You want me to talk?
Ever since I was a toddler, I was taught to listen. Listen to mom, listen to papa. Listen to relatives and society. Listen to friends.
Listening to everyone I forgot how to talk, how to express my feelings. I forgot what it means to open up, what it means to pour my heart out.
Perhaps that is why I always listen to your stories, trying to find a piece of me in them. Perhaps that is why I love quotes, looking for words to describe what is inside me
You want me to talk, when all I do is to listen ?
Disclaimer: The story is entirely based on true events. Parts of it may Rattle you.
It’s a warm summer evening in office. Deadlines hanging around my neck. The pressure is immense.
Come in existential crisis. I am questioning my life decisions. Why am I doing this? Do I really need to work so hard? I could have just enjoyed my college vacations. How hard would it would it be to just walk away from all of this right now?
Ummmm……well. It’s surely time. Time for the walk. The walk to the coffee machine. Maybe some harmless caffeine will set my thoughts straight. Maybe some harmless caffeine will give me the much-needed reality check.
Fate though had other plans. Who knew that my reality cheque was soon going to bounce!
Before we move on, time for some flashback. Remember the Sanskrit shloka that essentially said that you learn a quarter by reading, a quarter from your teacher, a quarter from your peers and most importantly you learn a quarter only with time and experience. Pretty deep, right? And do you remember the story of the rattrap peddler who had this philosophy that “The world with all its luxuries…… is a rattrap”? A pretty amusing analogy. I could never really derive much sense out of it though. I guess a quarter of this analogy was still left to be understood.
Back to voyage-de-caffeine. Cup in my hand and I press the button on the coffee machine. The brown thing is served to me. Routine stuff, right? Only the brown thing is a Rat. A freaking living rat! Turns out that the machine and the rat had been together for some time now. In a symbiotic relationship. They had done a great job in keeping it private until our paths crossed.
My reaction? I think I was Rattled. And no, I didn’t have flashbacks of me gulping down cups and cups of coffee all these days. I didn’t feel like vomiting the whole day either. My memory seems hazy. Afterall, it was a moment of profound realizations. You know the kind of moment when it really hits you. Suddenly somehow all of it made sense. All it took was the Wrath of the Rat to awaken me to this simple truth. The world is indeed a Rattrap. It lures us in the rat-race, promises us all the comforts and we keep falling deeper into the Rat hole. It makes us sin and also makes us atone for them.
Even though the incident still plagues my mind (pun is always intended!), it definitely made me more Rational. How do I feel at the end of it?
Why is it that people, friends, partners fall apart?
Why is that people who ‘knew’ one another inside-out suddenly become strangers?
Is it because we seem to ‘understand’ them so well that we don’t make efforts to understand them anymore?
Why is it that our benefit-of-doubt never seems to favour the ones we love?
Why is it the easiest to pass sweeping judgements about people we care about?
Maybe for once, lets give people a chance.
You know there are a few things that you have always wanted to say out, put it on record, but never really did. I have always been a wallflower. I have tried to blend in groups and failed. Every single time.
Here are some facts about me:
- I am socially awkward. I have tried making small talk, but I have always failed. I cannot keep a conversation going. I absolutely lack those skills. I want to talk to people sometimes but, I don’t know the algorithm to do so. Even when I really want to talk to someone, I fail terribly. Initiating a conversation is a Herculean task for me. I am absolutely bad at keeping touch with people. This has cost me many of my friends.
- The world is a very lonely place to be. They say the idea of love or “the one” is overrated. You don’t need someone to complete yourself. You are self-sufficient. Wouldn’t it be nice though to have someone you could go back to anytime and talk about absolutely anything without any fear or hesitation? Isn’t this the “one” everyone seeks? Someone called “home”.
- Music? Dance? Never been able to truly appreciate these art forms. Give me dead silence over these any day. Coming to parties, let’s not even talk about it. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than those trippy lights and loud music.
- I crave deep meaningful conversations. Not just talking but communicating. I feel that I often give out the impression that I am not very keen on talking. My social awkwardness reigns supreme. If only one could look through my mind.
- The thing that I hate the most? The fact that people build/modify their opinions about a person based on what others have to say about him/her despite already knowing and understanding that person. If someone is nice to me why should I believe you when you say that he is not a nice person. As long as he is nice to me, everything’s fine.