Friday, February 20, 2009

Can we talk?

I read a lot. Online, off line.

When I used to read books, it was a two way conversation. The authors talked to me, and we were in no hurry.

Now, I read online mostly, and it is a shout out rather than a conversation.

If offline media was intimate conversations over a bottle of red wine when the light is slowly fading, online media is more like speed dating.

What are you saying?

Can I link/retweet/add to FF?

Nice meeting you - lets keep in touch via RSS.

This is the most laid back place I have ever lived. This place offers me refuge from the everyday annoyances which ate up my time in other places.

Why then, am I having the least number of conversations in this city?

By conversation, I do not mean talking and listening. I do that - I love to talk and to listen - and have been lucky enough to meet many people who indulge in that whim of mine.

By conversation, I want us to explore, in the span of few minutes or few hours, about things we have never thought of, experiences we never had, worlds which we never knew existed. I want us to debate and ask questions, to each other and to ourselves. Not all questions need to be answered though, nor we need to design a question for every answer.

I was us, not to care about the food and the drink, not get distracted by the music or the pretty sights around us. Or rather, I want us to get distracted, but only to the extent that it would lead to more conversation.

Now, the nature of such conversations have shifted. It depends on twitter's word count, and on whether you can access Jaiku. The silences which add texture to the conversations have all but disappeared.

And that is why, whenever people produce an invite for casual meetings, I always take it up even if it means having to stress out a bit with the logistics of juggling different conversations. That is exactly why, I get into CIA interrogation mode with many people. I am curious. I want to know. Tell me more.

And that is the reason for me going mute and getting lost inside my head in mid conversation. I am savoring the conversation we had, feeling it, understanding it.

So I thank you; those of you out there, who were kind enough to sit down with me and across me and have a conversation. I thank those of you who blog and are kind enough to share your blogs and thoughts with me about your country and culture. Thank you, to those who disregard the 140 character limit of Twitter and make me feel as if we are sipping hot beverages on a cool spring evening. Thank you to those who tell me their stories, opening my eyes to perspectives and thoughts I never realized existed.

I live in hope, of more interesting conversations to happen.


AJ said...

Cannot agree more. Twitter is like being an office networking event - you can hear every conversation and arent sure of whos listening ! sometimes a good ol fashioned phone conversation works wonders too :)*hint hint*

Surya said...

so whats stopping you from callin me?

Anonymous said...

wow! I didn't know what a great writer you are! (just found your blog)

Troy said...

That's a damn good observation.
I have a buddy of mine who should write but he doesn't. He has a million stories and when he talks people remain engaged in the conversation. It's an uncanny ability...I think I'm going to steal all his jokes and see if they work for me! LOL!