Just came back from an event Blindfolded Conversations under the trees. I have no idea why or how I signed up for this event but I landed up at the venue thinking if nothing else I can have nice evening walk at Cubbon Park. When my first “partner”asked what brings you here I was prompted to say I had nothing better to do what else. I told him that I usually never open up even to people I know so I thought if I can speak to a total stranger it will be a kind of challenge for me. Now those who know me would say c’mon you talk so much, you are active on social media and have views on every thing from quantum view of spirituality to politics in UP to Bhojpuri filmi songs how can you have need to open up or have conversation? There is a couplet by Jaun Elia that best describes this dichotomy :
मुस्तक़िल बोलता ही रहता हूँ, कितना खामोश हूँ मैं अन्दर से
I blabber without a pause, how silent am I from within
My kids often tell me Dad don’t you have like a best friend. You are always talking about business or politics or some books but that’s not what you talk to your best friend. They are right I have this heavily guarded shield and probably no one except my brother knows my darkest and deepest side. Even he has limits.
Anyway, coming back to the event I wanted to explore if my conditioning stops me or is it that I do not want to be vulnerable again by telling someone about myself. I have seen people stoop to such levels I am on the verge of becoming a Xenophobe. My guard is never down. Everyone has their boundaries – you can come this far and no more. Can this psychology be reversed if I don’t know whom I am talking to and yet get a response – one human being to another. No I am not talking about shrinks, they are trained to have conversations and they charge a fee. Been there, done that.
So did I open up finally ? Was I able to drop my inhibition, feel vulnerable again? No I was not. I ended up giving reading advice to both partners – first was a techie probably in his 30s and second was a young girl in last year of her engineering. But yes the event was quite fun and well organized. All of us sat under the trees and were asked to blindfold ourselves. After that the volunteers randomly paired up people. You were not allowed to tell your name, exact profession or age. Basically there was no way to know whom you were talking to and as there were some 200 people there was no way of guessing either. There were a lot of young girls in the group. When all of them started chattering together with one sense organ of mine obstructed, at one point I felt I would have a panic attack !
However, I learnt a few things :
1. I can never open up to anyone और अब ये राज़ मेरे साथ ही दफ़न होंगे
2. Bangalore is super receptive to new ideas and folks are quite open and friendly. I don’t think you can have such an event so casually in Lucknow or Delhi
3. The organizers made a cool 40000 bucks is 2 hours with almost no investment apart from their volunteers guiding blinded people so they don’t bump into each other 😊
4. Namma Metro takes precisely 13 min from Cubbon Park to Bypanahalli