Monday, February 7, 2011

Adventures of Rim, Jim, Sim – Quest to identify the inhibition to talk to a Girl! – Part II

Adventures of Rim, Jim, Sim – Quest to identify the inhibition to talk to a Girl!: Part I: here

The atmosphere was grim… The three of us sat facing each other. The only difference in the sitting styles was that I was looking down, Jim sat looking up and Sim sat with his face nodding in an oblique angle. One could say that our pose was reflective of our predicaments. I had just returned back from office and was really tired as I had a hectic day. But due to Jim’s insistence for coming up with a solution to the problem he faced, I was more or less forced to sit down with him. We had a 3 hour discussion about why he hadn’t been able to speak with the girl, but we hadn’t arrived at any solution yet. So I was wondering about his problem and about how long would this so called meeting would go on. Jim on the other hand was looking upwards, as if asking God for an answer. You might wonder about Sim’s pose that of an oblique angle, that’s coz he has a unique knack of sleeping while appearing to be hearing. You might ask how one could do that, that’s one of Sim’s special ability. He will make it seem as if he is listening to your conversation while at the same time doze off. His head will be nodding continuously more so coz he is asleep rather coz he is listening to you, but making the speaker think that he is intently engaged in the conversation. Only when you have spent a major amount of time with him that you would realize what he is actually doing. Few things that give him away would be things like his answer to your statements. No matter whatever you say, you will get the same reply. You might exclaim to him that you got to speak with a girl who you had been planning to talk to, and his reply would be ‘Ummmm’. And the same ‘Ummmm’ will appear when you tell to him that your boss shouted at you. Anyhow, presently Jim was too pre-occupied to think about Sim’s sleeping. The poor guy was lost in his own thoughts as to why only he had the inability to talk to the girl who he liked. And one would really sympathize with him. Finally when the clock ticked 1’O clock, we decided to call it off and retired to our beds.

The next few days went by with very less remarks about the girl from Jim. We assumed that the matter has died down with him. But unknown to us, the whole thing had been troubling the poor guy. It was at this context when the fate decided to play its dice. We had just returned from dinner when Sim rushed in with a paper in his hand. And he pointed to a column in the paper indicating some fashion show which was to happen this weekend.

‘We have got to go for it, guys’, remarked Sim… ‘See it’s also written that only limited seats. Let’s call the guy and book our tickets’

Jim remained mum. Not that he was an eager, talkative person normally but due to this particular enigma troubling him, he was more quiet.

‘Leave it, Sim. It’s better to hang out at some other place’ I said while indicating to him with my eye not to speak about this as this will remind Jim about the girl.

‘Hey come-on, this is a good chance for Jim to forget the girl and see few more attractive girls. Who knows he might end up liking someone and he can go talk to her’, remarked Sim, completely ignoring my signal.

None of us replied and remained silent.

‘You guys are bore, I think I will ask the new girl who had joined my team’ Sim said, flung the newspaper near us and went out of the room.

I was wondering what to do to engage Jim in a conversation, when he replied, ‘Let’s go for it’.

I didn’t get what he was talking about. Then I saw that he was holding the newspaper in his hand and was looking intently at it. I was surprised that Jim could change his mind about going to fashion show so soon when I realized that he was looking at a column at the corner of the paper. It was a tiny column about some seminar and went on to say about something called ‘Emotional Intelligence’. It said that if you are suffering from the following – “Not able to interact with people well, not able to express your emotions well, not able to utilize the best of your potential’, you had to attend this seminar.

I found it surprising that it had mentioned all the ‘NOTS’ in our life. After reading the ad, one might think that a human was not capable of doing anything on his own other than eating & sleeping. Nevertheless, Jim was completely enthused about this and decided to call up the guy and book 3 tickets. It was to happen on Saturday. I wasn’t sure if Sim would join us for the seminar coz he was pretty enthusiastic about the fashion show and had planned to go there with his friends. Anyway, I told Sim about the plan to go to a seminar on Saturday and invited him. ‘Ha ha, you old people go for this kind of seminars. I need to live my youth… Hope you will have a good time listening to some old greybeard deliver some lecture’, ‘ saying so, he left.

On the day, we were supposed to go for the seminar, Sim left the home pretty early to go and pick up his colleague before going to the fashion show. I and Jim were about to leave the home, when he came and parked the bike. He had a sullen face.

‘What happened. Did they cancel the fashion show. Or was it a male fashion show,’? I asked

‘Nope. She got stomach ache and couldn’t come. What fun is there by going alone. So I thought why not come along and take you guys to the fashion show’

‘Come on, Sim. You know how serious Jim is taking this. We can’t come with you today’, I said.

‘Guys, think about it. Haven’t you spent your college days listening to college professors. Why do you have to make yourself undergo this torturous experience again?’

We didn’t say anything, started our bike and left for the seminar. After sometime, we found Sim following us. We reached the venue well in advance. The only problem was that Sim started sulking too coz of the missed opportunity and for making us drag him here. Even I thought that the seminar would be boring. But as soon as we entered the inner hall, we found around 4 pretty girls clad in saree and welcoming people to the hall. Probably they were checking if people had the entry tickets and were guiding them inside. Sim’s joy knew no bounds. He dragged us towards the girls as if he was the man in charge, he told them about our booking and went on to talk about his job, how busy he was etc. The girl checked the tickets while patiently listening to him. She then asked us to go inside the hall. We came and settled in our seats. Hardly a minute would have passed, when Sim excused himself and went outside… I went outside to stroll for some-time when I saw Sim talking to the girl. I dragged him back to the hall and made him sit. Shortly thereafter the seminar began and a young man started the session.

