Friday, May 22, 2009

Weather - always the weather!! (and Khai Muk!)

There are a few things that absolutely don't make sense. And one of them is the American obsession with the weather.
Now, I live in India, and have never been to the USA, but since there are dozens and dozens of people who each of us know, who have gone there and been back, you can't avoid the weather.
I spoke to a friend recently for about 30 mins in all, and over 15 mins of that call was dedicated to the weather. Each time I tried bringing him around to something else, he would get back there! And the funny thing is that it is not about the weather in America (typically someone who comes back after a while would begin every other sentence with 'In the USA....'). We were discussing about the weather in Bangalore and in Visakhapatnam!! Now, one question would have been enough - is it too hot there? or did it rain recently? But no!
Every other sentence the weather had to be brought in.
The famous writer Samuel Johnson remarked - 'It is commonly observed that when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what each must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm'! It seems that is not just true for Englishmen now.
It is true! When we meet someone, we say - 'too hot today' or something like that, and that serves as a conversation starter.
Is it because there is so little in common that all of us have? Why can't we speak about our own lives or something worthwhile? Already the time that we spend communicating with friends and family is depleted. Once in a while when we get connected, half that time goes blaming the sun god or the rain god, and we end up disconnecting the call all too soon!
Going back to my friend, the final question he asked me was 'Did Khai Muk affect Vizag?'
I pride myself on keeping abreast of all the happenings around the country and the world; and where did this terrorist organization spring up from in my backyard and I did not even know about it!!
Now, Khai Muk is no terrorist organization! It apparently is the name of the latest cyclone to hit the Bay of Bengal, and my friend was astonished to know that I did not know it - in spite of living next to the coast! In our country, we just say 'Did the cyclone hit your city'. We don't call cyclones with names, do we?
Trust the weather to dampen your spirits!!

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