I cant talk to relatives. It gives me the heebie jeebies. With friends I am in my element. I can talk about that latest PGW book or she can tell me about the cute guy in her office who has been giving her the looks or about the sad lunch in office or about where to go this weekend and which movie to watch or about the latest pepe jeans, 60%(GASP!!) off sale in adyar or soooooooooo many other things. I never run out of things to talk about when I m talking to friends. I may run out of time (mostly), energy (rarely), patience (hardly) but I never run out of ideas.
But what do u talk about to a person whom you meet once in 2 years. What do u ask about after u have finished talking to them about the weather in their country, the weather in your country, your work, their work, their college, their trip etc. though these might seem like a lot of topics to talk about talking about all of this takes exactly 2 minutes and 33 seconds
Them: So, how’s work Shruthi?
Me: Yeah!! Good!! *GRIN*(I cant tell them that the query I tried to run did everything but run. It crawled, it stumbled, it walked, it made me cry but didn’t run. I cant tell them that the guy at on site has a certain funny of speaking and ends each sentence with a sound which errr sounds like a release of gas and most of the times I am caught laughing like crazy when I ought to be listening seriously. I cant tell them any of this so I say good.) you?
Them: yeah good. (they again cant tell me about so many things primarily because I wont understand)
Them: hmm. So nice weather in India
Me: yeah. Rains. How is London?
Them: good good. It always rains there
See. Maybe I was exaggerating when I said it takes 2 mins and 33 seconds. It takes even less.
It was different and great when Preethi (my sis) was here. we had a deal. Preethi would do the talking and I would do the grinning. No two ways about it. only the questions which were addressed to me would be answered by me otherwise by default it would be her answering. It worked perfectly. I didn’t have to listen to complaints from home about how I never visited relatives and neither did I have to talk much when i went visiting. But now with Preethi in Dubai I have to do it all alone. I mean imagine having to do the grinning and talking all alone!! :(
I miss Preethi. She is amazing. She loves to talk. She can talk to ANYONE. There is never a lull in the conversation when she is talking. Most of the times I just google at her in amazement. I mean how can anyone talk so much so easily. She will talk to them about office, about home, about how she has been putting on weight (while happily munching the chocolates they bring) about how she still uses something which they bought her 4 years back (how does she even remember things like this??) etc etc.
Like a cousin of mine says “Preethi loves everyone and everyone loves Preethi. You can either love her or really really love her. No two ways about it” . Needless to say all my relatives love her and feel uncomfortable around me and I don’t blame them. Its an irony. She loves it when relatives come visiting and spends the better part of the year waiting for my uncles to visit. She is crying buckets now coz she is in dubai and cannot be in india to visit my relatives. I on the other hand don’t exactly look forward to their visits the way she does. Mind you, I love them and all that but I cant talk. I can grin, I can smile and I can nod in agreement and even make little grunting noises but I cant talk.
So yesterday before visiting a couple of relatives, I thought I would ask Preethi for some tips on how to talk and this was how the conversation went
Me(mailing her): Preeethi. Call!!
Preethi: hmmm. Bol. Kya hua?
Me: (almost hysterical) Preethi. Help!!! I am visiting ABC and XYZ today and I have no clue what to talk about. I am going alone, all ALONE. Help!!! come to india NOW!!
Preethi: Shut up Shruthi. Is this why u asked me to call? I cant believe I am wasting an international call on this. Shruthi. They are ur relatives. You have known them all ur life. They have done do much for us. Why cant you talk to them. You are insensitive and ungrateful and cold and sarcastic and..
Me: hey hey!! Easy on the praises ok? I didn’t call you to get a lecture from you on my character
Preethi: see. That’s your problem. you are sooooo sarcastic. I don’t understand you man. you can talk so easily to friends. It’s the same with relatives. I have seen, you always do this. On the phone you will give the phone to someone else and run away, you wont talk or give straight replies. Maybe you should stop writing blogs. that seems to fuel ur cynicism. Frankly shruthi, what is your problem?
Me: ok. How about we have the “Lets psychoanalyze Shruthi” class later? Can u help me out or not?
Preethi: you are impossible. I cannot talk to someone who is as stubborn and receptive as a 100 inch thick wall. I might as well talk to the nearest wall than talk to you
Me: Right!! Thanks for being so helpful
Preethi: oh. Don’t mention it!!
Preethi: bye!! HUMPH!! :-\
So I went yesterday and made a fool of myself and came back. :-\. Not my fault. My sister wasn’t helpful!!
If any of my relatives are reading this, I am sorry I am such a boring and frigid person and I am sorry you have to put up with me. I love you guys, but I cant talk!!