Friend. …yes, a new friend..
Before I delve into the details, a back story is in order:
2 nights earlier….
It was 10.0 pm and we were sitting in our drawing-room watching some TV program. There was a knock at the door. Half expecting to be the watchman and unable to guess why he would knock at such a late hour, I opened the door. There stood a young Indian woman with a child of around 3 tagging behind her. As soon as I looked at her, she said in fluent Marathi, “मी तुमच्या वर राहते. माझ्या मुलाची pant तुमच्या gallery च्या कठड्यावर अडकली आहे. मला ती देता का?” – translated into English this means – “I live in the flat above yours. My son’s pair of pants is stuck in the railing of your balcony. Can you please retrieve it?”. I said, “Oh”, and went to check for the said item – barely registering the fact that she was speaking in Marathi, my mother tongue. It was there, the garment, nestled between the grill and the AC’s compressor. I handed it over to her. Before anything else could be said, she said thank you and turned back. I stood at the door, certain odd things about this encounter started registering:
How in the world this lady knew we spoke Marathi? – India has 26 national languages and we could have belonged to any of the other language groups.
- From her looks, she did not seem Maharashtrian (a Marathi speaking person). She looked more like a north Indian to me and in that case her request in Marathi would be extraordinary.
- She did not introduce herself at all apart from telling us that she lived on the next floor, in a flat above ours. She did not ask us our name either.
- So did we – we did not ask her name or tell ours. We did not invite her in.
We were perplexed for few moments but soon decided to kill the suspense. Being short of time (probably last time this fortnight), I chose to do it today. Those who know me would also know that I am not exactly an outgoing person and I don’t go out and make friends, my friendships happen gradually. So going out and knocking on a stanger’s door and introducing myself would be totally anti-me. But I decided to do exactly that today. Yes, I hesitated a bit earlier. But then I convinced myself that the maximum that can happen is the lady shutting the door on my face and that was okay because she did not know me personally or I, her and it should not matter. I wasnt exactly sure if she was staying in the flat above me or above my neighbor, because in either cases the garment could get stuck in my balcony…
With some curiosity I knocked the door. At first there was no answer. I knocked again second time, louder this time. There she was. I introduced myself. I said, I was sorry I forgot to introduce myself the other day and that is why I came. She called me in and the rest was history 🙂 We chatted. For almost two hours. Turns out, she knew we existed because of a common friend. That is how she also knew our mother tongue. She is not a Maharashtrian, as I correctly guessed, she is a Gujarati, born and brought up in Pune, a city in Maharashtra. She thanked me for having taken this chance to come, because she herself would have felt quite awkward doing such a thing and we never would have gotten to know each other. As I left, I invited her over for a smallish function that I am holding for my new friends soon.
It was fun getting out of comfort zone. It was bit awkward for sure, but definitely enjoyable, especially, because S, my new friend too responded in the manner that I wanted. All in all, happy outcome.
Anyhow, does this qualify as a creative project activity? I think it does. I got out of my comfort zone and made an attempt to make friends with a stranger. How many times do we do that regularly?
The idea behind creative challenge was to get out of my daily rut, my comfort zone and experience something new. Do some new things, create, think – different from my usual way. There was creative writing (and some more will come along), Objects..(DIY, banner) and I felt why should human relationships be left alone? What all these activities also do is create a unique experience every time. That’s what was my objective – to make my own life interesting. So today, I set out to make a new friend….and new friend, I did make!!
Gute Nacht, bis bald.