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Sunday, November 04, 2007


Off late, I have been adding more acquaintances to my repertoire than friends. It is probably as much a sign of ageing as a general laziness in investing time and effort to get to know the other person. It, however, beings into existence some interesting problems that I havent encountered before.

The first and foremost is the problem of names. Acquaintances, in my case, probably are a hundred to one friend. Even allowing for the fact that I dont have many friends, my acquaintances are still running into a number higher than my mind is capable of processing. Consider a person that I have 'known' to exist for over an year now. I bump into him every other month. When I was introduced to this person, I didnt know that I would be bumping into him again and again and therehow my mind classified his credentials (including his name) as inessentials. So, I promptly forgot his name and even his face. The second time I bumped into him, I offered my name alongwith my handshake and he politely reverted in kind but not before reminding me that we had met before. Now, I am not one to be embarassed easily with such social ineptness since I have developed quite a thick skin from similar (and worse) cases which have happened over time, so I conveniently forgot his name again. Ever since then, everytime I have met him, I exchange pleasantries as if we have known each other for ages. But, I still dont know his name. Sounds familiar?

That brings me to the second problem. To avoid being embarassed again, I take care not to land in a situation that necessitates mentioning his name. This, among other things, include being aggressive and overly enthusiastic in greeting him and keeping the conversation short and flimsy. But then therein lies the problem - how, on earth, am I supposed to get to know him better? Have I just lost a great friend because I cant unshackle myself from the social courtesies?

The problem magnifies when I unknowingly gatecrash into his birthday party. I saw him, he saw me and all I could think of was "Oh No, not again." Here is how the conversation went:

Myself: "Hey, fancy meeting you here!"
Him: "I wonder where I would be if not at my own birthday party!"
Myself (Recovering quickly): "Oh wow, happy birthday, mate. Did it even cross your mind to invite me?"
Him: "I wanted to but then I forgot your name."
Myself: "Haha. You funny bastard."

And then I ate his cake, danced with his girls and took off.

Am I telling your story too?

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