Small Talk

(Warning: A post full of rants and lacking depth)

It starts with the name.

"And you are?"
"Arvind Iyer."

The seasoned small talkers move on. I sincerely thank all of them. The rest follow an irksome route.

"Iyer? Oh! Just like Mr. and Mrs Iyer!"

You'd think the reference to the movie title was subtle enough. But some of them tend to drag the conversation to it. Soon after mentioning the title, they attempt a tough balancing act - a part of their face gazes upwards, showing compassion for the story's sensitive theme. Concurrently they also nod and maintain eye contact. Its a tough act. Believe me, I've seen it a lot of times. I have to mimic the same level of compassion. If I frown at them, they think I didn't get the joke and start pursuing a deeper discussion about the movie. And that's really avoidable.

Because its hard to opine about the movie at this moment. As the second comment in the conversation, its the shortest transition from name introduction to movie discussions ever. Unless some twit is christened 'James Bond' by his parents, I am sure this record is safe with the Iyers.

Like I said, only a few follow up their witty comment with movie talk. The bold majority decide to probe my life to derive humour.

"So where is Mrs. Iyer?"

Would they carry out such sensitive conversations with a nice looking lady? I don't think so. An amiable Iyer Boy unfortunately receives all the potshots and dollops of untimely inquisitions.

The ugly question still floats between us.

"So where is Mrs. Iyer?"

They receive a frozen smile as a response. It doesn't satisfy them. They are seated on a fake higher wit pedestal - the kind you plonk yourself on when you think you've made a creative comment. They expect a worthy comeback.

I reply straightforwardly, "I am single."

If there is a tone of disappointment,I am thrilled because it indicates that the discussion can move on. But if they begin to smile (with that gleam in their eyes), its trouble. Because all the wit of the average citizen, all the canned brain power can only lead to this ugly retort.

"So you are now Single....and ready to Mingle. Ha ha."

The conversation experts add that prickly phrase to the end of their inference with a matching wide grin. They ooze pride as if they coined the phrase. Wow, it rhymes too!

Recently, a new pothole of small talk has emerged. When I manage to extricate myself from the above ones, they occasionally put forward this question.

"So where are you working?"
'I am working at P&G with the brand Head and Shoulders."

"Oh, then you can get me some free samples!! Ha ha".

I wish to say: "You want to source free shampoo? Wow, that's really classy." or "Even our best shampoo won't do you any good. Give up."

But every consumer counts! And having endured their atrocity of comebacks till now, I let it go.

"I'll try.", I reply.

The conversation soon ends. And they leave in a better mood, feeling a lot smarter. After all, they were the witty ones. The gurus of small talk.


  1. saar, regular readers saar!

    some free shampoo for us also!


  2. Funny how north-indians are particularly familiar with 'Iyer' in relation to the movie!

    Anyways, first time I'm reading ur blog, so free sample for me too ;-)

  3. What makes people think it's completely appropriate to ask personal q's?

  4. lol... You can't avoid such circumstances and grudgingly have to grin n bear :)


Post a Comment