Sunday, December 11, 2005 First Sight

How much can you tell about someone in the first few seconds of seeing her?

I live off campus. Wherever I want to go on campus, I go to the nearest point (to my house) on campus and catch the internally run campus bus there. The bus goes trough the under graduate dorms picking up gals(and I guess guys also, who are busy staring at the gals, the moment they step on) along the way. Its a treat to the eyes. Its worth the time spent waiting for the bus.

Last Friday night, at around 8pm, I was returning home from the recreational centre and took the recreational route. On board, I am always well prepared to get impressed by the looks of a cool undergrad gal; but would never expect to be impressed by other aspects of their personalities. After all you can not make out much from their chitchat. Apparently, this ride happens to be different.

This girl boarded the bus at the next stop to mine. She had a football with her, after she entered the bus and before I could envy her for playing soccer, she dropped some metallic object, which I realised was an asthma inhaler. She picked it up and took the medication and started chatting with a couple of her acquaintance. As additional information, it was around one to two degree centigrade outside and it was drizzling.

In retrospect, how many things about her did impress me. She was a normal white girl, not any great looks, so not any impressed by that. But then she was going to play soccer. Women playing soccer; thats the topmost on my turn-on list. As if that is not enough, this woman is going out on a freezing and drizzling night. Thats the cream on the cake. This is inspite of the fact that she has asthma. I mean how passionate she must be about the game. (I would not credit her for this, soccer is like that. Only if I had a group of friends whom I can join on a Friday night for a game of football in the drizzle, dressed from foot to toe in athletic gear!)

One might wonder, is SHE nuts? to go out on a feezing night, to play a traditionally men's game? in the rain? That too when she has asthma? I wondered 'woooooooooow', this female IS Kool!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Everyone Says "We have a lot in common"

This sounds very similar to the famous movie title "Everyone says I love you", I have not seen the movie, hence no intended parallels.

The phrase "We have a lot in common" actually means "well I have feelings for him/her, I think I love him/her, but then, I can not admit such a fact before anybody, (not even my own self), because if (s)he does not respond positively, I will be branded a loser. So let me play safe and say we have a lot in common". This is what it means most of the times but there could be minor variations depending on the situation.

The first runner up to the meaning of the pharse of interest is "I love him/her for some stupid reason, which I am not ready to confront, so lets say we have a lot in common", this is a runner up only because the situtation to which it applies, that is the people in question are officially boyfriend-girlfriend (or what ever the prelevant local culture thinks is the relavant name of the relationship). This is a better situation to be in because the pair are at least bold enough to accept whatever; and the existence of a stupid reason is mutual.

A lot of people are disgusted with me for the reason that I pass on judgements like Zeus sitting on Mt. Olympos. There are many ways they retort to that. "Raka, there are no absolutes in life", "How can you just say like that", are the two most common replies that Mr. Zeus da Raka gets. But nicer American people 'compliment' with "You are a man of convictions". Which though means the same as the rustic Indian counterparts mentioned above, sounds better for reasons what ever.

That was a digression, the point at hand, is I am passing judgements on other's 'true' feelings. You just can not associate so many negative connotations to someone's simple statement like "we have a lot in common"! Now, what prompted this self certified extremely busy graduate student with four projects and some funds searching on his head, to launch such a severe tirade on such an innocent statement.

I was watching this movie, "Runaway Bride", and how in the movie, the heroine goes around involuntirily convincing a line of young men that they again "Have a lot in common" with her. There are a couple of tricks here. Firstly, the heroine in question is a sports lover and enjoys them quite openly with quite some celebration. Now if there were as many associations for the upliftment and preservation of rights of men, as there were for women, this heroine of ours would get sued many times over. After all she is infringing into the male domain of 'loving sports'.

Now, such a woman would definately "have a lot in common" with the entire male population. She may sometimes evoke feeling from some men like "abe yaar woh ladki hii nahi lagti yaar" ("she is more of a guy, you do not get that girly feeling with her"). But then she need not bother herself with a negative when there are ten positives out there. Features like 'laughing for a wide range of jokes', 'slightly good looks', 'good at verbal repartees', 'blah blah blahing' etc. etc. are an added bonus.

It would be partial and narrowminded of me not to attack the male (and my less favourite) population, and that last thing I wanted to be labeled is a chauvinist. So let me be proffessional here.

There are some kinds of men, who have a great way with women. All of you must be having a friend, who is now with his 'I have stopped counting, do not ask me how many' eth girl friend. Now lets see what these guys "have a lot in common" with the ivory legs, jelly cheeks and spicy sugary lips of the world. These guys are a the kind who can go on endlessly with any women on the phone or offline (surprising but, they have their mercies for the signal cables sometimes) for hours together on how that little extra tamarind in the day's curry would affect their health. For the sake of generality, lets say on a discussion about how 'whatever whatever whatever can have on whatever whenever and whereever'. Something that starts with 'the bus was late today' can end with 'I want to join the coast gaurd in Alaska'.

Again what do these gentlemen have in common with the ladies? They share the reason for their success with the allied forces's victory at Normany. i.e. simple statistics. When someone mentions a million things a day, you are bound to observe that of that million, you have at least a ten in common! Now after an attack of three months, i.e. a near 100 million, you are bound to find at least a thousand that reach the base, that is the common base. Now "we indeed have a lot in common". But then these fine ladies say that they are made to feel special "after all a person who could be commanding a $50 per hour, spends ten hours a day on you, you are bound to feel worth a million dollars over a period of time. Now that million dollars could just be the guy's investment in convincing himself that he is good enough, which I swear is worth the amount! Ofcourse he too could do with additional bonus features like 'open book mentality', 'affordable wallet', 'good dressing sense', 'sense of humor' etc. etc.

When the pair in question do not belong to any of the above classes, it could be the sheer driving force of human surviaval 'hope' that comes into action. You like this girl for some stupid reason. The stupid reason I would suspect is God's program embedded in human ROM, so that the race survives! Now, there we have something in common with the animal population!
This hope starts counting what you have in common with this gal or guy, and thus you end up "having a lot in common". The fact that she has more in common with the other guy/gal or the fact that these oh-so-common-stuff are superficial etc. do not matter to the blind lover(s) in whose world there are no gals or guys next door.

Isn't it amazing, for no reason we fall in love, for no reason we like to be so much in love! But then one fine day when the door knocks. When you are expecting opportunity, you find reason, before you could say 'hi there' it bangs you in the face. Its the gal next door, who 'has this guy, who means a lot to you, in common' with you.
Till then enjoy the ride.

PS: I am sure this post will be a sour pill to a lot of my dear friends and readers who "have a lot in common" with someoneelse. Zeus da Raka is ready for the stoning.