Saturday, September 11, 2010

Guess who?

Don't you just hate it when someone calls you and starts playing the guess who game?

On a good day, I don't remember names. The worst is when Iam forced to put a face on a name.

Parties are a nightmare. Apart from people I know intimately, names don't register. Wife says its because I don't care. Probably. But I think the reason is more simple. Its the drinks.

Its a total cut trip when someone comes upto you, while you are among friends in the midst of a great story that involves a stripper, your best friend and a hat, and starts indulging you in a full on conversation while you are trying to figure out who this intruder is.

You know him. He looks familiar. He seems to know everything about you. He even remembers your children's names. But you on the other hand could might as well be conversing with someone after a lobotomy.

You are now frantically looking for clues. You know that there will come a time when you will have to stop referring to his wife as wifey and his kids as kids ( does he even have kids?). Normally this is the time when I will do my distract and disappear act.

This involves grabbing my phone and saying "Oh Damn!" with a look of agony on my face and then rushing away from the scene leaving everyone confused.

Then I find my wife.

Does anyone really like going for these alumni get together? Whats with people and their intense need to connect with people from the past? Do you really want to know what that snot nose kid who used to sit behind you in class 5 is doing right now?

My school life acquaintances can be divided into two. Those who I have beaten up and those who have beaten me up. I don't want to meet either for good reasons. Nothing good is going to come out of it.

My problem is that I have studied in many schools. So I guess I haven't had the chance or the time to take any roots. Moreover I haven't felt the need to make any great friends. In fact if I strain my brain, I can remember only 3 names from my school. Joe : he was a good friend of mine and he was also related to a major crush of mine, Rekha : the crush , Leena : great legs.

That's it.

Is it only me or are there more like me who has no sense of nostalgia? I mean I have had a great life so far. Nothing much to complain about. But I don't look back at my school years and sigh. Neither do I look back at any point of my life and sigh. Iam sure there are more like me. Nothing is more annoying than sitting around and reminiscing about a period of life that you no longer belong to. Do you too feel completely unattached to the person you see in the photos? Do you look at that image of yourself and see it as another? No nostalgia. Nada.

So if I cant even remember myself from those days how on earth am I expected to remember a voice from the past? That too after 31 years?

I had a call yesterday from someone who said that we were in school together and then goes : Can you guess who this is?

How on earth am I supposed to figure out who the fuck it is when the last I must have heard him speak , he definitely wouldn't have had a baritone?

Then comes those clues.

'Do you remember 'kelavan' ? ( the word is Malayalam for old man and therefore must be some one's nickname but I still have no fucking idea what he is talking about), I used to hang around with him.'

'Do you remember that I used to shove pencil up my nose and pretend to be a walrus?'

'Do you remember Gigi? I used to sit next to him in class'


Now, Iam a very polite guy. I don't like being rude. But there comes times in my life I feel compelled to let people know that they are beginning to seem like the ones who takes their mothers out on a leash.

Its 31 fucking years ago man. Gimme a break.

Whats stopping you from calling a person up and saying , Hey, this is Robin, I used to study with you in school. I got your number from Joseph and was wondering if we can meet up.

Was that fucking so difficult?

Or do you just happen to enjoy 20 questions every time you call someone on the phone? Do you seriously believe that the person at the other end of the line is jumping up and down with glee at the very thrill of finding out who he or she is speaking to?

Do you seriously think you are that important?

Introduce yourself. Each and every time. There might be people whose life doesn't revolve around remembering you. Have the courtesy to let people know who they are dealing with.

Its nicer.


Madhumita said...

And with that we effectively nix all chances of ever getting to know Robin.

Tys on Ice said...

@mads : Iam hoping he doesnt read this...i wudnt want to hurt his feelings.

Pointblank said...

Point well taken! I'm guilty of doing this too... But only to people m more comfortable with. Smtimes when I call from a new number, they don't get my voice. But I will stop doing that NOW!

humbl devil said...

agree with pointbalnk...i do this only to ppl who r chaddi buddies...:D
but u were spot on!!!

very valid defense..
3 decades is too long...