During the course of the seminar, the guy wanted a volunteer for some activity. And as fate would have it, he ended up selecting Sim as the volunteer. Sim was asked to reminisce an incident from his childhood where he was bullied or he saw someone being bullied. He then went onto show how people mature & become emotionally intelligent at a young age. The audience gave him a warm applause. A thing to note about Sim is that he always wishes others to recognize him and tries real hard for that. In that sense, I think the speaker inviting him onto the stage really made an impact on him. His engagement for the whole duration of the seminar amazed the speaker itself. I guess he hadn’t ever seen a more enthusiastic volunteer involved in his talk before. What we eventually learned about emotional intelligence is the fact that EI is a self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups, this in turn leads to an increased self-awareness, self-management, social awareness & better relationship management. It seemed as if the speaker was addressing Jim’s problem. Jim too was hinged onto every word of the speaker. The speaker also mentioned a main point about Daniel Goleman being the one to introduce Emotional Intelligence to the world. And the session went on. The lecture finally concluded and we left for our home. Sim’s scrambled at the last moment to get the autograph of the speaker as a souvenir, really moved the speaker to a great extent. The next day being Sunday, I was surprised to see Sim waking me up. This surely had to be miracle as he doesn’t gets up soon. I told him that I had to sleep more and asked him to leave him undisturbed. I could only hear his voice trailing off saying ‘Iam missing a big goldmine’. ‘Whatever, who cares about it now.’

I slept peacefully for 7-8 hours and woke up relaxed. I opened my eyes to smell a strong scent emanating from the scented sticks with my room thick and completely dense. It got me wondering if I had being teleported to Heaven… while I was contemplating about it, Sim entered and gave me a smile. I followed him to the living room to see lines written on the wall ‘Jai Gole, Jai Gole’. I got confused that Sim would have adopted Sanyasi living and ‘Gole’ must be some god in the vast list of Indian gods. It was when I saw the photo of Daniel Goleman kept in the center of the room and decorated as that of a deity, when I realized that the Gole was an abridged version of Goleman. Near the photo were stacked Goleman aka Gole’s various books on Emotional Intelligence… I asked Sim what was all of this. He replied that he and Jim had decided to follow Goleman’s teachings in their day-today life and one way they could integrate it in their daily life was to see him daily… Certainly few gods would have wished their devotees to pray to them like Goleman was being revered. The next few days saw Jim savor 3-4 books of Gole in rapid succession. He seemed to learn something from it, at-least it seemed so. Sim on the other hand restricted himself to saying bhajans of ‘Jai Gole’ and hoping that it would rub off the Gole’s magic on him. Sometimes during the night, Jim would sit and share few learning from the book. One interesting thing about it was the fact that Jim realized why he was facing inhibition while interacting with her. There is something called Amygdala effect which is nothing but the response of a gland called Amygdala (an almond shaped structure in the brain) which determines the significance of the external stimulus and triggers emotional responses like freezing or fleeing. The amygdala is specialized for reacting to stimuli and triggering a physiological response that’s described as the "emotion" of fear. Amygdala being the storehouse for the memory of fear, misinterprets signals from the body and cause inappropriate actions such as panic, increased breathing, increased temperature, localized sweating, freezing etc. This certainly made sense why people acted in a weird way. Sim reasoned here why not remove Amygdala gland itself as it was causing so much nuisance in the brain. Jim said it doesn’t work that way and said that Amygdala is beneficial for humans in certain critical times. Emotional Intelligence certainly seemed to be important in one’s life.

As the saying goes, ‘If you desire something truly, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it’. That was very true in this case. Somehow, after a week, Jim returned from office excitedly and remarked that she has been put in his project. The management had decided to shift her into his team for a new project which he was about to work on. Now, because of the close proximity, Jim got to try out his new EI skills with her. Sometimes he failed miserably. Once he was sitting in his cabin, when she came to a cabin next to him. He looked up and to his joy/misery, realized she was there. Joy coz he generally gets excited when he sees her, miserable coz he suffers from Amygdala effect due to high anxiety. When she looked at him, he smiled and in return she smiled back. She asked him ‘Howz work going on’. Poor Jim, he wanted to talk a lot, except that like the kid in ‘Taare Jameen Par’, his mind was full of colorful images of what to reply, but his mouth was completely shut. Thankfully, one grey cell in his mind was still functioning and he picked up his phone and acted as if he had received a call, while at the same time, managing a smile on his face. Somehow, he escaped the situation without embarrassing himself. By constantly re-affirming the fact that he is in control of himself and by undertaking few activities like breathing slowly etc, he was able to relax himself back to normal self.

Things started improving gradually. He was able to have small conversations with the girl now. As far the updates goes, he had taken her out for a dinner… To top it, Jim came home once and happily remarked that he will be going to the fashion show. The girl had always wanted to go to a fashion show and when Jim offered to take her, she readily agreed. Imagine what surprised us the most… Sim instead of fighting with Jim to go to fashion show smiled. When we asked him what was his plan, imagine our surprise, when he took out a ticket of the EI seminar and waved it at us… Irrespective of who had wanted a solution to a problem, it was heartening to see Sim on a quest to conquer Emotional Intelligence. His plans were to do a research on EI and put forth the concept of EI for animals. Who know which animal he may help in overcoming it’s inhibitions… nevertheless, it was good to see a good ending for Jim as well as Sim regarding his new conquest for knowledge…


Destination Infinity said...

So, what about Rim? Did he gain anything because of the EI? :D

Destination Infinity

Aragorn said...

@Rajesh: Well, he gets the honor of chronicling the incidents of Rim & Sim :)