I was at the shopping mall this afternoon looking for something. My wife was on phone explaining the details of what I had to buy. As I searched the shop, I noticed this person who seemed to be overhearing our conversation. Trying not to judge from the looks, I walked to a different aisle only to find this person follow me there.
I closed the call and continued to search, all the while trying to ignore this person. Once he sensed I was off the phone, he came to me and said –
Stranger – Hey, I overhead your conversation. Are you from Bangalore?
Me – Yes I am.
Stranger – I am from Bangalore too.
We then introduced ourselves, spoke of where we grew, our schooling, work place etc. We had a long conversation. Though I spoke to him answering his questions and asking him questions, there was something about him that was bothering me. Rather irritating me. I think it was his initial eavesdropping which had put me off, but I was not sure.
Stranger – So how do you spend time here on the weekends?
Me – I just moved to this city. Everything is new and am still getting used to things around here.
Stranger – You can go to movies. There are some new Indian movies playing at theaters here. They sometimes play Kannada movies too.
Me – Is it… Ok.
Without me asking for it, he took a paper napkin and wrote some theater names which were playing Indian movies. He also wrote his email and phone number on the paper napkin and handed it over to me.
Me – I don’t go to movies often, but thank you! Actually it has been many months since I have been to a movie.
Stranger – What? You don’t watch even Kannada movies? How can you even say you are a Bangalorean if you don’t watch Kannada movies? (He started laughing).
His question was too much for me to take. I looked at him almost wanting to ask him if he was an idiot. What has watching or not watching movies got to do with a city. Also I have lived and worked in 7 different cities. If I have to watch the regional movies of all different cities I have lived, then I have to quit working and just watch movies.
Me (with a smile) – You have to be a full grown Idiot to say I am not a Bangalorean if I don’t watch Kannada movies.
He smiled at me but didn’t say anything. Suddenly I realized what I had done. I had called him a full grown idiot, whatever it is supposed to mean. I had never heard anybody say that before, and I had actually rubbed that in my answer.
I bid him goodbye and walked out of the store. Even after I had walked some distance, I was still thinking about his question. I couldn’t tell what was it about him that had irritated me but his last question had sealed my thinking. I took the paper napkin he had given and without even wanting to see what he had written, I tossed the full grown idiot down a trash can.