Monday, January 3, 2011

Some things change....

Happy New Year Readers ! Don't worry it is not one of these new-year-resolution posts. I actually planned to write one last week in a pathetic attempt to bring the number of posts in 2010 to 100 but I decided that I liked '99' (read couldn't come up with any new year resolutions!)

Now think of concentric circles……(Time for a Flashback)

I first met him at a Hindi class. Remember those Rashtra basha, praveshika classes?? God I hated those! Is that anyway to learn Hindi? I attribute all my knowledge in Hindi to Shahrukh and his romantic (or what I thought was romantic as a stupid teenager) movies. Anyway I am digressing. He was a quiet guy always minding his own business and uttering only a few words. I liked him instantly but I was puzzled by his aloofness…until then I had never met an introvert. I slowly started talking to him and even then he would only answer questions and never say anything on his own. He was so shy that even if he saw me somewhere outside he would keep on walking without as much as a smile acknowledging my presence. At first I thought he was rude but then I realized he simply did not interact with anyone unless the other person approached him first.

I gradually learnt that he was a very diligent student at school and was also a good shuttle player. His amma always proudly showed off all the trophies he had won in the various matches. In spite of all this I learnt he hardly had any close friends and very soon it was obvious that I was probably the only one. I realized it was only because of his lack of people skills. So I started bugging him about interacting with people and asked him to follow what I was doing when I met someone. I could see that I was slowly arousing his interest since he was impressed with my network of friends and all the fun we had (well, I didn’t exactly tell him about all the trouble we got into, I figured that information was for later :D).

I was always very fond of him (I still am). He was very innocent and naïve and I always worried that people would take advantage of him. I coaxed him to be more street-smart and although he tried, it never really worked. He was 2 years younger than me, so he pretty much started following me as a mentor and we had lots of good times until I went to college. Hostel life and then coming to Germany made me lose touch with him though I would occasionally get some updates about what he was doing.

I recently found him in one of the social networks and was overjoyed. I learnt that he is not in India anymore and works for a MNC. The first few emails I got from him made me really happy. He asked me to chat with him during one of the weekends and I gladly agreed. There is one thing about catching-up with someone that you haven’t really interacted with for years, it can go both ways and unfortunately this chat went the way I hoped it wouldn’t.

During the first few minutes, he kept talking all the time that I was inordinately pleased that he is not the same introvert he was years ago. But after a while, I realized, he was consciously making himself talk, so it ends up being mind numbingly boring. He was saying the same things again or things that totally were unimportant and he was an extremely poor listener. Very soon, we had run out of things to talk and I realized I was getting both angry and annoyed. I thought to myself that I would have preferred the silent guy to the boring chatter box and it was probably because of me that he has turned into one. Its true that its been years and we have somehow drifted apart and have landed in different wavelengths. The pangs of guilt and my fondness for him made me chat with him a little longer but I knew I was stretching my patience limits and very soon I would snap. Well, that was that...it was the last time I had a chat with him. Since then, I have restricted our contact to occasional emails. I still like him and wish him well but its just not the same !

I have read somewhere that women always assume that they can influence and change a man by caring, the operative word being ‘assume’. I have often seen rogues turning into respectable gentlemen for their women or duds turning into geniuses in movies but have never come across something like that in real life. I understand that it’s not the same situation here but I can’t help but wonder if this is another delusion....
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