Monday, April 15, 2013

Doing my bit for friendly international relations

So, today, I was travelling in a Vishwavidyalaya-bound Delhi metro train. There weren't many people inside. I was reading a newspaper when a person with Mongoloid features got up from his seat a few steps away from me, came up and sat beside me. He pointed to an article on Indo-China PM bilateral visit in the newspaper that I was reading, and asked me something about it in English which I couldn't quite hear. Since I'd failed to hear the question, I ended up over-explaining the article and referred to the recent changes in the Chinese leadership, wherein the President Hu Jintao was succeeded by the new President Xi Jinping, etc. At this, he told me that I seemed to know a lot about China. Until now, I had desisted from assuming that he was a Chinese, lest I asked a north-east Indian if he was a Chinese. But it was quite certain by now, so, feigning a surprised expression now, I asked him , "You are from...!" - "Yeah, China" he said. He spoke English with a fairly heavy accent (erm, just like I must do too).

Now, I am almost always very keen on talking to foreigner travellers in India for multiple reasons. But I never manage to muster enough balls to actually do that. So I loved that this guy approached me and struck a conversation himself. I asked him what he did in India and how long he had been here. He said he had been doing Masters in Buddhist studies in the Delhi University for more than a year now. He asked about me, and was mighty impressed to hear that I was from an IIT.

He pointed to the newspaper 'The Hindu' and said that he reads the same newspaper and finds it funny. I asked, maybe tad inappropriately, "funny how?" He immediately corrected, "Err, no, I mean interesting."

The guy was extremely polite and soft-spoken. After a bit more of small talk, he asked me if I had a facebook id. I told him I wasn't on facebook anymore. "I'm on Twitter though." He saved my twitter, email and phone number, and gave me his card when I asked for his email id. His card had two of his email id's, the username of one of which was, interestingly, a pure number. He sort of explained that it was easier to have a number, rather than his name, as the username. (Although his name turned out to be simpler than mine.)

As I was saving his phone number, he looked at the wallpaper of my phone which is a person holding a guitar. He asked me about the wallpaper. I told him it wasn't me in the photo, though I did like to play guitar, which he was quite excited to hear. He asked what my favorite bands were, or what I liked to play. I said, "I try to play Pink Floyd, Led Zep..."  - "Pink Floyd? Floyd is my favorite!" -  "Awesome!" I said. The train was almost at my stop now. He appeared to invite me to a place to jam with him. "Hey, sure!" I said, and started to get down.

A few hours after I reached home, I looked at his card that he'd given to me. It said 'B.A. in Music' from Beijing among other things. "Wow, what are the odds" I thought.

And suddenly it occurred to me. The bio on my twitter proudly reads:
"Hu died and made me the President of China (?)"
Wow, what are the odds indeed.

I dearly hope he didn't visit my twitter page in the meanwhile. In any case, I've tried to shift the blame. The updated twitter bio now reads: "Views expressed here are actually my neighbour's dog's." So, that's there.

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