Cigarettes and Alcohol

Monday, July 06, 2020

How do you get to know someone? Do you ever get to know someone? 

I'm not practicing active/passive voice despite having done the revision last night while streaming Rasbhari (2020). A show that I'm yet to process my feelings about (largely, writing over the feelings cause it's not worth talking). 

Right, knowing people takes an effort. An effort is a two-way street, where passively the recipient must respond or the active effort maker will cease doing that. 

I came across a meme today. It read, 

"I hate when people are like "so tell me about yourself :)" What do you want like my trauma or my favorite color let's be specific" (sic)

I immediately sent it to the one person I know would resonate with this. The last person who's possibly attempted to gauge that about me and in his feigning of getting to know me, he might actually have landed on a few things. He agreed, it was too wide a statement to make and too general an attempt to forge. 

Got me thinking of all the 1500 matches on my Tinder, pending, waiting to hear from me, about me. 

Okay, 1500 is an illustrated example. I mean some 679 active chats and the remaining 1590+ matches who I'm yet to talk to or vice versa if we're all alive. 

How do you actually learn about someone? Do you sit in a classroom with them and hear them talk and tell yourself, "Yep, this is the one I want to befriend." or do you find yourself asking them, "What's your favourite sport?" and if the answer corresponds with your favourite sport, here's something at bay there. 

Forging friendship is a delicate road. Timing, space, enthusiasm, distractions all tend to matter in different quantities and if things work, you may have found yourself a person. The person your potential therapist will hear about, your potential partner will know about and yet never not in full capacity, just as much as you know them. Your family will extend them a chair on the table and if your blood relations don't, your family of choice will. Point being, friends manifest themselves outwards when we have fully or to some level accumulated their likes, dislikes, traumas, and then some more. 

How do you get there then? 

I have been told a bunch of times that my marker for forging a conversation with strangers in person or on the internet is way too stringent. I don't come easy and I definitely don't make it easy. 

How do you expect to know me or anyone when you ask them, "your favourite drink- wine or beer?"

First, there's an assumption that you think the person drinks. Second, there's an affirming assumption that the person drinks one of these two. 

I've done that too. Hence, I find myself at liberty to write about this. 

In 2009, when I first met Sinner outside room 6 in the Journalism Corridor, I asked her, 

"So do you like Manchester United? That's cool, cause I know like one player who plays with them."

She responded kindly, "Eh, so I don't actually like ManU as much. Uh, I like a good game where it's fun to watch. I don't actually like ManU very much."

I had nothing to say to her. I was two days into college and basically, my attempt at cutting past my introversion was trying to talk to as many people as I could. I think that explains the number of people I know from college, courtesy all the conversations I made in the first year cause I didn't want to be left alone in the library like I was in school.

"Yeah, that's cool. I only know like one sport I do. I climb the stairs up and down and that's maximum I can. Yeah."

It's nothing less than a miracle that over a decade later, she and I hang tight despite that ManU t-shirt not being a dead giveaway into her likes and dislikes. We have mutual social awkwardness and then we found we could guzzle alcohol more than anyone else in our batch together.
Funnily enough, she remembers this conversation and at some level resonates with my awkward attempt. 

It's even funnier when I think about how I forged friendships with some of my other close friends. One, coming to class grumbling about it all through lunch and seeing someone you barely know totally drunk and obliging her request to cover her face with my body by sitting in front of her in a wretched Sound class, with another over our triumphs to find perfect biryani in Delhi while eating stuffed crust pizza. Yet another over learning how we absolutely dig Kind of Blue and then with another over our shared introversion. I've made friends easily and those are the ones where we've never quite had to ask, "so tell me your favourite..."

It's funny when I say it out loud because not so long ago, I did a post on not knowing anything about May and it was only yesterday when she texted to ask me my favourite colour. 

How do we then know each other? 

I think we do when we know each other in moments. In passing time with one another, where I've cried on someone's shoulder drunk out of my mind about the boy who made a pass at my friend in a different country, then another time when we chattered non-stop for 4 days in an outstation trip and learning more about each other. There are bits of silences, honesty, and uncontrolled emotion that traverses through words and expressions. 

We know each other through many glasses of whiskeys we have shared and staccato conversations on the people we know without actually knowing anything about each other. There's that critical second-hand information, which when we are exposed to, tells us a lot about others and ourselves. I'm sure my friends have known me from my other friends on how I passed out after drinking enough the evening I found out I topped third-year exams during undergraduate or the time I slapped a close friend at a party because she was so drunk that it irritated me. Maybe even that time, when we had a nine-hour-long date and ended up smoking pot under the stars until we were interrupted by half a dozen missed calls from my home at 4 am. 

I am bringing a lot of alcohol references because the last decade has been shaped by alcohol addled camaraderie and wild episodes. I have possibly become less introverted and more authoritative knowing that there's a side to me which alcohol brings and maybe, it's not all that bad to own it. 

Here's a big shout out to everyone I know and then to those who know me back. In some way, we have so much to learn and in another, it's good to reflect back and call you my home. The place where I take refuge when I don't have to explain myself for being who I am and tell you my favourite anything out loud. 

(Title track; reference of the day)

You Might Also Like


Hos in Different Area Codes


Stalker Count