Jon said...

I really don't have the guts to do tht.
But I recollect most of d ppl on seeing faces.Irt might be bcos I loved my schooldays and the opposite is applicable to u

RPK said...

Nostalgia is so overrated. I know friends from school who hated every thing about schooldays while living it, but now sigh and get all lovey dovey nostalgia feelings about the same crappy schooldays. FAKE! Its just their way of pretending that they had a great childhood. But then to each his own, what ever makes them happy is fine as long as it doesn't get on my nerves I guess

Travel Bug said...

I feel the same way thats why I am planning a quick and graceful exit from FB.
People I like are on my speed dial. If I havent bothered to look you up. Please forget me too.
hahhaha good post.

Jules said...

I am sooo bad at putting names to faces. One time this woman in a grocery store chatted me up for about 10 minutes. I smiled, knew that I knew her from somewhere, chatted back, but didn't figure out who the hell she was until 3 days later. It was a mom of one of ths students from the school I taught at. Go figure.

As for reunions of any kind... blech. Especially high school ones. My school reunion was so ridiculously bad. Ugh.

Sonia said...

Omg completely agree with you. There was this idiot who wasnt even a close close friend of ours who would call us and go "Mein bol raha hoon" Mein, who the hell is mein!!

I used to be good with faces and names and off late I cant seem to remember anyone, maybe a function of getting old hehe..

Blue said...

hey! this post of's so totally true. it's SO annoying when people will call you up and ask you to guess who they are, and then giggle with glee when you cannot. i want ppl 2 know...get off that phone and actually do something that makes you famous!!

love and squalor said...

'Guess who' is not as bad as 'so then John, you remember John, right, the guy who works on XYZ, yeah, the Yellow Car John, says to Lisa, this new grad student who, oh, I told you about her, oh, right, you met her yesterday...'

AJ said...

I totally understand your feelings. Last week, I had a lengthy conversation with an individual who knew my name, the year I studied in the same school we went to, my brother's name, the pranks I played in school and got caught [you get this gist, dont you].... AND I had no clue who I was talking to. :-)

PS: In my defense I thought I would remember that person's name, if I continued on the conversation, but nopes.... nothing at all.

Mohammed Musthafa said...

Facing the problem with friends whom you've never seen for ages is bearable. But when I go to my hometown and see my relatives, it's embarrasing. Some of them take great offence that I dont remember their names....guess I need to show them this post!

Poornima said...

'Don't you just hate it when someone calls you and starts playing the guess who game?'


Why the vehemance??

Sankoobaba said...

i am nostalgic...

even i havent met anyone from school since 10 yrs...

even i didnt for reunion..
but that was out of laziness..

i am always curious..

to see how kids from my class have changed in a decade...
what are they doing now...
and many more...

and of course whether they remember me...

but i dont go around asking..
remember me?

Tys on Ice said...

@point blank : pls dont stop doing anything becoz of wht u read here...most people may not really mind this...mite even be a willing player in it...but if u ever call me, pls do tell me who u are. I just dont have the patience...iam far too lazy to dig arnd in my memories..

@humbl devil : isnt it? 3 decades man! I dont even recall wht i had for dinner last nite.

@jon : assumptions! what makes u think i didnt have great school days? In fact i did...i just dont dwell in it...iam a king of moving on..

@rpk : bang on! iam of the belief that time tends to soften the edges of memories and give it a rosy tink or sometimes even give certain memories more edge than it really deserves..thats one reason i dont tend to give memories that much memories are the sense that they are diluted or infused by ourself and nostalgia is just mind masturbation.

@travel bug : iam with u on this...every person that i need in my life i already know..if there are more to come into my life, it will come and stay, irrespective of wht i do...all the best with the facebook exit.

