Recently, I joined a new team at work. Call it an introvert’s curse, but I do not make friends as easily as my peers. I am bat-crap crazy once I get to know someone, but the pause between *awkward-handshake* “Hi, I’m Sreesha.” and *drunken* “I am about to jump; help me! Oooh are those stars or comets?!?!” is so long, so heavy and so awkward that a teenager with acne is probably doing a better job asking his crush out than me making friends at a new place.
Call it another curse, but right from school, I have been plucked out of my comfort zone every now and then and placed on an alien gola, without a locket to take me back to mother ship (no, I do mean mother ship, cos I was in hostels as a teenager and my mommy wasn’t with me).
But this has happened so many times in the past, that this time my mind just said that I am gonna survive all the embarrassments of being the new awkward girl. My mind is simply so old and wise now that it just cannot be bothered with the complexities and tantrums of my other mind (which is a little immature and scared). So the wise momma mind just told the baby mind to not bother momma and go play in the new team.
I tried, cried the baby mind.
When you leave a team, it is not just your friends you leave behind. It is “familiarity” that you leave behind. It’s your chair, your printer, your white board, your chaiwala, the awkwardly-dressed girl whom you were always a little mean to (behind her back, cos let’s face it, you’re a fattu to do anything up front), the arrogant guy you always wanted to slap without knowing why, your favorite spot in the cafeteria – it’s all that and more. It’s the smell of the air when you leave every evening. When you step out of the new office, the bloody air smells different. Cleaner, yes, but it just isn’t the air you’re used to.
Then there are the slightest things that trigger memories, which in turn trigger tears. Okay, I exaggerated a bit. Apart from the fact that I don’t get to eat any of the usual stuff from my old cafeteria, and the people at the chai counter do not even pretend to recognize you as the girl who orders ginger tea everyday, nothing has really triggered tears (yeah, the old chai counter guys just knew madam ka order by heart).
Then there’s the silence. You do not talk for fear of sounding like the odd one out, desperately trying too hard to wheedle your way into the conversation. You do not wanna keep quiet for fear of coming across as aloof.What does one do in this situation? How do people manage to make friends. Why is it that my old and wise mind does not care about such important issues?!?!
Because that side of the mind, ignoring the other side of my mind, knows when you fall out of the frying pan and into the fire, you’ll find ways to burn brighter than what’s trying to kill you.