The Subtle Art of Peopling

By: Malavika J

Being a postgraduate student, the transition to this university was pretty smooth, as I’ve already been in places like this before. From boarding the train to minutes after reaching Katpadi, something had kept me composed. Maybe it was the fact that I knew that I wouldn’t be utterly lonely, right from day one, as I had my old friends from UG accompanying me here. 

The rigorous schedule here was a big no no at first, but we acclimatised like bacteria in a fresh culture. Exam times called for questioning the great old Indian education system. Nothing good came out of staying awake till dawn and then puking the exact thing onto paper leaflets. Still, we are forced to do the same old thing. It’s either we study till three or write retests in the middle of exams, which is even worse. So if you’re wise enough, you’d stick to the former. But what made it tolerable was the fact that you weren’t the only one stuck in this tedious loop.

A few months ago, I came across the term “comfortable silences” in one of the books. That’s when I recalled a friend saying that there were many instances of comfortable silences between us. Unfortunately it is no more. For me, it kind of looks like sharing absolute ‘zoning out’ moments without the need to acknowledge each other and just being in the moment, in complete silence. Suddenly that term seems familiar. The very idea is warming as well as intriguing at the same time. 

It took me a solid twenty two years to realise that dealing with people isn’t the same as making them your friends. Ever since the past few months, I despise the word “adulting” so much that the very mention of the term makes me roll my eyes. Such a spiteful word, especially when you did not, atleast consensually, sign up for it. 

In this rat race, you can’t even tell someone you’re tired. There’s a high chance they might belittle you or even worse- compare. Adulting is an art, which gets the better of us as we age. I believe the first step to peaceful adulting is to weed out folks who make you doubt yourself.

No matter how much you enjoy someone’s company, you just can’t bear with them 24*7. All of us need frequent breaks to just get off from all sorts of company, embrace some solitude and for clarity of thought. 

Friendships never come with the tag that they’re always going to be cosy and fun. Disagreements, conflicts and misunderstandings are bound to happen, be it in friendships or any sort of relationship. If we are unable to communicate and resolve the things that bother us, maybe it’s time to reanalyse terms with that person. 

Bottom-line is that nobody is going to stay the same by our side forever. Either growth is bound to happen healthily or we grow apart. Again, growing apart doesn’t mean that person is no longer a good friend. It’s just that in a particular phase, the connection was less forced and more meaningful. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist anymore. 

We are a canvas of all the people who have ever crossed paths with us. Be it just a passer by or someone with whom we couldn’t have been more vulnerable, all of it matters in shaping who we are today. And I think that’s more than enough. 

Apart from the bigger picture of making it sound poetic or making myself look like a literal embodiment of teenage angst, I absolutely hate having to deal with fellow humans throughout the day. The ambivert in me likes to selectively participate in interactions and prefers to just listen and nod, without meaning to be inattentive.So now, I go through my schedule everyday, with the lingering hope that it will suffice, at least for the time being


This blog page serves as a platform for the Editorial department of The Hindu Education Plus Club at VIT Vellore. We provide opportunities to budding authors across campus to hone their writing skills. We publish blogs four times a week, where writers can communicate their views on any topic of their choice with our readers.

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