Monday, May 2, 2022

Small Talk

I never really ever like what people call small talk, perhaps because I never was good at it. Small talk seemed mostly to involve the weather when first I had it used on me. 'Kya garmi hai' was where it used to start when I first hit Delhi in the month of May.

On the first day, of course, I joined in vigorously, having never before encountered the furnace heat that Delhi specialized in. True that Chennai, from where I had set out, is nobody's idea of a hill-station but it did provide some relief in the mornings and evenings with the sea-breeze. Delhi's breezes were, if anything, hotter than the Sun itself and, on their more enthusiastic days, laden with sand. So, yes, the first few days, it was all new and interesting to talk about.

But, you know what, after the tenth day of entering the office and responding to 'Kya Garmi hai' from some twenty people, it started palling on me. I mean, if the dratted place was going to KEEP being hot for most of the year, it does get monotonous to keep talking about the same thing every day. And, then, comes winter and you exchange 'Kya garmi hai' to 'Kya tand hai' and keep doing it for the next two-to-three months.

See what I mean? You need a special gene to say the same thing day after day and also FEEL like you are imparting some new and interesting information to the rest of the world. Not to mention the fact that EVERYONE is in the same city and is expected to be experiencing the same weather but you should say it with all the enthusiasm of a TV reporter telling his audience the 'Breaking News' that not only he, but every cohort of his, have been blathering about for the past 6 hours. THAT is an ability that must have been distributed when I was taking a loo break for it never was given to me.

Anyway, I never did take to small talk and used to be impatient with it. Conversation, I had always felt, should have more substance, something informative, something of relevance to Society.

Till I ran into people talking such things. And I find that, these days at least, people seldom CONVERSE about things of relevance. As in, they do not DISCUSS such things. They merely use those things to judge others, to troll them, to wish them ill, to fight them and, generally, to convert what should be a social drama into a full-fledged Arnold Schwarzenegger mayhem movie. Now THAT is a shade too...bloody...for me.

So, now, I have come to pine for the good old Small Talk. When people just talked about how hot it was and agreed companionably. Now I realize the virtues of small talk.


'Kya garmi hai'

'Haan! Jabse Modi PM bane, it is getting hotter by the day.'

'Nonsense! When Nehru was PM, the country suffered from drought for consecutive years. Since 2014...'

Ye Gods! NOTHING is safe these days! Nothing!

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