Caught in the middle When cross talkers cross you out with a two way torrent of words – Bikram Vohra

Have you ever been cross-talked over? It happens when you are sitting in between two people in the car for example, and suddenly they discover they speak the same language or are from the same region and bingo, you are now run over by a two-way traffic of words that you do not understand because they have dealt you out so completely that you don’t count.

It happened to me on a low budget airline and seat 10A and 10C discovered they were both from Odisha and that put 10B (yours truly) literally in the middle and better believe it, 10C asked if I could take his aisle seat and he could take my prisoner seat.

Has it ever happened to you in the movies when you go in a group and then the left of you and the right of you strike up a conversation smack, right dab in the middle of the theatre and you are helpless as they babble on. They are committed to undercutting you with a better idea, a funnier joke, a more dramatic story and the manner in which they kill your effort is so arbitrary they might as well say, borrrinnng.

Like you are chatting pleasantly at a party discussing matters of great import when Neel and Meetu are introduced and they discover they are both from Kal and isn’t that terrific and the switch from English to Bengali takes a microsecond and the fact that you got them together is washed away in the torrent of exchanges. Hello, I am still here, I do not understand a word of what you are saying, yoo hoo, remember me?

Then you have the chronic interrupters who ride roughshod over you and you find this is the third time you are saying, please let me finish except the ‘please’ is redundant. Because they are not going to listen, no way, and they have to recall common friends and you just sit there like a dummy. The worst is when two old chums or classmates catch up with each other and it can happen at a party or they happen to be passing through your city and must get together and that’s there, there goes the evening in a bathtub.

My wife’s colleague from college spent two days with us and the two husbands couldn’t get a word in edgeways. Remember this, remember that, wonder what happened to Shamita, lost touch with her, so you know maths teacher Mrs Daniels is still there, guess what Rehana broke up after thirty years of marriage, that was sad.

Not as sad as these two guys sitting here being hit by your sweeping nostalgia ladies.

The writer is a humour writer. [Courtesy: ToI]