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Calls without purpose

Of such stuff is life made charming. You savour such moments. A call with no agenda, just the reliving of moments, just checking on how you are taking life — just nothing, really. Such nothings are the real precious moments of life.

Of such stuff is life made charming. You savour such moments. A call with no agenda, just the reliving of moments, just checking on how you are taking life — just nothing, really. Such nothings are the real precious moments of life.   | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The fact that someone thought of you on a Sunday afternoon and called you up for no reason is a great feeling

A Sunday morning. Your phone rings.

It’s a call from out of the blue, from a friend out of touch with for some years. You wonder why he, a busy person, would be calling you of all people. It has to be a mistake.

Before you pick up the phone, you try to guess what the call could be about. Being a cynic, your first guess is he has mistakenly dialled your number. Being suave, you two might cover up the mistake by seamlessly holding a random conversation before hanging up. That would have been the standard drill, the typical classy act which, while it wouldn’t have fooled anyone, at least would have saved the moment.

Either that, or the caller wants your help about something. In the office, every call you receive would follow this format: a quick how are you, a little beating around the bush, followed by business. And considering this was a Sunday, the caller really must be having a pressing requirement. You are primed to expect a request five seconds after the ‘how are you’ bit. You even consider pre-empting the process by your proactive ‘What can I do for you?’ You come perilously close to mouthing this phrase even as you are done with the pleasantries.

Good that you didn’t, because a wonderful moment unfolds. It takes a while for you to realise that you indeed were the one he wanted to talk to, with no agenda other than the joy of hearing the voice of a friend, a truly long-time-no-see kind of call. Delighted, you join in the spirit of the moment, catching up on news, talking of this and that, in a rambling, mini-nostalgia trip. You both share your perspectives of your lives, making sense of the craziness in your world, evolving the righteous but unoriginal consensus that things are not as they were, that they could be better; and as the minutes tick by, you lose track of time. You settle deep into your sofa and wish the conversation would never end.

And long after the call does end, you are left with a peaceful therapeutic afterglow, the kind that fills your heart. The fact that someone thought of you on a Sunday afternoon, and called you up for no reason, is a great feeling. That is friendship.

Of such stuff is life made charming. You savour such moments. A call with no agenda, just the reliving of moments, just checking on how you are taking life — just nothing, really. Such nothings are the real precious moments of life.

It strikes me that this cold-calling is an adventure, if you think about it. If you initiate a random call, you have nothing to lose. You might make the called persons happy, or at worst, confuse them. They would, in fact, be glad that they occupied a moment of someone’s thoughts strong enough for that person to call them up. All you have to do is overcome the inertia and the natural reluctance to reach out to people. It takes a huge amount of fearlessness to cold-call someone you haven’t spoken to very much, over the years. There are very few persons who make this attempt and they are a minuscule minority. It takes guts to initiate contact, and also a willingness to accept that not all their efforts at communication will be rewarded. We need such friends like oxygen in our stifling atmosphere of an introverted society. We need to learn from them. We can only hope they aren’t a vanishing tribe.

Call up someone today, for the only reason you just felt like hearing their voice. Call up your mom, dad, uncle, or long-lost friend, just like that. Go ahead, force that finger to press on that contact list on your mobile, and take it from there — see where it goes.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 3:49:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/calls-without-purpose/article31069597.ece

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