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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Know Thy Neighbour?

I am awkward and socially inept.
So, when I was a teen, I was sure that I would grow out of it and blossom into this lovely, graceful and assertive woman, who would be every woman’s best friend and every man’s secret desire. Instead the dangly teenager grew into a dangly woman. The tripping-over-my-own-feet traits carried on well into the late-twenties, and the brain-freeze during conversations continued unabated.

So, like Project Presentable, I decided to take up ‘Project Social’. I had a shorter list to adhere to this time:
  • Smile at everyone.
  • Make an effort and know the neighbours.

For a week at least, all seemed well.  On the 8th day, it all came crashing down. All because of two back-to-back neighborly incidents.

Case I: Distracted Dads
On one of our usual Mother-son walks in the building compound, I ran across this father playing cricket with his 9-yr old son and 3-yr old daughter. Deciding not to chicken out now, I introduced myself and asked about his children, school etc. His son, getting impatient. started talking to his father, giving no heed to my lame conversation attempts.

Son: DAD! Are you attracted to her?
Dad: No, But I AM distracted.
Son (nodding sagely): Me too Dad. Me too.
And they resumed playing.

I am sure there is a compliment hidden here somewhere, but in the face of the blunt rebuke; I can’t seem to find it.

Case II: Mistaken Identities
As all festivals are wont to do, we were making the expected neighborly rounds for some gossips and some blouse pieces (When you think about it, it all comes down to that). One of these visits involved an old Paati, with whom we had conversed via the balcony a couple of times.In case you are wondering, yes, such things still happen. She lives with her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter- who we didn't have the fortune to meet or converse with.
When we went to her house, there was another couple present. Considering that we didn’t know much about the family, we were relieved when the lady introduced herself as the daughter-in-law’s mother. Conversation flowed freely thereafter, but, I really wanted to see the daughter-in-law.  So, I asked the man,

Me: “Has your daughter gone outside?”
Man: Who?
Me: The grand-daughter's mother. Has she gone out?
After a moment’s silence,
Man (Smiling): “She is not my daughter. She is my wife. I just didn’t have time to dye my hair today. And yes, she has gone outside.”

As my dad succintly put it, "That's a nice way of ensuring that they never call you again". But there was a silver lining in this - the next day, I saw him with freshly dyed hair.

So after ‘distracting’ one man and creating confusion in the family of another, Project Social has also been parked indefinitely.


Nithya Sriram said...

Loved it Archana, it was outright funny.Yea i had my share of these kinda experiances.I can totally relate to it :D

Anonymous said...

:-) Project Social is better off as Project Social Media!

Kunal Chandra said...

Made me laugh! The first one is not true right? Cos if it is then the son is not growing up into a nice lad for sure..... and I thought this mom/saas/beti confusion happens only in Ekta Kapoor dramas.....

Archana said...

Kunal: I kid you not, its totally true! To his credit, he played cricket well. I see a Kohli in the making.

Jij & Nithya: Thanks!

antbrain said...

the title 'Project Social' by itself is a #win! remember both yours & Amma's reaction after your encounter with the hair dye fellow.. lulz! paavam da andha aalu :-)

Archana said...

Haha... I was atuallys taring at him open-mouthed.

Anonymous said...

Something like this happened to a friend of mine. He had mistaken his friend's mom for his grandmother !

Pepper said...

Rotfl! And socially inept? I hear you.

Archana said...

My misery, when resonated, does not seem like a misery anymore Pepper! :) Thanks for stopping by!