@jules : wheew , those supermkt meetings! I can imagine ... people shud just introduce themselves.

@sonia : i dont think its age, i think its the coming together of wisdom and u get older, i think u tend to abandon crap.

@blue : :) ... i normally just hang up...then they tend to call back and introduce and i will come up with a story of being stalked and misjudged the caller...everyone then is happy and all is well with the world.

@love and squalor : oh, the referal guess game...thats a sad version...these are the conversations that see me shaking my head sideways like those dog dolls in cars.

@aj : yep i understand..u r so sure that if u prolong the conversation, the guy will drop u a hint that will save u the embaressment of not remembering this idiot..i have a trick...ask him for his number and pretend u r saving it on his mobile and then ask him to spell his normally saves u unless the guy has a name that u just cant mispell like Jim or something.

@mohd : for heavens sake dont...then they will think u read rude posts...relative are just natures way of showing how bad ur genes can get if u let it.

@poori : vehemance? hardly...u have too much time in ur hands if u dont mind spending 30 mins of ur life with a fone glued to ur ears listening to someone who claims to have played a part in ur great theatre of life and wont reveal who it unless u have lived a life under a stone, which i doubt u have, thats a hell of lot of mental search u will need to do...

i think its just plain stupid and a waste of time...

@sankoobaba : i bet u dont...u just dont strike me as someone who will...i can identify with that curiosity but with facebook and all, u can get those info in a complete peeping tom way...

Poornima said...

Its like this Tys: Im a person who deeply values friendships; the old ones rate a notch higher than the more recent ones. (Im guessing that a large percentage of the population is like that-explains the success of facebook-type things) So I do make efforts to find old friends, & am delighted when Naughty-Neetu finds me after like 20 years (she pulled chairs away before people sat, threw chalk pieces on teachers backs & stuff. Put tongue back in mouth pls). While I dont go trilling ''guess whooo?'' into any-old-body's ears, I just might take that liberty if I had a deep enough friendship with that person in the past. Ive connected with some very old & dear friends because one of us contacted the other, & I feel great about it. & as many of them now trust their keys & kids with me, I dont think they regret it either!

Also: since Im not the Prime Minister, I have time enough for THAT much. 'Time', not 'too much time'.

'Too much time' is what the bloggers have :-/

Tys on Ice said...

@poori : Chill girl.. arent u taking this too seriously! I have no problem with u or anyone wanting to do what they want..get in touch with all cheddi buddies u no probs...infact i too would like to know how neetu turned out ( point of gossip when we meet next)..but i ( emphasis on that i) do not like having to play the guess who game with someone who presumes that i can pull out from my whisky addled brain a recollection of that person based on their voice...noone is that important..hell, iam still not sure who is that character who speaks inside my a blogger who has too much time in my hand, i do not like to waste it on futile attempts in ramaging through the attic of my mind, for the sake of person's percieved importance in my life...just say the name and i will love u for it...

hey, thats just me.

Poornima said...

@ 'Chill girl.. arent u taking this too seriously!'

...& Im not even old enough for menopause! Must have been the overdose of vegetarian food at the time. Makes me verry crabbity i tell you! :-) :-)

Aarthi said...

Ya I have faced this irritating thing too :( think almost everyone would have.

Manasi said...

Tring, Tring... Hello, I am Manasi. You dont know me from anywhere and I don't know why i really enjoy reading your timeless blogposts. Alright, Bbye!

Jules said...

Tys, are you still alive?

Poornima said...

...or let me put it in glass-half-empty-fashion: Tys, are you DEAD?????

Tys on Ice said...

@aarthi : welcome to my world of losing myself on insignificant things

@manasi : i like you already..

@jules : it was sudden and peaceful..passed away while sleeping...some say he had nightmares of pink bedrooms.

@poori : i wish i cud answer that, but then it will be contradicting isnt it?

Anonymous said...


I hate these bastards too. I just node and act polite and wish it would end soon. That's the only thing you can do.