Usha
When we were in Mauritus, Valerie took us to her house.Her mom had this funny habit of adding extra bits of information in every sentence. For example when someone asked her how many children she had she would say :"I have 6 children. Didier, who is not here but lives in paris; Valerie, who is your friend and looks like you; Felicite who teaches at the school..." and so on...She was of french origin. So when I asked how long her family had lived in Mauritius, she said "About 100 years ago, a nun who got accidentally pregnant was sent away to this island. And that nun was my grandmother." Very entertaining but her responses always sounded like a paraphrase of her lifestory. She was that kind of a person too, very open, very warm and very frank. You felt that you had known her for a long time after just one meeting.

I suppose we reveal or betray more about ourselves through these extra bits of information that sneak into our conversations as an aside. It is like we keep them in reserve to be inserted at the appropriate moment - in order to make the right impression or as a cue for the conversation to develop in the direction we would like it to go. "The other day I told this to Mr.Shetty during our round of Golf- we are both members of the same club, you know." Very clever! In the right circles, this would have scored many many points.( I did that cleverly at the beginning of this post too...in case you hadn't noticed!!)

In many cases these also spring out of our insecurities,like this rich relative of ours who , whenever she had splurged on something obscenely expensive would always tell us how it was on offer at a discount which she could not let pass. As if she owed the universe an explanation for her expenses. Well actually, it was more to soften the shock that such enormous expense would have on us, the poorer relatives whose monthly income was equivalent of her one day expenses at times.

And then there is my elderly neighbour who told me this morning : "I got up around 5 for urination and that is when I noticed that the power was not there." I am not sure that the reason why he got up added much to the value of the coversation to me. But I guess he felt relieved(!!) after giving me the information!!
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11 Responses
  1. Dubukku Says:

    very true :)
    I add many like your neighbour and am sure you would have noticed that in my blog :p
    (I never imagined KapilDev was so modest until I met him in London Underground one fine day :))

    I know many people in my home town who specialise in this and its certainly fun hearing those

    I personally think life is a bit boring without all these :))


  2. visithra Says:

    Hehehe ok the neighbour cracked me up - i agree with dubukku - but i hate it when its name dropping they do then giving an insight on their lives


  3. Ravi Says:

    HAHAHA! Well written, Usha. " I suppose we reveal or betray more about ourselves through these extra bits of information that sneak into our conversations as an aside!" With the umpteen people I meet on my job, this is 100% true. Name dropping is an art by itself! Anyway, good to know you've been to Mauritius. Perhaps you could write more on this? Any pictures? Travel is becoming a hobby with me, you see! :)


  4. rocksea Says:

    "About 100 years ago, a nun who got accidentally pregnant was sent away to this island. And that nun was my grandmother."
    Oyyy!!! that was a grand story on her grand mother.

    ya, people like to tell reasons when they tell smtg. i don't see anything special in that urine stmt. may be the way he told did.

    so indirectly you have told us all that you have gone to mauritius. let us not suspect that was what you emphasized ;) LOL.


  5. haha! seems like a serendipitous discovery of human psychology ;)!

    however, even the garrulous me can refrain from revealing too much about myself. it is probably a unique feature of everyone to use these "extra bits of information about ourselves" in the correct measure to spice up conversation.


  6. Usha Says:

    dubukku: I agree that these spice up the conversation and I have a way of catching them rather than the main line of conversation.so if someone says " i saw you talking to lakshmi mami" you can find me responding "oh that lady who just returned from the U.S.?"

    Visithra: actually if you can suppress your irritation and watch it objectively these name droppings can be a great source of amusement and give a lot of insights into the person dishing them out.

    Ravi:Agree that name dropping is an art - requires a lot of finesse to do it the right away and without sounding like a parvenu!
    I recommend my young friend Vaish's excellent write ups on Mauritius and beautiful pictures. ( link on the sidebar)YOu will fall in love with the place even before going there.

    Rocksea: Thank you. Ya that's an interesting story.

    Shashi: true we all do it at some time one way or the other.


  7. Akruti Says:

    I am smiling right now reading this:) Because my mom is sitting in the Hall and listening to a neigbour who is making sure to be exactly the same as you described here:)
    true,without these tidbits somehow the conversations might be boring,But it all depends on the way a person treats it,or describes,sometimes i get irritated when they sound like boosting:) All in Human nature.


  8. Usha Says:

    akruti:
    Agree completely.


  9. Vaish Says:

    Hahhahaa! Sometimes, this makes life so interesting. Sometimes, you just DON'T want to hear some details!! :)


  10. kala Says:

    I think these kind of yak is more out of habit than a concious effort to show off.


  11. kala Says:

    I think these kind of yak is more out of habit than a concious effort to show off.