Or Bata..

…no, I was not comparing shoe brands. I was referring to the most commonly used words in a virtual conversation, be it on instant messenger chats, over the phone, or nowadays, even on Orkut.

By the way, looking at how people use the Orkut scrapbook as a virtual chat room, Google has integrated Gtalk with it. I always thought Orkut was a great tool for social networking, but now its probably changed skin to social “chatworking”!

Anyways,coming to the point at hand, have you ever faced a situation when you were talking over the phone / chatting with somebody, you do not have much to say, the person at the other end too does not have much to talk about, and you keep exchanging pleasantries in the form of these 2 words – “Aur Bataa” ?

I have. Many times. Well, I am not much of a psycho-analyst in the field of social behaviour as far as the 2 sexes are concerned, but I guess it happens with most people who generally cannot do normal talk. I could have used the non-political phrase – small talk, but being the single gentleman I am, I do not want to offend the fairer sex. I cannot bear to be unfair to them.

However, I do not wish to come across as an MCP as well and will, with all fairness to the fairer sex, say that we men also indulge in small talk and gossip. But then, its a statistic that the average woman talks about 20,000 words daily, while a man only 7,000.
Now, you can do the calculations, but how much can one gossip in only 7,000 words?
On the other hand, does it mean that man is not the average human being..?…hmm…

Anyways, I have digressed again. Well, it so happened that at one of our tea sessions in the office, my friend and I were talking about this “chat characteristic”, and how difficult it can be to continue a conversation, especially when its not a close buddy of yours’.

Wouldn’t you feel like the lowest parasitic scum of the earth, when after an hour’s talk, which would (depending upon the gender of the person involved) typically range from getting to know each other’s diurnal activities and scheduled nocturnal activities, to analysing the latest fall-out of the Hrithik-Ash kissing scene, to discussing career, work and marriage plans, to talking about the latest gadget, to discussing the vital ‘statuses’ of the girl/guy-next-cubicle, to bitching about your manager, to deciding about the next booze session and so on, the person at the other end, without a care for human emotions, nonchalantly asks “Aur bataa” ??!!

It certainly gets me a little tensed, irritatingly amused, and totally bored (Yes! all 3)!! There could be quite a few reasons, the more prominent ones being:

  • I would have exhausted all that I wanted to say. But since the onus to continue the conversation is on me, I need to make use of whatever is left of my brains.
  • The person at the other end does not really care what I say as long as he/she can put the nail-polish properly or ogle at Pamela Anderson do her stuff on Baywatch!
  • The person does not really want to talk to me, but wants to carry on for courtesy reasons. However, at the first hint, such as “nothing much yaar”, you would hear a quick “bye” and a click.
  • The person REALLY wants to know everything about whats happening in my life. Which augurs well if the other person is of the fairer one . However, you can never really takpoint no. 2 and 3 out of the equation.

Of course, to make your life worse, “aur bataa” has different variants which can wreak havoc in these typical shapes and sizes.

  • Aur bol…
  • Aur bolo…
  • Kuchh Khaas..?
  • What else man..
  • And what else…
  • Aur..?
  • Aur batao…

Till date I have not been able to find a counter-strike which can throw the proverbial ball on to the other side of the court. It’s usually been a prolonged silence coupled with a blank look, or a delay in reply inviting a “Buzz!!” followed by a lame line ” oh sorry, got disconnected..” or the slightly encouraging “aahh…well…“.

But I was able to counter this once. I replied “Tu bataa yaar” with gusto, thinking that it would atleast put off the other person and would end the talk. The proverbial ball came at a speed which left me reeling! She replied ” arre yaar, we’ve been talking for the past one hour, I have told you everything and I cant talk anymore! Chal bye!” Click.

12 thoughts on “Or Bata..

  1. “with all fairness to the fairer sex”- hey thts actually being ‘unfair’! wht abt the dark and sultry women?

    btw i hav faced the ‘aur bataa’ situation one too many times…i translate it into ‘lets goddamn hangup now” 🙂

  2. I couldnt help but notice the ‘Virtual Chatroom’ thing. Bet Sammy n me got that into your head :).
    Anyways, the Aur Bata story is good. I always ask my friends who do that, WHY???? Dont you have anything to talk. They say – I just want to talk to you so say something. My god. Now that is what i call — Putting the ball in the others court. Some points for you to ponder!!! 🙂

  3. 😀 I am the person who often says “Aur Bol”
    The conversation between u and ur friend wraps up the post wonderfully!


  4. ha ha..lol. I have been thru this quite a lot. Came here from your comment on my blog.
    I have found that this is the perfect way to find out how close your friendship is, when someone says this. I say whatever comes up to my mind, whenever someone throws one of this at me. this can be anything like:
    ‘I think Manmohan Singh without his beard & Turban would look a lot like you’,
    or even something as weird as
    ‘How do you differentiate between a male & a female frog?’
    The faint hearted would get scared & I’ll be happier without their online companionship.

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