As I hurried across the road to get into the cab I had a vivid image of how the night was going to turn out that day. I made a mental note of it. I was all pumped up to attend my first ever Zehen Gig in Bangalore Brew Works. Tanushree who is a dear friend of mine is the vocalist of the band. My friends were busy and none of them could accompany me. That didn’t bother me. I was completely swayed away by the comfort of my new pair of crocs and how it matched the top I was wearing that day. Having known Tanu since childhood I was eager to see her set the stage on fire. Throughout the cab journey, I was engulfed with these happy thoughts. Not once did it cross my mind that I would not know anybody there.
I reached the venue just on time. Tanu was about to get onto the stage when I entered. She gave me a quick hug, directed me towards a table where some of her colleagues were seated and went on to the stage. This was when the socially challenged me woke up from my dreams. I had met a couple of her friends before. Deep down in my mind I had assumed I would be sitting with them. Unfortunately , I could spot none. The new set of people around were also just like me who rarely came out of their comfort zones. They did try their best to involve me in their conversation. Being the person I am I needed a harder push. This was the day I realised that I was pathetic when it came to socialising with new people. As I struggled to strike up a conversation with them I started wondering how I had managed to; have fun with my friend’s friends at parties; have those long conversations with two solo travellers in Hampi and steal a bottle of Coke from the kitchen at midnight. Suddenly it struck me!! All those times that I had hung out with new people, the other person/group had amazing socialising skills and were not at all shy in kicking up a conversation or I had been with someone who was great at mingling with new people. This was the first time I was in a spot where I had to spend a significant amount of time with strangers who weren’t like the people I mentioned above. In other words, the people I was with at Bangalore Brew Works were probably mirror images of me. I have always been this kind of person who loves doing things alone like cooking, shopping or roaming around. As I never had to hang out too much with new people under those circumstances, I never got worked up.
As I dug into the food that I had ordered I kept thinking about saying something interesting or witty to these new people. But everything I said sounded stupid to me. Some of the initial occupants of the table left and new people occupied the seats on the table. They all knew each other. Now I was missing every person of the table who was making a move towards the exit. I had to go through the awkwardness all over again with every new person who arrived . My feet had stopped feeling the comfort of the new pair of crocs. Nor was I bothered about how it matched wonderfully with my top. At one point, I decided to find a table where I could sit alone. I didn’t mind being alone as long as I didn’t have to talk to new people! The place being very crowded on a Friday night could not offer me a table where I could sit alone. I had no other option but to sit where I was previously seated. The only soothing part was that the band was performing really well. Tanu’s familiar voice was the only thing that boosted up my confidence. I don’t know how I managed to sit through. As the time progressed, I concentrated on Tanu’s singing which was bewitching enough to make me forget about being alone and awkward . I also started noticing how people behaved when they were drunk. It was hilariously entertaining. Watching people has always been my favourite way of passing time. All in all, this was a great experience . I laugh at myself every time I think about this day.