Texting Is Taking Over Our Lives & The Art Of Conversation Is Dying!

I was originally going to write this blog for Floh, and I’ve been thinking about it/mulling over it for a while. And suddenly, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night to churn it out here for all you loyal readers.

I think I’ve enjoyed good conversations with boys ever since I was a teenager. In fact, in my late teens and early twenties, my ‘boy friends’ often dubbed me as ‘one of the dudes’. I could talk to them about movies, computers, technology, ‘girls’, travelling, everything under the sun, except cricket (I just can’t wrap my head around it despite several attempts).

I remember the day I acquired a cellphone. It was 2001, an evening in November, the 21st, to be precise, 4 days before my 13th birthday (?). I was not new to cellphones, I just hadn’t had my own before. That fateful night, without having activated the ‘9 to 9 scheme (Indian millennials know what I’m referring to)’, I had spent 6 hours of the night on the phone. Of course, the bill that ensued at the end of the month, ensured my postpaid connection be cut off for years to come, allowing me a reasonably allocated prepaid account.

If one thing hasn’t changed since I was 13, it’s the fact that I. Love. Talking. On The Phone.

Continue reading Texting Is Taking Over Our Lives & The Art Of Conversation Is Dying!

Of small talk and random subjects of conversation…

I don’t like to walk. I’d rather take the bus or call a cab. That’s just how it is.

The other day, I found myself in the midst of a free day and decided to go to Glendale Galleria, a 20mins ride from where I live.

Now, the thing about LA taxi drivers is that they love to talk.
They almost compulsively make small talk, which I don’t mind. Some might see it as an opportunity to weave different stories each time. But I stick to the routine.

“Where are you from?”
‘India’
“How long have you been in LA?”
‘4 weeks’
“What are you doing here?”
‘Studying”
“Where are you studying?”
‘New York Film Academy’
“Do you want to work in Hollywood?”
‘I haven’t thought about it yet’

And it goes on.

Then there are old men who drink alcohol on the bus and insist on telling everybody in their close radius their life story. This one was particularly entertaining.

“You having a good day, Miss?”
‘Yeah’
“I’m always having a good day. You know why?”
(He points to the inside pocket of his jacket and shows a bottle of alcohol. He almost immediately brings his finger to his lips and pretends it’s a secret)
“I’m just happy to be alive.”
‘Mmm hmmm’
“I’m 57, just 3 short of 60. Ooooh and this (points to his hip) is my third artificial hip. I’m in pain and I used to take (names some medicine I can’t remember) but now I just (makes a drinking gesture)… ssshhh.
‘Mmm hmmm’

He goes on to claim having lost 101 cellphones or something and quotes an arbitrary figure on how much it cost him. So much so that now the store owners are fed up of taking his money and gave him an ordinary cellphone for free. As far-fetched as all his stories possibly were, he was just looking to make small talk with anyone who paid attention and responded enthusiastically. Unfortunately, I had nothing but monosyllables to offer.

There was also this really long conversation I had, on everything ranging from screenwriting and religion to the purpose of everyday life, that still takes me back to the night of sometimes.

But the common thread of it all has been this:

We inhabit the same planet and none of us know the length of our time here. We might as well exchange some words and learn about each other while we can. Isn’t that what conversation is for?

Feel free to leave your comments below.