Friday, March 9, 2012

The Art Of Conversation

You know at times, you have allll the time in the world but absolutely no idea what to blog about. And then at times, your head is simply bursting with ideas popping up one after another – but you have no time to blog! Why does these two have to be mutually exclusive!? Reminds me of a Tamil saying, ‘Kalla kanda naaya kanom, naaya kanda kalla kanom’!

Have you ever had mind-boggling stupid conversations with anyone? I do not claim to be a supreme genius and for sure, I have my own stupidities. But I am talking about chats that are so totally, utterly, completely senseless that in fact, all you can do is shake your head and wonder ‘why, why me?’
Image source: Rotten Tomatoes

Up In The Air

For instance, there I was all set to fly to India. I was going by myself as my husband would join me later in Chennai. Usually when I fly alone, I choose a cozy window seat, snuggle up and read a book. This time was no different. Since I was flying on Diwali, there was not much of a crowd and most of the seats were unoccupied. Sending up a silent cheer, I happily settled into my seat with my nose buried in a book, which happened to be Growing Up Bin Laden (whose review will follow later). A few minutes into the journey, I vaguely heard a man from behind me say, “Nowadays people grab some English novel as soon as the flight starts and simply show off that they are reading something great.”

On hindsight, I guess this man was referring to me. But my senses were so tuned into reading the book that I only vaguely registered the comment, somewhere in the distant background. After a short while, the same voice interrupted me. “Excuse me, madam. One minute can I see the book you are reading?” 

Although slightly annoyed at being disturbed, I said, “Sure” and handed him the book. He took a look at the book and then said, “Wow! Hats off to you madam! At this young age you are reading such amazing books! I thought that you were simply trying to show off with some popular novel but if you are interested in reading such books, then you are simply wonderful. I salute you and your parents!

Now seriously, I don’t think there is anything to be so effusive about reading that book. I like reading and the book caught my fancy – and so I picked it up. It’s as simple as that. In any case, I gave a small smile , thanked him, retrieved my book and continued to read. But this man would not let me be! He went on to enlighten me about his life, his job, his family and how he is always trying to make his daughter read but she is only interested in watching TV serials. Plus suddenly he said, “You look like Priya Mani (an actress) from this angle.” Whhhaaa??!? I can assure you friends, that I have absolutely nothing in common with Priya Mani! To maintain basic civility, I kept nodding politely while secretly wishing that he’d just shut up. After a while, food was served. Hoping that this would silence him, I dug into the food and returned to my book.

But no! This man had an opinion to offer on everything! He said, “Madam, please enjoy your food. Keep aside the book and concentrate on eating.” Yeah right! As if I was sitting in an upscale restaurant refusing to savour my gourmet meal! It was boxed airplane food for God’s sake! By now I was nearing the end of my patience, which is never too high to begin with. I curtly told him, “No it’s okay. I can manage.” He insisted, “No listen to me. You can read after eating. Already you are wearing specs. Don’t spoil your eyes reading in this light.” I was like WTHHH??!?? This time I replied with a little asperity, “It is my wish. What is your problem?”  And to this the bloody man had the gall to say, “Oh you are answering like this to me. Wonder how you will talk to your husband. I pity him - God only should save him!!

Exasperated, I just turned my back on him and went back to my book and food. After eating, he continued to try to start another useless conversation – but I pretended to sleep and he left me alone. Our flight journey wasn’t too long and so soon it was time to disembark. Now this man found the opportunity to question, “Is someone coming to pick you up?” When I replied in the affirmative, he responded, “Oh you are all born with a silver spoon, someone will come to meet you. Me? No one is coming for me.” I am a young lady landing in the middle of the night. You, are a 50 year old man. Why on earth do you need someone to come and pick you up!!!???

As he kept on bombarding me with more and more questions, I finally lost it and said loudly enough for people to turn around, “Please mind your own business.” And even for this retort, the shameless creature continued saying, “Ah! This, this is what I like about you. The boldness, the confidence is so admirable. Blah blah blah…”. His voice faded as I stomped off.

If this kind of nonsense is not enough to muddle your brains, here is yet another sample.

Image source: Amature Photographer
Husband = God. In case you don't know, that is Tamil Culture

Someone I know pinged me asking, “How are you?” I replied, ‘By God’s grace, I’m doing good.’  He said, “Why are you telling by God’s grace? You can tell by your husband’s grace na?” I was like, huh??!, but I remarked on a lighter tone, “Because God is above husband!” His response word for word, “Here after u have treat ur husband as a god that is our tamil culture."

If I had had some better sense, I should have probably logged off then and there. But now I was irked. So I continued, “More than a Tamil girl I am a Christian girl. For us God is above everything and everyone. Without God even my husband won't be there. So God is most important.

But you are not illiterate. Do talk abt religion caste.

Why not? So only illiterate ppl should talk about God is it?

No talk abt religion.

I believe in my God and I am not afraid to talk about my beliefs. I am not asking you to believe. Whether you believe or not is up to you. But you cannot tell me not to talk abt my God.”

But from where this religion comes  without Tamilnadu.

So if I was born in some other state? Christianity wouldn’t have reached me?
Seriously what is this guy trying to say??? Can somebody explain!?

I will always believe god thats what i got good pair.” (No comments!!)
 Literate people will not talk abt religion and caste. i am educated. dont talk like village girl.” (Excuse me!!!??)

