I walked into the room and noticed he was in a completely different world. He devoted his attention to what was in front of him. He seemed to be completely immersed in what he was seeing, that he did not even realized I’d stepped inside the room. I wanted to say a hi and check how he was doing, but my mind told me not to bother him. I don’t remember the last time I sat with so much focus on just one subject, so I knew how difficult it was to concentrate. Plus, I did not need him to answer my question. I knew the answer by seeing the expression on his face.
He was worried and upset. He was angry and dejected. All at the same time.
Being the only observer in the room, I was trying to decipher what was causing the many mood-swings in such little time. It was interesting to note how despite no other humans around, it was possible to react to a small set of events in a multitude of ways. One minute he was smiling, and he was also on the verge of standing up and clapping. And the very next minute he would slightly shout to express his irritation. And then, I could see fear in his eyes and his mannerisms. I sat watching him for about half an hour, and as time went by, I was able to predict what his next reaction was going to be.
The game just got interesting.
The game just got interesting.
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Finally, 37 minutes after I entered the room, he looked at me. He looked at me like we both belonged to different worlds and he couldn't care less why I was in that room. I tried to say something but he just dismissed it even without bothering to look at me. I was about to take offence when out of the blue he seemed to have recognized me and said ‘Hi’. Before I could even respond, he looked at me as if he remembered something and he went back to what he was doing. I sighed. I was again left to observe him.
Attention deficit syndrome? Na. It was just priorities, my mind told me.
Elated by the success of being recognized, I decided to establish my presence in the room. I had tea with me and offered him some. Sheldon could not be wrong. Tea makes for good conversation starters. I asked him loudly if he wanted to have a cup of tea. With his eyes still fixed on what he was seeing, he stretched is hand, conveying he would like one. Success. He was at least responding to me. I knew I was going on the right track, but decided to take my steps very slowly.
Just like how kids show interest when we talk like we're one among them, I gathered all information I could muster and decided to talk in his language. I played it carefully. I did not want to give him a lot of info, which would obviously fall on deaf ears. I was aiming for a dialogue and not a monologue. I tried to give him the impression that I was harmless and I was not there to spoil his peace of mind and that I was just trying to make him feel comfortable. Slowly he started responding. The very fact that he acknowledged my words with an occasional 'Hmm' and 'Yea', told me was I going in the right direction.
So far so good.
3 hours, 2 cups of tea, a loaf of home- made bread and vanilla cake later, he finally found his voice and stepped back to reality. I guessed it was a happy ending, for there was no other way he could be that happy after a gruelling 3 hour session. He was comfortable enough to engage in a conversation. To make up for the 3 hours he was silent, he went on and on about how Kohli was at his brilliant best and why Dhoni was an amazing Captain.
He did apologize for not being able to talk properly during the 3 hours. I was magnanimous enough to forgive him, though I thanked him in my mind for giving me something to write about for this week ;-). The least I could do for my fiance who plays and watches cricket :-)
Why fear the writer’s block when you have so many interesting things happening all around you! ;-)