Friends or just random souls?

A question asked by a friend, triggered the thought process. Shreya made a very interesting observation yesterday, saying that I meet random people. She asked me why I would want to do that?

At first, I was pretty shocked about the fact that she thought the people I meet were random as it slowly revealed to me that I’m capable of meeting almost anyone and strike a conversation with them. And somehow, I keep meeting most of these people at a regular frequency. What was it that made me meet these ‘random’ people again? Neither did I enjoyed their company that much, nor were they necessarily advantageous to me in my career.

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After a little deliberation, I realised that I just enjoyed having people around me. I’m a no-frill, no-fancy person and people find me, easy to be with. I feel good that people want to meet me in a world where people don’t have any time for each other. Most of them discuss random details from their lives, without really expecting any solution or help. These conversations are a great source of information because of which I can talk about almost anything under the sun to almost anyone on the planet. I hold photography very close to my heart, because of which I’m always on the lookout for subjects. Meeting more and more people, makes me understand humans, their lives, their emotions better.

People I meet are like stories. There is an epilogue, a dialogue and a climax. The only difference is that with people, you can read multiple stories together without ever reaching the climax and putting an end to it. I love interacting with people, hanging out with them, understanding why they are, like they are and what makes them up. I haven’t been able to sum anyone up yet, I just speculate and ask a lot of Why’s. It’s a challenge reading people as most of the times they are pretending to be someone else and more often than not, they are in denial. You can truly get to know a someone only when they open up and talk to you. And when they do, it hits me, that’s the moment that paves friendship.

Shivani GargFriends or just random souls?

Comments 15

  1. Megha_Bhagat

    I guess its the ego in humans that loves this.RANDOM is nothing but when YOU feel that they are easy and comfortable around you. remember we human are amazing species and anything thats unknown to us and doesnt know us very well is our melting pot. I love strangers (i dont call them random coz the cosmic cant have anything random-it will kill the synthesis) because they dont know me, i can reveal only as much as i want and then the slutty ego in me gets its full when the talk and tell stuff(inside them probably theres a different mechanism going on, i never tried asking why they talk to a perfect stranger). The "I" is what stops the perfect stranger from becoming a relationship after all. And friendship you say is then paved. I see things get difficult once you have "friendship" or other relationships forging. Have you told your stories to a stranger? Tried asking why a stranger has told you his stories? P.S: I hate it when these strangers then start analysing me once i have been nice and told them back stuff. So on principle i only listen and get my ego fillI love the pic

  2. Shivani Garg

    Well, total strangers never really open up, it's when you've met a couple of times and they are comfortable. No one is born friends right? All my friends have been strangers to me, once. Don't hate them when they analyse you. We do it all the time. I've found myself analysing people I meet and being judgemental but that's just because it's human nature. We need to sort things out in our brain and put them in what we feel is the 'right place'. We are scared of the unknown. All of us do it subconsciously. Ever heard yourself say, 'she's sweet!'. That's just the first judgement that your mind has passed on the person you just met.And coming back to Ego. I'd choose Ego to Sacrifice any day. Just be sure to know the difference between egoism & egotism! Refer Ayn Rand. P.S. I think I'm gonna write a post about this soon. Thanks, the pic was taken at Bagel Cafe, Gurgaon.

  3. Shivani Garg

    @saurabh @simple_sy Yeah, everyone has different frequencies and levels of energy, just like particles floating up in the air, clashing, bouncing back, travelling some more till they settle down.Somehow, I have something against 'settle down'. Doesn't that mean losing all you energy, sink low and lie still? How could that be a way of being, people aim to achieve?

  4. Anonymous

    Interesting to see the thread of discussion. Couldn't stop myself from joining in. Actually i believe we're all rigged to behave in a certain way and i identify to some extent with Shivani in the part where she mentions frequencies and energy that abounds inside us. Random is what i believe is a state of unstable equilibrium, a state where the individual is waiting to be stirred into action. Where the mental and the physical states might not necessarily be cohorts. So what breaks this random state is a subset of circumstance. The randomness could be temporarily interrupted by a simple 'Hi!' after which the person might revert to 'randomness' OR it may set in motion a response and thereby lead to conversation. In effect leading to the state of equilibrium being stabilized when action happens. Beyond this very logical dissection lies the subjectivity of the vices and/or virtues of interacting with strangers. And i don't think i completely comprehend what Megha means when she talks about ego. The ego is an individual's defense mechanism, what we mathematically call the 'control factor'. It's the bridge that takes care of your id (primal desires that are driven purely by instincts without any hang ups about morality) while being held in check by the superego (the societal pressures of being righteous). So it's like the shuttle in a loom that chucks itself from one end to the other while enabling you to satiate your primal instinct in accordance with societal norms.As for relationships, i believe it's always conditional with only one proven exception – the bond between parent and child. In all other relationships you decide the terms before entering into one and revise those terms and conditions from time to time. So egos don't come in the way unless the terms you set were too demanding. If you've seen the movie 'Love Actually' there's a particular story that is tantalizingly refreshing in the way it establishes how a relationship is formed. John and Judy are body doubles for a soft porn film. So they are part of blatantly sexual actions for light check etc before the actors could come in and perform the take. Despite such physical intimacy and rampant nudity, it's beautiful to see John express his love for Judy and choose his words after much deliberation. He tells her once, and shyly: 'It is nice to have someone i can just chat with':)As i said, relationships are need based and you set your own terms and conditions at the outset. Then all you do is keep revising them. Cheers.