If literate ppl don't talk about things - then the world will never improve. And who are you to judge what topics literate ppl talk about? You can only choose what you can talk. Who gave you the right to choose what other people should or should not talk??

I am educated. I am ashamed of people like you. No can change such people. You are talking like mad.
(Yes truly, by now I was hopping mad!)

I live in a free world where I can express my opinions. I can talk what I want to - as long as it doesn’t interfere in another person's business. Who the hell are you to tell me what I can talk and what I can't? Who gave you that right?

We are also beliving god, muslium also.

So? Did I say that you don't? Or did I say that you should only believe Jesus? I said I believe in Jesus. Thats all.

Again I am tellign fortunately you was born in chris. if not hindu or muslim giving respect to husband be a tamilgirl for that no need chris.hindu or muslium.

I never said that I don't respect my husband. All I said was that God is above everyone. That doesn't mean that I don't respect my husband.”

It means that he is serving you on behalf of the god. so you have to give first preferrence to your husband.

No one is ‘serving’ me ok? Our relationship is mutual. He loves me and I love him, he does certain things for me and I do certain things for him. He is not my servant to serve me. He is my husband and we are happy to be with each other. So you don't tell me how I should be with my husband. A wife knows her husband best. I know what he wants and what he likes. If you have some philosophy reg married life, you apply it in your life.  Don't ask other ppl to apply it in theirs, because every husband-wife relationship is unique. My relationship with my husband is personal.  You don't need to give your comment on how I should behave with my husband.

I will never give second place to my wife.”

And right after saying that, he went on to ask if I have a webcam as he wants to see me after a long time!!!

So people, how about you? Have you had such insightful conversations too?


  1. Omigod!! You said you don;t have that much of a patience, but I salute to you! If it were me, and if I had to handle such perverts, the mind your business would have come way sooner than in your case! Really some men!

    1. Hey Jenny,

      I was just hoping that if I ignore him he'll eventually get the point and go away.Sigh! Looks like uncle can't take hints!

  2. To add to it: Cool naration and the mutually exclusive relation between ideas and blogs, I so agree to it!!!

  3. I've bumped into such people quite often - Realized that the best way to shut them up is to be your sarcastic best.Gives me a chance to speak what is on my mind without worrying about repercussions. Pretty sure that guy on your flight would have driven you nuts!.

    1. True BG! But you know some ppl can't recognize sarcasm if it came and danced naked in front of them!! I guess that this man was probably too drunk!

  4. Haha, Oh God. I think I unfortunately "attract" such specimens! I can't count the number of times I have had such inane and totally annoying and inappropriate "conversations". Sad part is - they always happen to be Indians :(. And they always, ALWAYS have to enter into personal areas and wonder about your salary, relationship, career etc. We should learn to be blatantly rude with such people.

  5. Not something like those. Met many irritating people during travel but he was something extraordinary.

    BTW, people think husband is above God??? I am shocked to read the conversation and the interrelationship between GOD/CASTE/STATE/RELIGION/EDUCATION...

    1. I was wondering how come no one commented on the second part of my post; for a minute I was scared tht ppl actually saw sense in tht conversation!! I knw - it shocks me to think that people can be so nonsensical!

  6. god! that flight oldie was such a pain!

    and as for the "serve your husband" - what can i say but ^%#*&Y$&^@*Q@#@Q&*Q(*#@^$&Q !!!!!!!!!!!
    i admire that you could so nicely articulate your frustration at such cliches of marriage & husband-wife duties, i surely just get so pissed off i cant think straight
    and what's with this "tamil culture" some people really think they are a separate country

    1. I knw! Such crazy conversations leave you in a doubt whether to laugh about it or cry over it!!

  7. Hi,

    I have met so many like this. Working in big organisation throws you with a mix. You are offended, you are ridiculed,you pick a fight, you have a grudge and ignore and move on. n
    After years , some of them , came to me and appreciated my choices in life :-)
    Excuse me what do you want now, is what I thought.

    The shameless guy in the plane appears to have rehearsed his role , in many a trip.

    As far as, Tamil or whatever. We Indians are nosy,, opinionated and we wont change.

    Enjoyed your post.

    1. Oh yes! People you meet at work are a whole new ballgame altogether!!

      Being opinionated may not be so bad - if only the opinions made some common sense!
      And welcome to my blog :-)

  8. Oh Yes. I've come across so many people who seem to think that they nonsense the utter would actually enlighten me and the rest of us. I am in fact a bit talkative and when I say, I wish some people would stop ranting, just think of the extent to which they would have gone!

    Regarding the Flight episode, Just as how you picked a book to while away the time, I guess that Gentleman(Let me say, Not so gentle Man) would have thought he could while away his time by talking you and ended up boring you. Coz after some time, our patience for the sake of courtesy wears out.

    And the "Serve your Husband" episode, I guess that Guy's wife was not treating him well and he just expressed his desire in the form of an argument.

    At both times, you were troubled for no fault of your own :-)

    1. Atleast they gave me some fodder for my blog :-)

  9. Nice post.

    World is filled with bizarre people really.

  10. Haha seriously some people have all the time on the earth just to be opinionated or judgmental! And the plane stasher conversations, I hear about it all the time!!

    Wish your flight wasnt too long! :)

    Do stop by my blog! I'd love your comments & visits!!

    1. Good thing abt living in the UAE - it's only a 4 hr flight :-)


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