Let’s Get Talking: Part 1
It was a Saturday night; I was out with a bunch of friends in one of the happening café-by-day/club-by-night places in the popular concentric-circled, white-columned Connaught Place of Lutyens’ Delhi. Dim lights, loud music, the rattle of beer bottles clanking against each other, and shisha smoke forming seductive clouds in this so far disappointing monsoon, the night held all the promises that it could for a twenty five year old single girl in Delhi.
If you aren’t and have never been a twenty something single person in a country trying to balance itself atop the very unsteady lynchpin of a moving seesaw of globalization, you would never know how perilous the dating scene can be. A discussion of how globalization brings in equal amounts the liberal dreams of the Western world and the frustrations of their non-applicability in the Oriental home is a lengthy affair and isn’t warranted here. But keeping in mind its implications, I’m going to talk about one of the most decisive factors that I have come across in choosing a potential mate. The answer is language.
Standing beside the DJ, I spotted a well-dressed and attractive guy. Now, I’ve been single for long enough to have evolved a process by which I can tell from a distance whether or not someone is worth approaching. This guy was. First, he wasn’t with a lady; second, he seemed to know the people around, was talking candidly, and had an alpha male vibe about him; and third and most importantly, he was mouthing the lyrics of one of my favorite English songs while it reverberated loudly through the club’s sound system.
This last detail is the most important because I put a lot of stock in language and have often been disappointed on its account. For instance, when a potentially interesting guy texts you saying, “Ssup? Why you didn’t called me?” it’s hard to suppress a cringe and not curse yourself internally for having shared your phone number with the said person. But our guy in question (whom we’re going to refer to as Guy from now on, for the purpose of disambiguity) didn’t seem to pose this threat; he was singing along a not so popularly known English song, grooving with a beer bottle in one of his hands. At this point, it becomes imperative to mention that although not by birth, English is my language by choice. What attracts me most in a person is an impeccable flair for language, preferably English. Having thus screened this person on the preliminary criteria from afar, I decided to take the next step.
Aakanksha Tomar is a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Delhi. As far back as she can remember, reading and writing have held a special place in her heart. She is trilingual, with a fourth language somewhere on the way. She can frequently be found in a café with a cup of coffee and a great book.