We’ve lived in this apartment for sometime now (3 months for me and 7 for Souvik), but we still have no real friends. Souvik knows a few people, because he meets them in the morning while leaving for office, and I know none. OK, one or two by name, but that’s it.
We used to have a great excuse earlier, for not getting to know our neighbours. With both of us working, we would leave early in the morning and get back fairly late, in our car, into the parking lot, up the lift, straight home. And having no kids, we had no reason to interact with other kids’ parents. Only when our parents visited would we learn the names of some people. In fact, I had this situation once or twice, getting in the lift with some strangers, picking the same floor, and only at the door finding out that person lives right next door. And never meeting again. Changing houses every year also meant that some of these experiences got repeated, and I have had that foolish feeling for many years now!
I could count on one hand, the number of people I know as neighbours. Bangalore, Chennai – illa. OK, there were Irina’s parents who we knew from before. And those folks who lived below – the guy used to smoke early in the morning in the balcony – we fought with them, but did not know them. Mumbai – first Uju, then Aparna (sisters, my cousins). Two office colleagues, but friends. Only in one building there was a family right next door who took the initiative to befriend us, and were really nice people. That’s it!
Back to today, I’m not working, and have the whole ‘agenda-free’ day, except for cooking the evening meal. But do I go out actively to get to know people, invite them home, and so on? HAH!
It’s not as if we’re unsocial or unfriendly – just lazy. I, for one, take forever to make friends, and can go the longest time without speaking to anyone (which I do everyday). And Souvik can spend hours with his movies by himself. And we do socialize – with office colleagues, or friends from the “good ol’ days” of school/ college or family – loads of it.
So why am I ranting about this? Well, yesterday, Souvik got an SMS from someone claiming to be our neighbour, wanting to meet for a drink. We DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO IT IS, or how will we recognize him/her. :-O And what will I cook for tea/cocktails? And it’s happening today. AND, we’re also wondering if he sent the message to us by mistake, ‘coz how did he get the number???
Looks like it’ll be fun to write about it later, once we have gotten over the embarrassment stage of “Oh, you live next door, and we always see you doing . . . . . . ”
Watch this space for more!