Sunday, 28 December 2008

Three days

Thanks to the remarkable advances in the means of communication today, many a times one tends to know better about people he has never met in his life than about the person he lives with.

I am good friends with quite a few people I have never met; some of them I do not plan on meeting - ever, while some of them I look forward to meet.
I spend four days at my hometown in India recently.
It was wonderful to be home.
I usually get bored easily at home, but this time it was different – I always found myself in a position where I had something to do, somewhere to be, someone to meet…

This post is about the time I spend with Mr S, from my point of view.
I wonder if he will post his point of view.

Day 0
This is the day I left Mangalore – destination Trivandrum.
I did not sleep the whole night, was busy cleaning up the post examination mess, packing and most importantly partying.

I had breakfast which did manage to make me momentarily happy until I remembered the ‘waiting list’ status of my 16 hour train journey and the impending trekking trip hunting for a pair of trousers for my brother in law as an anniversary gift in a shop located right in the middle of an extremely disorganised construction site.

The trekking trip was not fun – thanks to the extreme difficulty I was facing trying to keep my sleepy eyes open.
The waiting list status became an RAC seat.
I had no idea what that meant until my friend explained RAC meant I was supposed to share the lower side berth with a stranger.
The journey was almost uneventful except for the fact that I was surrounded by under-fives. There were six babies in my bogey – and I am not exaggerating.

Sometimes I really wonder if there is someone up there trying to teach me a lesson.
I hate babies more today, if that is possible.

Day 1
I reached Trivandrum at 5:30 in the morning – sleepy but mentally as sound as I can be expected to be.
I was supposed to meet S at nine thirty, but my being human led me to sleep till ten thirty. I met him at eleven.

I realised the following:
- Photos can lie, but not much.
- It is not easy to make a conversation in person.
- People sound different in person.
- I hate silence.
- Jobless girls waiting for hours at ice cream parlours for their dates to arrive distract men who do not have the power to make conversation with a friend they know for the last six months.
- Not everyone likes eating ice creams from cones – I did not know that!!!
- I hate being aware of someone judging every action of mine, makes me self conscious and I freeze.
- Tastes in music can differ to the point that the argument can never be settled – ever.

It was quite enlightening.
So I met S again in the evening.
This time we went to a lighthouse.

I realised the following:
- Impressions made on first meetings can be wrong.
- With time the conversation becomes easy.
- It irritates men to have to walk 200m due to lack of parking space.
- It is difficult to climb a ladder with a bottle of water in one hand.
- I am STILL scared of heights.
- The fear of heights can be overcome with the help of scenic beauty.
- I love letting my feet dangle, sitting on top of a lighthouse.
- Silence is not so bad after all.
- The water sparkles more just before sunset.
- There are people alike me who enjoy making faces for photographs.
- Climbing down a ladder is easier than climbing up one with a bottle in one hand.
- Pre planning sucks.
- The first meeting may very well seem like not the first meeting.
- Light houses are beautiful, awesome, amazing, lovely, marvellous places.
- Traffic in Trivandrum can be a real pain thanks to people deciding to celebrate God-alone-knows-what (not Christmas) on the roads.
- Returning home late on the first day back can also be a pain.

Day 2
Next we met on Christmas. Christmas eve was spend hogging with cousins and family. S came home and stayed home for more than 4 hours before we decided to go to the zoo.

I realised the following:
- My mother can talk for hours with friends of mine with whom I have difficulty carrying on a decent conversation.
- My sister has inherited the same trait from my mother.
- It takes time to decide where to go out to in Trivandrum because there are very few places that may serve to be interesting.
- My house can be interesting.
- The art gallery in Trivandrum is awesome.
- I appreciate art – I did not know that.
- The zoo is humongous; even if you are walking at a brisk pace it takes more than half an hour to see the whole place.
- I am not fond of birds and primates; there are other people like me.
- The King cobra in the zoo looks like a dark python and moves at a pace of a sloth.
- I am fond of snakes and reptiles.
- Lions pee on you if they get angry.
- If S had not tried to be a hero, both of us would have been peed on by a lion.
- I do not like the idea of getting peed on.
- S would love to be peed on by a lion.
- Animals have a tendency to get perturbed by my presence – I wonder why.
- My presence in the zoo was responsible for all the animals being extra active and putting on a good show to all the people who visited the zoo that day.
- The roads are empty on Christmas.
- Reaching back home earlier than what is expected is considered mysterious.

Day 3
This was my last day at Trivandrum. I finished my packing in advance because the shortcomings of sleepless nights due to packing were still fresh in my mind – Day 0.
S and I decided to go grab a bite for brunch. We ended up going to the museum.

I realised the following:
- I am usually fond of museums but not all museums.
- The Trivandrum museum is very disappointing.
- My sense of direction is still at its worst.
- I do not enjoy observing stone idols which are 600 years old.
- I enjoy observing table cloths, trays and ‘royal chairs’ which are hundreds of years old – they really look funny.
- I lose my appetite after a disappointing museum trip.
- Even if the museum is disappointing, the conversation can keep you animate and interested.
- Homes which have been transformed into tiny eat outs are beautiful.
- I love Italian food, even if it is for brunch.
- Pizzas can be dissatisfying and soups can be impressive.
- Not everyone has a horrible sense of direction like me; S always knew the way back home – which was a relief.
- Saying ‘goodbye’ sucks, it is better to say ‘see you later’.
- I had an amazing time at Trivandrum, thanks to a friend I met for the first time three days before my departure.

So next time you are planning on meeting up a friend you have made thanks to the world wide web or other advances in networking – make sure you keep an open mind. The first few hours might seem like hell but then it keeps getting better.
Thank you, Mr S!!!

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