Unlike many of my friends, I am not passionate about sports or music. Mildly interested maybe, but no passion there. Books, films, clothes, history- yes these are special. But what I enjoy the most is basic, intelligent conversation. Inside my own head, but better still, with another person. It fuels my thoughts, gets my mind whirring. It’s the one thing I crave for – genuine conversation. Not to be confused with chit chat or idle banter or sweet nothings or small talk. I mean genuine, wholesome conversation. Like a full bodied cup of coffee. Drenching your insides with something strong and fragrant and powerful. Filling your senses, waking you up. Reminding you – I think, therefore I am.
So, conversation… I look for it everywhere. Sometimes it’s one off. Someone who is randomly interesting, but not lastingly so. Sometimes I go back for more. Other times, I know I should not, because it will dilute the spur it gave to my mind, if followed by insipid, tired, dull talk. Sometimes I find it in the least expected places and people, and sometimes the sureshot ones disappoint me.
Conversations for me are soul food. I live for that moment when I can connect. I live so I can feel deeply and think clearly. It’s when I experience flow, that fleeting time, when hours seem like minutes; those moments that make life worth living. Conversation does not have to lead to anything or give me a definite ‘outcome’. It is pleasure for its own sake, not for what it can lead to.
Some interesting tidbits of recent conversations
“I don’t want to be 60 and realize I never lived”
Said so often, but practised so little. I want to prioritise. I want to learn. I want to be there for those who need me. I want to love and be loved. I want to build something big that outlasts me. I want to be useful for more than just me.
“What do you want to do with your life?”
One of those basic existential questions. Tough to answer, impossible to avoid. So life, my biggest resource, getting spent every second… how can I channelize it so I am happy? How can I channelize it so I can give back. I know I have so much, how can I use my life to actually say thank you to God. What should I do so it’s worth living?
“One half of the world doesn’t know how the other three quarters lives”
Beautiful. What a way to put it – not only do I not know how the other people live or think, I don’t even know who or how many there are. Just a reminder, that no matter how broad your horizon is, you are but one person. You have but two eyes. How very arrogant it would be to think you know all.
“Atypical at home, atypical abroad”
The story of any of us. The little bit of outsider inside each of us. Like me, I was the advocate of women’s education, of having a choice whether to and whom to get married to, remarriage for those who are no longer with their partners, relationships beyond hierarchy, respect for the individual and such other ‘avant garde’ ideas. Now that I am away from my own country, I am always thinking and sometimes talking about respect for elders, a ‘right’ age for marriage, the meaninglessness of relationships without commitment & respect, importance of social safety nets & even near vegetarianism. I am atypical everywhere. A part of society, but a little alone. That is why this sentence struck me. What a thought – atypical everywhere.
How perspicacious. How discerning. How ruthless. How true.
So conversation it is. Are you the next person who will set this mind in motion?