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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to lose friends and alienate people (part 1)

I have always had friends. All kinds of them - friends, best friends, just friends, friends of friends, friends that use me, friends that abuse me (not physically -dont get any ideas Ok?) and friends that I use. Sometimes, I think I have too many of them than I'd have like to have. Even my parents and siblings would agree that there are too many so called "Friends" in my network. I abuse the word friendship in the way that I call any relationship : Friendship. I don't know why - may be coz friendship is the only relationship that can be associated with anyone without any changes to anything. I am the kind of person who would walk into a restaurant, order some random thing and eat whatever they prepare without even adding any condiments to it. I dont like to change anything much. I am ok with whatever it is and however it is (as long as it is to my liking :) ). Most of the time, I dont even order for myself - I let the waitress pick out something for me. It sometimes ends up being a total disaster but that's life. I do not do this coz I am too lazy to choose but I do this coz I want to experience what the other person is like - what he/she would like to eat or what he/she would order if it was up to them. This is my way of escaping me and being someone else I guess. Or may be I am just too confused to order anything for myself. That being said, I am also a control freak in other aspects. I am a complete set of paradoxes. Not necessarily a Hypocrite but a self-contradicting entity driven by the context.

I have always been good with people. I think I can go as far as saying I understand people (including some women) to a fair extent (I think). Although I misjudge them at times but I am right to most extent. I have seen lots of types - stereotypes I mean. In my short time here on planet earth I have had chance to interact with so many ists - extremists, conformists, objectivists, pessimists, activists, atheists, religionist, sadists, enthusiasts and The Closet Depressionists. The most amazing thing about me is that I can relate to all of them. When I am with one, I completely understand what they mean and can relate to what they are. Infact, I saw a movie (Little Children) the other day about a cheating husband and I could totally (or thothally as my russain friend says it) relate to that even though I am neither married nor the cheating type. It's like I get into the other person's skin with no effort at all. It comes very naturally to me. This might seem a bit proud and all but it is true. Well, true* (with a star!)

The point is, my ability to relate to people got me a lot of friends. People confide in me or ask me for advise or dump their troubles or just wanna talk to me coz I seem to care/listen. As crazy as it sounds, it is very hard to find people who can listen. I do and hence I get to listen to a lot of crap from a lot of people. Although, I am quite a bit of a talker too. So, when I am not talking, I am listening - makes sense right? (See, I was not lying after all).

The other day, I looked at the variety of age groups, ethnicities, backgrounds of the people in my network and it's pretty interesting. I have so many kinds of people in my network - Americans, Canadians, Africans, Europeans, Indians, Chinese, Nepalese, Korean, Haitian, Nigerian, Black, White, Young, Old, Adolescent, Male, Alpha-Male, Female, Women, Girls, Boys, Pastors, Atheists, Virgins, Sex Addicts, Cabbies, Waiters, Millionaires, Actors, Photographers, Bloggers, Coders, Geeks, Hotties & Notties, Scientist and a Murderer among many others in my friends list. I understand this is not an achievement but just the variety of the people in my network is mind blowing. I am not kidding, this is my network for real.

When I moved to USA, I had 2 business contacts (my employers Sreenivas and Nagesh) to call in case of emergency and 2 friends to call who would care to talk to me (Wesley and Gordon from InsideView) - that was pretty much it. You can imagine how difficult it must have been for me to come down from having a massive directory to call to just 2. Back home, I had just about everyone calling me to play cricket or watch a movie or just hang out or doing something really stupid like staking out a friend's locality for hot girls. My day was packed with meaningless events and idiotic randomness to say the least. The people in my life drove it in all directions although it was MY life. I took charge only when it is required. It was fun that way. I loved every moment of it until it all came to a complete halt when I move to the United States of America.

to be continued.....
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