luxury travel blog. Now I'm rocking YouTube as @ExpatAngela, hope you'll subscribe.

This article has 13 comments

  1. debjani

    You are incredibly funny 🙂

    Next time someone asks you “do you know who I am” – you should ask them back “Well, do YOU know who you are?”

    🙂

    • angela_carson

      haha, I like that idea! Will try it out. And thanks for your kind words, was a nice thing to read first thing in the morning 🙂 –angela

  2. rohitkumarav

    That was fun.. Of course “Who are you” is usually used to threaten by making people to think that they are some powerful socially or famous. That is common out everywhere. Sometimes on the counter part, if we give back the same, it would be funny insult. It’s always fun to here. I often feel people who say it, basically need more attention than what they are getting, so they say like that 😀 haha. Some syndrome kind off.. If we think on this, it seams everyone out here wants to know each other by claiming their existence(power) by this phrase or setting themselves into some position which basically are catchy.. Or some would say :”Who do you think, you’re”. Funny it is. But whatsoever what we are in society, it always ends up in friendship if things go easy or the reverse. Good thought indeed.

    • angela_carson

      hehhe, yes it is true. And during the ruckus that is what the intent was but I thought it was best to leave that bit out of the story 🙂 I still am a bit embarrassed about my Pebbles “do you know who I am” moment but in all honesty I’m sure it won’t be the last time I use it 🙂 Thanks for commenting!! =angela

      • Rohith kumar A V

        My pleasure reading your events. Next time if anyone say that to you, ask their ID Card. 😀 hehe more or less “May I have your card, it may help near future” heheehe. I heard a new technology on ted.com by Pranav Mistry where he says that anyone who interact with you, his/her information can be visible right on his Tshirt by a 3D mobile camera. hehee. That would be more fun. Sort of Tagging. or even Auras hahaha, Kind of UID’s (unique ID)..or Biometrics.. Sorry, can’t stop imagining and :D. Have great day with more fun situations around.

  3. prashanth

    How dare to ask “who you are” to our Great Anil Kumble ?? 🙂
    Being so down to earth person he is, he may may not mind it….but if it is any other Indian bosses you are business deal might get into trouble.

    • angela_carson

      Yes, I’m sure that he doesn’t have that happen to him very often…at least not inside of India. But I was there for my public relations and communications experience and luckily they all knew I was new to India, and I suppose more importantly, new to cricket. Certainly some people with different egos would have been offended but that wasn’t the case 🙂

  4. Rohith Kumar A V

    We must have a Tag on each and everyone these days like facebook tags to identify. A new technology is coming up by Pranav Mistry on MIT, which is basically a camera phone with high end UI, Which identifies people who we are talking with. I hope that would help in future 😀

  5. Medini

    You know what, its 6 AM in the morning now. I have been reading through your blogs since 1 AM in the night. One more and I will sleep… and now its morning.

    It was very interesting for me to go through your blog. I love the way you reciprocate to a situation and how you amplify the positive attitude about almost everything. A very good read indeed.

    But as I said, I need to sleep now 🙂 Will come back and read the rest of your posts in the evening.

    • angela_carson

      Wow, to my knowledge I haven’t had anyone go through my blog systematically and for so many hours in a long time. Back when I was just starting it up I know a few people read the entire thing but there were only 20’ish posts back then. I’m really so happy you found it interesting enough to read through for soooooo many hours. I kind of feel like I should ship you out a couple Red Bulls for next round 🙂 I really appreciate your comments. Hope you’ll keep reading 🙂 -angela

  6. Rohit

    Hehe.. For redbull, I think I too would read all your blogs.. Hehe.. Wish DNA had a messaging option to comment on your own blog directly.. Hehe..

  7. dapperdolly

    I would have said “I don’t give a shit who or what you are” by default lol. You’re right that not knowing can be an advantage though for reasons like you mentioned of being able to have a natural conversation without pressure, but I’ve found that some people who are used to being surrounded by yes-people appreciate being talked to normally/on the level and find it refreshing… some, not all!

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