Dr. Sudhirendar SharmaFor most of us, entering into a conversation is akin to getting into a restaurant without a wallet. Stepping-up and sustaining conversation is even more daunting. Adam and Eve must have encountered such difficulty because they had nobody to talk about. Good for us, else the apple would have long been rotten! Without doubt, the forbidden apple launched us into the world of conversation!For Oscar Wilde, weather was the most unimaginative refuge for getting into a conversation. It indeed is but just don’t knock it out as yet because nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if weather didn’t change once in a while. But one is advised to jump on the drawing-room furniture only if one could hold his own in the conversation. Else, try painting your drawing room ‘red’ and watch the heat it generates!
If that doesn’t suit you, try wearing a hat instead! I have tried it. Whether I wear it or take it off, either way it has been a conversation piece. But amazing are those guys who can neither initiate a conversation nor can contribute to it and yet hang around! Quite often, such characters nod their way through it. Though it is better than ‘nodding off’, such irritants stick around to avoid being rejected. But can Madame Tussads wax statues be comforting in any drawing room?
Even Steve Jobs would have agreed that gone are the days that ‘apple’ could start or sustain a conversation. After frequently flying into the country for over two decades now (and holding a ‘apple macbook’ now), a friend has struck with a novel idea to push the ‘silent lambs’ into conversation. Says he, ‘to support a flagging conversation bring ‘mango’ into conversation’. Layers of experience get peeled off in a short span, everybody (at least in India) has something to talk about ‘mango’!
Having tried it a few times, mangoes easily trigger a conversation. Try it, it works!
(Sudhirendar is author (development journalist), academic (offers lectures), advisor (provides consultancy) and activist (providing knowledge backup) rolled into one, based in New Delhi.)