I had a classmate in college who was not part of our general group for various reasons. One he was against Malayalees (for reasons unknown) and considering ours was a full-Mallu group, well, it’s obvious why, isn’t it. Plus he made quick judgments about people in the class and he stuck to them the entire three years. He also had very strong beliefs in God, religion and related things and also was very vocal about them, while I don’t think this in itself is a wrong thing, he wasn’t very tolerant about other people’s beliefs.
To tell you the truth, I never really liked him, primarily because he has that typical attitude towards girls that people in the region have and having grown up around it and tasted the freedom that educated women in Kerala have, I couldn’t go back to accepting the status quo of women in the region and he was representative of that. It didn’t really matter, either to him or to me, and in college you know how easy it is to stay in your comfort zone and chill without really paying attention to whose lives are falling apart and whose lives are getting made. By the end of the first year, he had managed to piss off pretty much everyone in the class. He stuck to his own couple of buddies.
I recall this person now because he has been involved in a lot of social work in the city, started his own group of businesses with his friends, made short films – all these updates I gather, thanks to Facebook. Of course, whatever be the personal relationships, we ALL are friends on Facebook.
He started a café in back in Coimbatore. One of its kind there. Very chic, very nice place. They have a fancy menu, nice food, great ambience, superb prices. I loved the place when I visited a couple of months back and my family did too. He pinged me on Facebook later asking for feedback and made efforts to implement some of the suggestions I had given him. Without any air-kissing or brouhaha.
All this progress and his straightforward behavior, which has been honest above all, make me think I might have gotten him wrong. Make me think I might have missed out on making friends with one of those people who are genuine, outspoken and driven towards a goal. And when I think of the wasteland that was my college life, the wastefulness that were the relationships I built in college and the other waste load of people I have been associated from that period of my life, I might have been better off being friends with someone who wasn’t all that popular but very genuine and honest about who he is.
How much we try to conform because of peer pressure. How much we lose out of because of that. I have lost a little bit of respect for myself because of this misjudgment.
And it is because of these reasons that I deem myself a pathetic judge of character.