Saturday, February 21, 2009

Growing Up… It’s not for everyone!


Some people remain three year olds even in their twenties and I saw a live demonstration of that yesterday night much to my annoyance. I would have rather been at home and enjoyed the ‘Prime Time Soaps’ (compared to yesterday night’s freakishly irritating scene, the soaps are a delight!) But it happened to be one of my closest friend’s birthday dinners and it would be unfair to him.

So I went to wish Tanuruh Happy Birthday!

And there I met people I ordinarily would not want to have within a ten mile radius of where I am. Why? That’s a longer story and better left for an occasion after my exams when all I’ll have time for is writing my blog. I exchanged a ‘hello’ with a few of them, was glad to see some others and didn’t acknowledge even the presence of certain others (neither did they. It was very mutual so you don’t have to feel bad for them.) It is weird being with so many people who you’ve known and had fun with in college and then reaching a point, where it becomes difficult to even be around each other.

I didn’t and don’t care about the exchange of mere pleasantries. But I care about decorum, etiquette, decent behavior and a few other things that being in a restaurant demands especially when you are about twenty three years old! I was aghast at the way they were behaving!

At the dinner table, the entire set of twenty or so people was divided into two groups; one part of the group quietly peacefully interacting with each other and the other creating a racket and being so noisy and loud and childish that if it weren’t for my friend’s birthday, I would have had them thrown out of the place for their behavior. I thought I was loud, but after meeting these guys, I realized that I was grossly mistaken. I also realized that I am loud when I’m allowed to be; that is when we are at a private gathering in someone’s house, where it is okay to be loud and it is not disturbing other people who are present there. But these people were oblivious to the fact that there were other people in the restaurant with their families and friends, wanting to enjoy a nice evening which was seemingly impossible! I doubt if the people at the tables close to ours were even able to hear each other over the din that the other half of our table created!

They were chattering, pointing at others and laughing their heads off, grunting, and so much more. If you thought that this was all the noisy kids did, you’re in for a rude shock. My dear friend, the supposed host for the evening didn’t have a place to sit. The only seat left for him after everyone had settled at the long table was in one corner. We had to make a few people move one seat to their right so that we could create a place for him at the center of the table where he rightfully belonged!

The poor fellow was busy moving from one end of the table to the other making sure if everyone was comfortable, if everyone had what they needed, if they wanted something else, eating without a plate of his own or having a proper place to sit and these people were so busy cracking jokes (all the time being loud!) that they didn’t bother to listen to what he was asking! He had to repeat himself to be heard and it was then that someone answered. I was so angry that I felt like punching them.

Look, you want to be indifferent to some people that you don’t like, I am fine with that! I would be indifferent too; you don’t have to be nice to everyone. But at least have some respect and consideration for the person who’s paying for your dinner!

For them it was just another outing where there were other people present and they continued to have their fun. And fun for them, is a little… no no… a lot different from the way you and I define it.

For us, fun is when we enjoy the company of others, laugh and have a good time. They laugh and have a good time too, but their fun is at others’ expense. They crack jokes on other people and then have a good laugh. Such primitive sort of behavior is not expected out of people who’re aspiring to be the future professionals of this country.

It was amazing that Tanuruh was smiling and taking care of everyone enthusiastically in spite of their complete disregard for him. I admire that quality in him. I don’t understand why he would still be friends with such people, but he is and he makes sure that he does his part as a friend. So he spent the evening smiling and making sure that everyone had a good time, while I was trying hard to not comment on the nonsense that was going on.

Of course I did comment, (couldn’t not do it for long…) and under my breath obviously. I said stuff like, “I think we should try to keep it down before someone decides to throw us out of here. It’d be pretty embarrassing if that happened!” and “God! Isn’t there a mute button on this woman??” The second line was borrowed from a popular comedy series, but it fit!

We, the quiet ones, were fascinated at how the others didn’t realize that they were responsible for the noise pollution in the restaurant and yes, we managed a few laughs at their expense too when they were making a fool of themselves. Can you believe that the Maitre D actually told Tanuruh that his other customers wished that the noise level be brought down?? But still being the gentleman that he is, he let his friends have their fun even if they didn’t bother to include him in most of it.

Anyway, it could have been worse – we could’ve been asked to leave the restaurant and never return. So I guess all’s well that ends well. Though I don’t know how it ended… we didn’t stay till the end. Kanchan and I thought that it was best that we leave and head toward a much happier place called “Away from THEM.” We were amongst the first four people to leave and obviously a part of those privileged few that he considers as his confidantes. It hurt Tanuruh a little I guess, but he had so much going on that we thought it was better that we don’t add to his problems, because if we had stayed there longer I had a hunch that I would end up commenting on something (which I was trying very hard not to do loud enough for the others to hear) leading to something ugly and then it would be more upsetting for him. So, we quietly said our goodbyes and made a peaceful exit.

The others would have been more than happy to see us gone. I don’t know if they in fact were or weren’t but it doesn’t bother me. I had gone there to wish my friend Happy Birthday which I did and that was the whole point anyway.

It’s surprising though that people of this age, from good families, studying to be professionals can act so immature and childish with complete disregard for other people and their feelings. I thought maturity came with age. Didn’t know that it takes efforts too! I thought that it was like puberty which strikes in your teens whether you want it or not! But then after yesterday night I realized that growing up… is not for everyone.

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