  5. Shivani Garg

    Thanks for furthering the discussion Arvind. I faintly remember John & Judy, I guess it's time to watch Love Actually again :)I don't agree with you when you say that a parent-child relationship is unconditional. It also needs rules to be laid down. That brings me to another train of thought, that a friend Leila said to me once, "relationships are just power plays". No relationship is different from any other. In terms of particles and energy states, what makes it different are the particles themselves, their inherent properties and the energy state they are in when the collision or fusion happens.

  6. ishma

    Hey! Adding to the discussion, most of us don't have time to spare for those who are related to us. Be it family, relatives or friends.Do we remember our cousins'/aunts'/ friends b'day's?? We all depend on networking sites to remind us of such occasions. DO we care otherwise? We are all so tied up in our own lives that we tend to ignore little but beautiful things life has to offer.When we don't dig out time for our near and dear, we can't keep ourselves open for strangers. We need to rethink what really we need to run behind..we have to prioritize and rethink.. Not doing so will only make us give it a repentant thought when we grow old. I think all of us are scared and none of us know what we really are scared of. It is this fear that keep's us from talking to strangers. A conversation with a relatively new friend need not necessarily involve personal issues. You could talk about life, art, politics, sports, movies, places. You could share and learn as well. Such healthy conversations not only improve knowledge but also pave way to a healthy relationship, and i what harm could such conversations do?? Moreover, no relationship comes with a guarantee. So you don't have to bother too much if the relationships don't last forever!Try getting over your fears and begin to accommodate some space for strangers, and handle people the right way. You will not only discover some great beings around you but also unravel many qualities of urself which you wud never find out otherwise.Thumb's up to knowing people and letting them know you..P.S: WHat Murali has quoted about the movie Love actually is so true. I had given it a similar thought when i watched it.

  7. Shivani Garg

    @outsidethewell Ha ha. You also called him Murali. Arvind what do I say? You're just jinxed!I don't care much about birthdays, I used to but now I just cant seem to remember them on that particular day. I would remember it, the whole year long otherwise. I ask all of you to please call me and remind me, if I forget :PAnyways, that's not what the discussion is about. I think most of us feel uncomfortable talking to perfect strangers because that's exactly who they are – perfect strangers. And we have been taught since our childhood not to talk to strangers and we've never had to rethink that commandment because we've always have plenty of friends around us in kindergarten, school(s) and college(s).It's only when we come into the professional world that we our safe zone of friends start thinning. We find that all our priorities have changed, girlfriends and boyfriends have changed who are not common friends anymore :)It's not important to yearn for someone's friendship. What's important, is to be able to have a conversation with anyone that can be satisfying for both people involved.

  8. Shivani Garg

    Just found this word, while surfing the net. Thought this might provoke some thought in connection with my post above. Inviting comments from Megha, Saurabh, Arvind, Ishma, Shreya and anyone else who wants to join in the conversation. doesn't Sundeep have anything to say about this?Apophenia is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined in 1958 by Klaus Conrad, who defined it as the "unmotivated seeing of connections" accompanied by a "specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness".

  9. Anonymous

    "Kya hi bolunga main?"A couple of months ago, I was reading Nine stories by J D Salinger. There is an interesting dialogue in the story " A perfect day for Bananafish" between Seymour and a young girl, Sybil :…‘Ask me something else, Sybil,’ he said. ‘That’s a fine bathing suit you have on. if there’s one thing I like, it’s a blue bathing suit.’Sybil stared at him, then looked down at her protruding stomach. ‘This is a yellow,’ she said. ‘This is a yellow.’…Later in the story Seymour removes his bathrobe and has a blue bathing suit.The point I am making is we all as individuals see in things in our way- it is our perspective.It is unique and we see things that way. The same things have different meanings to different people. For me, that has been the best part of meeting and knowing people-appreciating different perspectives.I have entirely different conversations with my friends. With some all do is talk about movies,others books, others differential equations(yes I am a nerd!) and others just stupid jokes. No conversation seemed any less important or more important. As for random people ??? I just do not meet random people. Everyone I know is privy to a common circumstance. But yes, there are friends and then there are acquaintances. Those who understood the sarcasm in my first sentence are probably my friends.And I am guessing nobody!! :)A caveat, I use perspective distinct from "perceptions". To quote William Blake:"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern."

