My dear friend Ananya, once posted in her facebook status-'It is easy to pretend death. Switch off your mobile and stop coming online, people will start asking whether your are alive or dead!!!
Times have changed but people haven’t. Rules of friendship has changed drastically. The actual proverb should have been ‘A friend for nothing is a friend indeed’ instead of the original one. Well, here friends mean colleagues, ex-colleagues, friends of friends, acquaintances, old classmates, new classmates, old classmates of my old classmates etc. This post isn’t about my friends ( I have many of them and consider them the best of my life), but about those ‘friends' who appointed themselves to the grade. The other day, I received a call from an unknown number. If a timer was set to record the difference of time between my ‘hello’ and his ‘onslaught’, it would be somewhere in fractions of seconds. The conversation went on like this
Unknown caller: Where the hell have you been?..............................................( it went on for some time…)
Me: Am here. But who is this?
Unknown caller: So you have forgotten my voice too now?
Me: But… Ok… Who is this?
Unknown caller: I will kick your ass if you say that again.
Me: Fuck you @#$%&*!!!
Why can’t people speak normally here instead of expecting the whole world to remember their voice? And they always choose the busiest time of the day to call and expect me to entertain them by playing their game of guesses. They are no less than those tele-marketing guys.In fact more, because those guys do it for a living.
This is just the tip of an iceberg with lot of more dangling under the water. To say you are busy, has become a crime. Invariably you can’t avoid them behind the mask of being busy. Especially, when ‘busy’ isn’t a mask but a great feeling of doing something constructive. Last week, I was at a meeting in office, a training to be more specific and I was getting a call on my mobile. Despite my repeated non-answering of calls, the calls wouldn’t stop at all and after a while started coming from two different numbers, one after the other continuously. My manager noticed my discomfort and asked me to attend the call & come. I came out of the room answering the call, only to find out that couple of my friends had come to my office & waiting at a tea stall opposite my building. My office is in outskirts of the city. I, out of curiosity asked them why they had come. None of them gave a straight answer but a sarcastic answer laced with humour (so called).
“ So Mr. Busy, we have to take appointment to meet you now? Get your ass down. Tera office tak aye hum.. ek chai tak nahi pilaoge?” (We came near your office…wont you offer us even tea?)
Did I want to shout at them? Or did I feel sad for their lonely life, I don’t know because I couldn’t really understand the psychology behind this visit. Of course, they were in the same area for some work and thought of me. I truly appreciate the fact, that people remember me. Even I call up (once) people when am in their vicinity. But only to find out, if they were free enough to meet. And I also don’t tell them that my sole purpose of coming was to visit her/him. But that’s the answer I always get. Every time, when asked what they were doing in this area, I get the same reply.
“ You don’t come to visit us Mr.busy, so we came to visit you.” Ok buddy, now fuck off!
There are another set of people who have self induced notions about certain things and come to conclusions about it. Well, I live in Uppal area (Hyderabad). For those who don’t know, Hyderabad’s cricket stadium is in the same area. During international matches in Hyderabad, my mobile doesn’t stop ringing for a very stupid reason. People call me for tickets to the match. From when did this bill get passed in parliament that tickets are to be distributed for free to people living in and around the stadium? Or am I to resign my current job and work at the ticket counter at the stadium to get the tickets for my friends? Or am I to understand that my friends expect me to stand in the line to buy the tickets for the match, I wouldn’t be watching. Their reason for calling me is- I live nearby the stadium. With that logic, those who live near parliament should be allowed to contest for next elections. World cup is coming in 81 days. To all those who might be thinking of calling me for the tickets, think at least once please
I don’t understand whether it’s the loneliness or plain sadism, but people expect to be entertained always. A friend sends me those bland forward messages every day. I don’t mind receiving them but he expects me to reply to them. Even a simple ‘:-D ‘ from me, would encourage him to send me 10 more messages immediately. But if I don’t reply for some time, I get a string of questions marks in my inbox. In my youth, this was called, height of vanity. There are another kind too-the blackmail kind. I received a message on my mobile-‘You really changed. You were not like this before. Do you think, only you are busy?’. I felt bad. I tried explaining him, wrote few long messages. So, after a few days, when he asked to meet up with few old friends, I said okay and went. All through the meet, the smirk on his face made me realize, he never meant the message he had sent me. It was just an attempt to make me feel guilty of something. Sadism? Sorry bro, lesson learnt! I won’t feel guilty for nothing.
I still remember those days when I was jobless, I was desperately calling up friends in the evening to meet up. I am sure I myself would have made mistakes similar to these to irritate my friends who were busy in their offices. But I learnt from them but I dont see any signs of them in people around me.Earlier people used to hate me for not calling them. Now they hate me for not scrapping, walling, blogging, tweeting, mailing, messaging, meeting. A friend is not a person you call at the dead of the night. A friend is one who won’t call you at that odd hour because he would know you are sleeping.