Thursday, July 31, 2008

The masks of sorrow!

It is my second month in the new firm. I have become familiar to a lot of people and they have become familiar to me. There comes a colleague of mine, a familiar and ‘pretty’ woman who shared an hour-long conversation with me in the cab just 12 hours back. I have rehearsed my greeting at least a couple of times over in my head. The smile is pasted neatly from ear to ear. The words are almost off the lease at the tip of my tongue. Eye contact remains the missing link before I pull the conversational trigger. Ten steps away. Five steps. Two steps. Zero steps. We pass. No eye contact. I swallow my words and erase my smile. All I have on my face is a confused WTF expression. Period.

I remember reading in school about a mythological demon named Medusa, into whose eyes if one stared, would turn them into stone. So far, I am not aware of me or anyone for that matter with such powers. I wasn’t around a few thousand years ago, so I can’t take Medusa’s case. But today, I am sure there is no one. If there was, Bangalore mirror would have covered him/her for 3 months with full page reports. So why on earth do people find an eye-to-eye such a tedious task?

The lady in the first paragraph for instance. Had I made a pass at her during that long midnight ride, being a married orthodox-looking woman, she would be completely justified. But all we did was talk about the death of advertising and the rise of PR. And there was nothing gory or unmentionable about it, despite the nature of the industries. So that options is ruled out.

Another theory could be the oncoming person’s face. In this case, mine. Well considering me, I don’t have the most beautiful of faces. Scary is what some define my face as. I agree. But even when scary, won’t you pass a glance, just for the sake of amusement? Just for kicks. Just like when you are walking the lonely road and you are sure that someone is following you. There comes this urge to turn back despite the ultimate fear. Just to kill it. I think there is. In which case, this also can be erased from the list of possibilities.

The next one, and a very probable one under any other circumstance, could be that she and I do not speak the same language. Or for that matter, we do not share a mutually comprehensible medium of communication. That is untrue unless we used sign language the previous night (which is quite possible considering that I was drunk up to my eyes and by tolerating me, she proved that so was she). She speaks English. I understand. I speak English. She understands. And then again, there is the universal language called smile.

Now the fourth, the very cynical and hence the very realistic thing. The mask. Everyone these days wears a mask – the mask of insecurity and hence one of indifference. Insecurity due to jobs, and lack of them. Insecurities from relationships and the absence of them. Insecurities due to challenges and walkovers. Insecurities due to the others and strangely due to oneself. The fear of being exposed steals the very essence of being human from each of us. The power of being social. To think of it, it is one small gesture that takes very little effort. As the cliché goes, fourteen muscles are all it takes. Then why bother counting the bricks in the wall when a warm ‘hello’ can keep you the human you were? Why create imaginary Sudoku puzzles in the air and solve them on the move, when a gentle smile can ensure that you have not evolved to the point of no return? Why can’t we just keep the romance alive like the good old days? Why can’t we just keep loving?


Maya Reiss said...

Dude.. I have your answer. Call me :D

Ajith said...

There can be one more reason, The lady must have been thinking of something else while walking and would'nt have noticed you :)

Ajith said...

Got your response, In that case I agree with u coz most of the girls hae 'mood swings', one day u ll feel that this girl is totally fida over u and next day u can find her not even saying Hi. :)

usha said...

well.. mebbe she's myopic! :D

I've been thru that, so I know.. I used to react only to explicit Hi's or hurt hullows! that is until I got a pair of specs to solve the problem!