Sunday, March 8, 2009

Secret behind silence

"Never trust a quiet guy or girl,” cautioned a close friend.
Ooff, there are so many of them around me. Thank God, at least my wife has taken a cue and doesn’t stop talking after she read a post about her. That my phone bill (Dr Nitu, pl stop laughing) shot up my BP is another matter.
Anyway, at the risk of repetition, I want to share an experience. I was traveling to Goa from Mumbai with a TOI photographer and another journalist, who is now settled in Kolkata.
Boss, if you are a nature lover, you should travel on this route. The lush greenery will drive you crazy romantic until you end up getting a slap from a girl (Women do not have this problem. A smile from them and men would pull their collar up and flash a Shah Rukh look). Just kidding.
Within minutes of boarding the Konkan Railway train, we had made friends with almost everyone in the compartment, except this grouchy one sitting opposite me, reading a book seriously. Try as I may to rope him into a conversation, I failed miserably. I took it as a personal challenge.
“Have you been to Goa before?” I started.
Six questions followed, with “hmmm” as the reply.
And at last, he spoke out.
“Friend, I am sorry. I am not in the right mood. I am going to attend a funeral.”
I was flabbergasted. When we parted, I hugged him and apologised. A decade later, I still remember this guy.


  1. Yes, we never can discern the kind of doldrums & moreover the circumstances a person is going through and we assume that he is discourteous & conceited. Good message & lesson for all your reader. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a good Sunday.

  2. well still giggling...hehehe!!! and i have been to goa from mumbai...well green no doubt but not like the green we see around here in the city of pines!!! what u say ???

  3. Shouldn't you like go on a talking sabbatical after the effects of "Tiny Joke" started showing :P

    I have been a victim of this. I am infamous for my mood swings and during one such all time low time, an old college friend met me. I was obviously not too communicative. I get judged for being 'too snobbish'


  4. thats why people say, person who speaks less is more dangerous then a chatter box....

  5. Touch wood. Your memory power is awesome and awesome narration.


  6. The route is fabulous. For those who have not done it you must drive down there during the monsoons.

    As for the comments, I am just re-reading Bono's treatise on cretive thinking. Jumpimg to conclusions without understnading the other person is a trait which unfortunately most of us have mastered

  7. It was not your fault. Just you did not know that guy was going to attend a funeral. "Never trust a quiet guy or girl”- absolutely rubbish.

  8. Well, sometimes it’s difficult to predict the mood of a stranger.

    The proverb “Face is the index of mind” holds good for most of the cases but occasionally when we fail to read the expressions of people, it becomes difficult to assess their mood.

  9. First, I KNOW u r NOT kidding :)
    Second, now, who’s the talkative in the family?

  10. I had a similar experience with a stranger who did not wish to talk. He made such an impression because it was a learning experience -- we always assume that if a person doesn't want to talk that it is about us or that they need to loosen up, but that isn't always the case. There are valid reasons for silence sometimes.

    I'm also reminded of my grandfather who rarely spoke a word, but when he did speak he really had something to say.

    Peace, friend.