Since time immemorial we have been urged to ask questions. It is supposed to be a sign of a curious soul, an inquisitive mind. True. But most people take this curiosity a tad bit too far, sometimes infringing upon my personal space. Consider the question “Are you a virgin?” This question is one of the few things I absolutely judge men on. Your image is beyond repair. Whether I am a virgin or not is completely my business, I don’t see why it should come up in a conversation I am having with someone I’ve barely known for a fortnight.
Sometimes seemingly innocuous questions border on the absurd. Consider “What is your full name?” On the face of it there’s nothing absurd with it. But hold your horses. Since my parents decided to not give us their caste-based surname but suffixed our name with a random word (so complicated that it took me the better part of my childhood to get its pronunciation correct), the question on my full name is often followed with a pensive expression, probably the kind Newton had on his face when he saw the apple fall. After the lack of any eureka moment the person finally follows up with “Which state?” Jharkhand doesn’t help either (Some peanut brains actually follow this up with “But you don’t look tribal!”). So then comes the final question, the reason I was asked my full name in the first place. Once again, the point is how does it matter? Your caste or not we aren’t going to get along anyway. It’s because of thought processes such as yours that the world is Trumped.
I completely concur with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s argument that brain (memory) is a finite resource and hence cannot be wasted over irrelevant things that really don’t expand your information set in any productive way. What’s the relevance? Well, very often when I meet school friends they ask me who all am I in touch with and then “Where does he/she work? What is the post? What package?” and all kinds of bizarre questions that make no sense to me. When I answer that I have no clue they refuse to believe. For god’s sake, we have been friends since school and I’ve always had a way of befriending the notorious ones. Job or on unemployment benefit, they will stay my friend and I find it an absurd, rude and irrelevant question that is directed towards finding out their post and pay. So I never ask.
Another of those seemingly innocuous questions : “Are you a vegetarian?” My answer in the affirmative followed by “But you don’t look vegetarian!” In fact earlier I had to also live with “But you’re fat!” If only they had looked carefully at the dietary habits of an elephant!
This one breaks hell loose: “Do you know how to cook?” Me: “Barely, to survive.” Curious Soul: “But how will you get married?” Well, well. The problem with this world is that when they talk about equality for men and women what they mean is that women must do all that men can plus what they have been supposed to do since the beginning of civilised time. When I was raised with the same standards, benchmarks and greater expectations than most men my age, you suddenly cannot expect me to be the lead character of a Rajshri production movie. No I don’t know how to cook. Even if I did, that’s none of your business since I’m not inviting you for dinner anytime soon.
The list will go on. Hopefully one day I will learn to deal with these. As for the more ridiculous questions like what have you thought about life/family/career, I have the curious case of Donald Trump as my answer!