Okay, so remember Noble King? Whose home I broke into like a petty thief, the one who does valiant MCing at Shivratris, and also in languages one doesn’t understand, and then the one who squishes all conversations and is at complete ease at it while doing so?
Jogged enough memories? Good. There’s more.
Well, more like a repeat scenario, so I should have been prepared but I am not a quick learner and neither is he by the looks of it. We do make quite the comic weirdo pair for any bystander doing ‘people watching’.
So, the thing is I don’t meet the man anymore at this common place we both are members of. He is in the morning session and I take the girls with me in the afternoon. Between the two sessions is an hour or so, where arts, languages are taught. The man teaches language. So he wraps up just as the afternoon session begins. The last I bumped into him was more than a year ago. His wife and I exchange a few emails occasionally and she taught munchkin’s class last year, so there’s some more contact familiarity there.
This afternoon, I park and am dragging my feet in with a daughter on either side, while I sense the man coming out with his son in tow. My head drops a further inch and I begin to pay good attention to the daughter who’s giving me some skirting details of her homecoming dance last night. We get to the patio sorts and I cannot help but look ahead. The man’s come to a complete halt. He stands there smiling.
I think in my head: What? Really? Why didn’t you just jump off the other side! Then resign myself to uh-uh, here we go.
So I get on the edge and we stand there, a group of five in the chill Fall afternoon, wondering who’d go first. Since discomfort in silence is my motivator, I start
Me: How are you? Been awhile.
He: Good. Good. Going on. *Note conspicuous absence of how are you back at me*
Me: Yeah. *Grinning stupidly.*
He: *Smiling benevolently.*
Me: Son’s there in the mornings, we come afternoon.
He: Yea, I saw him. I taught the first class for him.
Me: Oh Really? I had no idea.
Me: Yeah, we have dance class in the morning. So we are here now…
He: *Nods his head.* Yea, I know
Me: Switching to telugu Yeah, it’s so sleepy in the afternoons, very tiring..
Me: So, how was your India trip?
He: Oh yes, good. *Smiles*
Me: *Offering by way of explanation, though I now wonder, why’d I even bother coz he didn’t look surprised or mortified on my knowledge of his trip to India*
Your wife mentioned
He: Yeah, it was good.
The man doesn’t move. He doesn’t ask a question back. He doesn’t look perturbed. He looks like a perfectly settled white cat basking in the afternoon sun, preening itself, challenging everyone around it to go bustle and jitter just with its silence.
Noble men has such power I suppose.
Me: *okay great, so that didn’t work, what now. Maybe I should run* Yeah… *my poor half-dead brain not able to come up with anything to continue further till I spot the son struggling into his sweatshirt* Hey, so how are you doing? Like school?
The son’s taken after the father. He answers the questions I pose, just like his father, except that he won’t make eye contact.
Me: So what grade are you in?
Kid: 1st grade
Me: Ah, nice! You’re a big kid now eh? Munchkin’s in kindergarten and she’s loving it *I know, very lame, but really, I didn’t know what else to say and I point to the munchkin who’s by now delved into my chunni behind my back and is offering shy smiles at anyone who cared to look at her face.*
Bright smiles all around.
Me: Okay then, nice talking with you. See you?
He nods his head and says bye K1 and saunters off.
I look at daughter.
She:I knowww! Don’t you just hate it when that happens.
Me: When what happens, just so am clear?
Daughter: When you trying to make conversation and all the person does is reply to your question?
Me: Ah, yes.
Daughter: Very upsetting when you text this person and all they do is reply with just that!
Er okay, that’s a different scenario altogether, but I let that pass for now.
Forget this noble king, but seriously what does one do with folks such as these?! It isn’t like the person’s uncomfortably switching weight around, but is actually quite blissfully ignorant that they should also provide some impetus to this conversation. It’s perfectly alright to not talk too, but to just lay the whole burden on one person is just so not fair. *sulking*