Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Mystery Of Milhana

A funny thing happened to me in Scotland last week.

'twas the evening of the 29th December and I was having a quiet drink in my room prior to dinner when my mobile rang. Occasionally it does that and I have a tendency to answer it, except when I don't. I chose option 1.

I'll try to make use of my blogging name but those of you who know my real name will probably understand my clever use of the pseudonym and the way it neatly fits the story anyway.

I saw that the number calling me was a Sri Lankan number, one which my phone book hadn't recognised, so the number was displayed without the name of the caller. It's not unusual for my phone to not recognise the number even if it is a stored one. This is a phenomenon that puzzles me at times; why the digits of a number will show and the clever little Japanese brain in my phone sometimes realises that it's my office calling but often doesn't.

A girl's voice, presumably one that belonged to a girl rather than to an impressionist like Degas or Cezanne or another French restaurant owner, said to me:

"Hi, is that Rheth?"

That's not a typo. She said "Rheth" which I assumed was just a bad line or her way of saying "Rhyth" as in Rhythmic, although it was my real first name and its abbreviated form that was actually used. Here in England I am more than used to it said incorrectly and I respond to most monikers that sound somewhere in the vicinity of the correct version. Or, to put it simply, I answered her with a "yes".

"We're at _____. Are you coming down?"

I couldn't make out where she said but from her tone, the background noise and the fact that it was about 2 AM in Sri Lanka I could tell that she was in a club of sorts. I said those usual words about asking her to repeat herself and what not and then she realised that she had a wrong number, apologised and hung up.

But I thought on this and it dawned on me that it must have been someone I knew in some way as she'd asked for me (almost) by name. I figured that she must have had my name and number in her phone book, listed alphabetically and therefore above or below the number of the chap she really wanted to get hold of. But I didn't have her number in my phone. The mysteriousness grew in my mind and I decided to send her a text (that's an SMS in Singlish!).

I despatched a polite message asking who she was and saying that we'd had that brief conversation and I was just puzzled. You know, all very British and polite, I even left her my real name. She replied almost immediately, saying:

"Sorry it's Milhana got you confused with other Rheth! See you soon".

This left me none the wiser. I have no recollection of ever meeting someone with that name. I replied and told her that, looking for more information, but got nothing back. I assumed that it had dawned on her that she'd made a terrible mistake and was now communicating with some unknown geezer somewhere in the UK.

If by any chance you do read this Milhana then I apologise for the use of your real name, or what I assume is your real name. It's only because I'm trying to find out how I know you or if the fact you rang me is one of those rare coincidences.

Does anyone know who she is?

Are you out there Milhana?


T said...

well if she doesnt know you, im assuming she was not too pleased about having made an unnecessary, and probably expensive, international call eh? lol.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

T - that's the thing, I figure she must know me, maybe only tenuosly, as she had my name right, just with a small error. I don't think it was a random wrong number.

Anonymous said...

Hey man – maybe she was looking for that Butler guy. You should have told her that he had gone with the wind – or to check with Scarlett

Java Jones

ddm said...

didn't know text was singlish! always thought it's universal.

have you heard of "ringcut"? it's singlish for a missed call. got to love our buggers one thing.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

DDM - I didn't mean "text" was Singlish, I meant that the Asian term for a "text" seems to be an "SMS". I've noticed this in Asia rather than just SL though.

Ringcut is a great new word that I think I'd like to start using. Thanks for that.

Darwin said...

I'm amazed at how you've actually bothered to follow through on this. I had several missed calls from random numbers on 31st night which I promptly ignored. I figure if it was important enough they'd leave a message on the voicemail or call back. I can't be arsed chasing up randoms!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Darwin - I'm just intrigued by who she is, as I don't recognise the name, and how she knows me.

Yellow suddi said...

Maybe she was too embarassed to text back since you said that you don't remember her at all.

The part you wrote about "terrible mistake and was now communicating with some unknown geezer somewhere in the UK" cracked me up.

Anonymous said...

she might have been the love of your life.. desperately sent by god to contact you, to create something beautiful in your otherwise lonely existence