  10. Saurabh Kejriwal

    I agree with Sandeep. I don't consider the people I meet 'random'. That doesn't mean I don't meet new people. My livelihood depends on meeting new people. But I do believe in exploring the circumstance as much as exploring the people I meet.On the other hand, I think Apophenia is pretty rampant in the head. I constantly look for connections, patterns, links – but not about people. I look for patterns in behavior and body language. Perhaps this is why I don't remember names easily, but remember a lot of people just by typical behavior patterns.I've met people by chance, and have had great connections with them – socially, professionally and emotionally. I've known people who were very good friends with very good friends of mine, but never seemed to strike a common cord. The point is, certain people attract certain type of people to engage in conversations, activities and the like. Some can do this more than others. I call this SQ – the Social Quotient. Shivani's SQ is pretty high, which is a good thing. Others might be more reserved, or have a low SQ, and that's cool too. There might be reasons behind the high or low SQ, but that's trying to dig too deep. Someone once told me, when you meet people, there is different types of energy interchange. There's energies between intellects, emotions, egos, attraction and hatred, which are present in different degrees in all interactions. So, as Sandeep said, in meeting some people, one has more fun, so the emotional energies are more magnified. With some people you have stimulating conversations about differential equations, where the energy interchange between the intellect is more apparent. Here is an interesting experiment that I learnt not long ago. We've all met people who we suddenly feel very conscious around. It's like out instincts are alert, and we watch what we do or say around them, and observe closely what they do or say, as if we are in a competitive environment. It might dissipate once we leave the room, and we might reflect later and think – I had no intentions of competing with this dude, what happened? We might even contribute this to certain insecurities and don't think about it. We might try to be extra-polite the next time, but end up being more and more uneasy. Sometimes what this other person does or says leads us to an instant flash of unintended white anger. We've all been in this situation sometime in our lives.This happens when the energy exchange is heightened between our egos. And here is the tricky part – it might not even be initiated consciously by either party. This is purely instinctive, and seems hard to avoid. However, the situation is quite simple. Once alone, you just have to visualize the other person in your mind with a lot of affection and respect. Then say anything you'd like to say to them, ending with 'I choose to get along with you, to become good friends with you, to have a healthy, collaborative, encouraging, fun relationship'. And keep at it till the uneasy feeling dissipates completely.If the respect and affection you gave is genuine, you will notice an easier, more comfortable change in the other person's behavior, the next time you meet him.It's about making friends. It's about welcoming people with open arms. It's about changing the world for the better. Or our immediate ecosystem anyway.As for patterns waiting to emerge, I connect this to the Bryan Adam's song, 'A little live can change it all', as well as to the hippie, woodstock culture. Also with Buddhism. And Gandhi. And of course, with idealism in corporates and politics. And cooperative societies/businesses. Certain economies, Tibetan, for instance.The failure of this theory, or the failure of loving unconditionally, can be seen in examples of Hitler. Or Osama. Also Bush?Can think of a million more, but I'm sure this already seems too illogical and far-fetched to many ;-)C'est la vie!

  11. Shivani Garg

    @Sundeep perception is something that you do not have consciously. It's like a ghost that haunts your mind, and you just start accepting that it lives there. Whereas, perspective is something you learn from experience and can reason can change it.@Sundeep @Saurabh @Arvind Well the word 'random' is defined asproceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern eg. the random selection of numbers.And yes, circumstance might have a higher aim, reason or pattern but not any ,that we are aware of at that time. So to us, it is a random selection.For eg, going to a party of 20 people with friends, friends of friends, colleagues of friends, friends of friends of friends etc. And circumstance makes us get into an elaborate conversation with 1 out of those 20. Absolutely random. Nothing wrong with the word 'random', it's just a perception.I like saurabh's SQ concept. But you know what's funny? I have a hangup, cant approach a stranger but sometimes, I can and I do without attempting to. Circumstance?

  12. Anonymous

    Apophenia eh? O.Henry comes to mind and i'm sure many of us must be familiar with 'The Face on the Wall'. Some kind of cosmic connection between a random (the word just doesn't stop buggering does it?) pattern (on the wall, as opposed to data) and a real person living somewhere on the planet. That's spooky. Now this might sound like an idiosyncrasy. I know it does to me. We've been talking of how people interface with people but what i'm going to mention is nothing short of being O. Hernry-ish in nature. at least to me. Since childhood whenever i used to spread my palms out tight, fingers sticking to the side of each other (and not spread out) i used to notice an uncanny resemblance to some face i'd seen before. i tried to figure it out and finally concluded it looks like Roshan Seth. I can already see people laughing but it's true that i do see his face on my palm. I've had laughs myself so i can understand. Maybe it's a figment of my imagination, but i've never been able to junk the thought. The more i see it, the more convinced i am. How's that for Apophenia? PS @Shivani: Perception is, what you think about people. Perspective is, what you think about a situation. 🙂 Happy spooks to one and all.

  13. Shivani Garg

    @arvind, don't agree. You can see people in a different 'perspective'. You can perceive a situation as happy, funny, sad, pitiable which it might or might not be in the actual scenario.Perception to me is a result or an inbuilt moral values that sometimes gives us a kind of shortsightedness. And perspective is a byproduct of knowledge and proven facts which will keep evolving and changing with time.Perception can also be forcefully maneuvered but it's difficult. Perspective grows itself as does life, it's experiences and knowledge.

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