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Desis and small talk

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    Desis and small talk

    (I'm gonna have to make a short story long - what else do you think is a better use of time on a friday afternoon, huh?)

    Last year, I went to this Christmas party arranged by my company. I met few desi people there whom I knew from my workplace. We started chit chatting a bit when another coleague (whom I was meeting for the first time) showed up with his wife. One of the guys I was hanging out with knew the guy so they stopped and greeted eachother. My friend then introduced rest of the people standing there and we had an exchange of 'hi, hello'.

    Immediately after the exchange there was a heavy silence. Few looked down on their shoes, deep in thoughts, few looked down on others' shoes, deep in thoughts, while the rest looked around aimlessly at no points of particular interest, like a rooster who had just been on a binge of food, sex, and food and now stands aloof (or 'sulking' as Anchal would put it) with a slanted gaze at the meeting point of the horizontal and vertical axis in the air (having finally known the universally perplexing question of 'who came first'). A few moments later, when everybody made sure that the silence had reached its vertex of having a needle dropped and heard adequately, the arriving guy said 'Ok, so I will see you later' in a confirmation-seeking sorta way and after receiving the expected response, quickly moved forward towards another circle of coleagues and had a repeat performance of engaging everybody in a deep, thought-provoking silence while looking at shoes or acting like a rooster.

    Few minutes later, another couple arrived. Having been more experienced this time around, I tried to break the barriers of tradition (acting on my impulses of being what Xtreme would call 'rebel without a clue') and uttered few words, only to mismanage the whole thing. I first complimented the wife on what a nice dress she was wearing and whinned to the husband on how cold it was. This had a rather strange reaction on both of them. I don’t remember exactly but may be I mixed up adjectives and called it 'nice weather and cold dress' but still I don't think I deserved the looks I got from the wife and the husband. I almost prayed to God not to have the opportunity in any, near or remote, future to work with the husband on a project or I had my career with the company in severe danger. The particular couple moved forward briskly with fewer words of farewell than the first one.

    With my luck, we had a third couple arriving shortly after. I quickly re-evaluated my options. I could keep quiet. I could keep quiet and act like a rooster (as I already knew the kind, size, and color of everybody's shoes by then), or I could compliment the guy on his dress and whinned about the weather to the wife. I didn't get enough time to re-examine my options. The couple arrived, was greeted accordingly, and next thing I knew both my friend who introduced us and the husband were chit chatting like langotiyays and eventually everybody participated in shooting the breeze. Apparently, they knew eachother better than the first two couples.

    Later on I wondered, how hard it was? I mean, there are great topics like weather to be explored in details every time you meet a new person but then why people just keep quiet even if they don’t know eachother that well? They fall into this huge, awkward silence and make everybody else feel awkward too.

    Mostly, I have noticed that even if desi people participate in such a small talk, it revolves around the worklife. Things about projects, deadlines, locations blah blah blah. There is not much social desi stuff out there that desi people talk about, or is there? If not weather, you can always talk on Politics. From my observations, you can never say enough on Kashmir, for example… or Palestine if you're in the company of Pakistanis alone. And trust you me, there is not a greater topic in the world than religion itself. What else do you think desis can talk about?

    #2
    like a rooster?? huh

    ------------------
    Hey one more thing
    These things are hard to explain
    For some it seems strange... to swallow
    The frontier of our minds
    Is the last place we find
    But maybe the first place we should go

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      #3
      I usually complain about the airline industry to break the ince, ask Eros

      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

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        #4
        Roman, you answered your own question in the last sentence. When we have topics like Kashmir, Palestine, religion to be dicussed amongst desis...don't you think keeping quiet and looking at each other's shoes is a better option?

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          #5
          Rom, much better to talk about cold weather and hot dress than to show your infatuation with Ahmadi and Sikh women. I hope you never mention that to an Ahmadi girl that you are attracted to her because of her faith. She will shove the biggest rod available up your hiney. Attraction should be towards the person, and not towards the faith.

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            #6
            Originally posted by ChannMahi:
            When we have topics like Kashmir, Palestine, religion to be dicussed amongst desis...don't you think keeping quiet and looking at each other's shoes is a better option?
            Then you caught the wrong "exit", channmanni . . It's a discussion forum. Exchanging ideas, words, sentences, meaning, thoughts, concepts, LOVE.....not a posting competition. btw Im already above 500

            ------------------
            "kaisay na karta usko main pyar, uski haseen main sukh thay hazaar, bichar gayay hum dukh ki hay baat"
            Ain't new ta this....HOMEINVASION('93)

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              #7
              Ali, Roman was talking about small talk in real life during social get-togethers. not on the forums.

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                #8
                It all depends on the background of the person..i usually find i have no problem making a small talk with urbanite North Indians. Wheather, films Indian and western, music, good eating places, places of Interest are few of the many topics that can be easily discussed...While having a small talk u discover a lot about the people and often get invited to their homes.

                P.S. Also i found out very few North Indians want to discuss pollitics. It falls under heavy topics best left undiscussed with people u don't know very well.

                [This message has been edited by Rani (edited August 27, 2001).]

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by ChannMahi:
                  Ali, Roman was talking about small talk in real life during social get-togethers. not on the forums.
                  Same there my friend....you sit back and relax is not basics of life is it? No discussion no fun!

                  ------------------
                  "kaisay na karta usko main pyar, uski haseen main sukh thay hazaar, bichar gayay hum dukh ki hay baat"
                  Ain't new ta this....HOMEINVASION('93)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Fraudz:
                    I usually complain about the airline industry to break the ince, ask Eros
                    Fraudiyay, maana kay tu goroN kay mulk meiN pala barHa hai lekin iss ka matlab ye nahi kay tu apnay lefz hee aijaad karna shooroo kar day. Itna gora nahi hoa tu abhi acha?

                    Ahmadi, so you are saying Qadiani women don't go for the sinful? BTW, that was such a stale comment, what are you, a budha? Tumhari generation meiN aurteiN aisa sochti hooN gee, hamari nahi.

                    Rani, why only (urbanite) North Indians? BTW, 'politics' was meant to be sarcastic. So was religion.

                    Ok, my personal observation has been that when you in the company of Pakistanis alone, the talk mostly about religion, politics, their work related stuff, and stocks.

                    When you are in the comany of Indians, they talk about politics, their work related stuff, and stocks.

                    When you are in the company of Americans, they talk about stocks, vacation trips, their lives and events etc.

                    Stocks seem to be the only common dominator among all races/nationalities.

                    I bet you, if you ask anybody number of rakaats in Isha or Apostles or days Raam spent in exile they won't be able to tell you but if you ask them what's the current (by the minute, ie) price of Lucent stock, they'll spit it out without thinking about it.

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                      #11
                      Roman, here's the answer to all your questions, desis have no social skills, specially when it's a member of the opposite sex.

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                        #12
                        I hate social gatherings where you know no-one. Much prefer small comfortable dinners when it's someone new. And in desi gatherings you are relegated, as a woman to speak only to the women - sometimes it's OK, but often I would much rather speak to a man... Women to women small talk drives me up the wall, at least men don't spend their time trying to tell me politely that my clothes are way behond the current fashion.

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                          #13
                          One of the first questions that any new indian person (or for that matter any old acquaintance) i meet asks me is - so whats happening with your green card or sponsership, or the current date (whatever that is)
                          "A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty, 'Who am I, and what do I want out of life?' She mustn't feel selfish and neurotic if she wants goals of her own, outside of husband and children"

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