I have decided that i want to go back to Kindergarten.God! How simple life was then...take for example the process of making friends in Kindergarten,you simply approached the nearest person your age and said "hi,want to play? And ta-da! You had yourself a new best friend,it was as easy as that. No judgement,no interrogation,just unbiased friendship and trust,right from the start. There were no fears of how you looked,no wondering what to say,what you could have in common or what they would think of you,it was simple and innocent.
Now i am by no means a shy or reticent person,i have no issue with chatting with anyone,anywhere at anytime.I am genuinely interested in other people and how they are doing. I quite pride myself as a people's person. I am good at small talk and can easily carry on conversations but unlike in kindergarten moving from small talk to friendship does not come as easily for adults. You cannot very well walk up to a stranger and say , "hi,i am lonely or bored! wanna play with me?" In fact that's a sure shot way of inviting trouble and lots of it especially in "sadi dilli" where everything is taken as a double entrende and i would most definitely be permanently labelled as a "chaloo-cheez."
The innocence of our childhood and the instant trust wears off quickly as we grow older. Friends stab us in the back,the news fills our heads with the negative outcomes of getting close to strangers and self doubts causes us to hold ourselves back for fear of rejection or being mis-understood or being taken for a ride. No longer do we look at other people as potential friends or buddies,we judge,we criticise and keep our distance.Not only does maturity change us,our lives but the world around us has changed too. We have become more bitter,hardened and cynical. We view everything and everyone with suspicion.
What does it matter? Why am i rambling on about making friends you ask? Well i will tell you why. To be perfectly honest, i am bored out of my skull being the ideal mom and the glamorous corporate wife to my high flying hubby. I think somewhere along the line i have lost my essence-the essence of being Sheeba-of being me! My individuality has disappeared and most times i operate on auto-pilot. My life is mundane,routine and very yawn worthy. There's nothing which motivates me or inspires me anymore to push myself to be the best that i can be. I have literally seen it all and done it all-well almost all!!! I have to confess that i am not an adrenalin junkie so haven't gone bungee jumping or white water rafting or jumped from aeroplanes just wearing a parachute or gone deep sea diving!! But those things don't interest me and are not my cup of tea so i don't miss them.
But yes i miss going to some exotic village in Europe and just getting lost there-of not having a plan or an agenda-of just soaking in the ambiance,the culture,just sitting in a cafe having a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and observing people as they scurry about doing their day's business. I miss that sense of freedom,of trust,of having no worries,of just chilling and relaxing and just being. I miss smiling at people and just engaging in idle chatter with random people-male or female,old or young-doesn't matter. It's about the human connect-everything has become so automated these days. Even if one wants to share something with a loved one, we prefer to text or e-mail rather than just meeting face to face or picking up the phone to chat.
The human connect is all about making eye contact,sharing experiences and feelings,to learn about things that i am not aware of or acquainted with. I want people to understand me,people to see me for who i really am, i want people who can trust me and whom i can trust. I don't want to pretend or posture or pose or preen in the typical "delhite" fashion. I just want to be me without the charade or the facade which our society imposes on us!!
I am also sick to death of worrying about what people will think of me if i just strike up a conversation with a stranger. I don't want anybody to think that i have an ulterior motive or that there's more to it than meets the eye or that I'm sick of my marriage and looking for a fling!!! Please don't be shocked-some people do think like that-they feel that if an attractive woman is smiling or chatting with you then she's easy game-"chokri pett gayi hain." Sick and repulsive! What they don't understand is that i just want to connect even if it's through a simple nod or a casual chat. It may seem silly or possibly pointless to you but for me it is akin to doing my good deed for the day. A smile is a sign of an open heart and clean mind.Friendship can cure a lot of ills and drive away loneliness and can renew you and re-energise you.
So i have decided that i am going to completely ignore the "ghattis and cheapos" and their loose talk and as i walk down the street or mall or take my kids to their bus-stop or work out in the gym or wait at the dentists or sit alone having a cup of tea at Barista,i will smile. I will try and make friends where i can and where appropriate and brighten people's day through tiny/minuscule gestures because as they say God is in the details!! We are so quick to criticise but tell me honestly how many of us are that quick to praise or appreciate??!
I would rather say something nice that brings a smile to your face than say something that hurts or pinches you!Big bloody deal!No body's perfect and that's why we are human- so then why not try and ignore the negatives which we all have and focus more on the positives!I will definitely try to do so and will remember that making a difference means doing things that are both big and small and that sometimes it is the smallest of gestures that make the biggest impact on our lives.