At a recent talk, someone made this point, Quality of life = Quality of conversations.
At the risk of sounding very Bengali, I agree. How many things do you remember about your life? That office building, that playground, that chat corner, the midnight canteen, a popular band and their music, habits, amazing people, etc. While these may all be close to my heart, I always remember those scintillating conversations I had with random people at even more random places.
Wondering about the kind of person I will be sitting on the school wall
Being told I am very bold and smart on the school grounds
Tearfully questioning justice huddled on the library steps
Ruminating over the purpose of life on the terrace of the hostel till 5 am or sunrise, whichever happens later
Discussing books and lines from those books when there is a project to be done
Talking about hookups lying upside down and trying to fake a high
Reciting dialogues from FRIENDS late in to the night to see who knows it better
These did not need any kind of intoxication, drugs or hallucinogenics to stimulate the central lobe. These were just topics recycled again and again for as far as I can remember. Just statements and phrases that could fuel days of discussion. I would discuss it with the same people at times and the well of arguments and counter arguments would never run dry, because we all came with our own perspectives. Unless I talk to my parents where it is like three people singing the same tune. Not much diversity there what with every sentence ending in an all too familiar, ‘I know.’
While politics, nation building and governmental influence are topics I consider too broad for my meager perspective, philosophy is fair game. I can not tell you how many hours I have spent on long distance calls, where the only topic of discussion is pure philosophy with small doses of psychology thrown in.
The rush that comes after an hour long session of just thinking is akin to being in Disneyland for me. Which is probably why my conversations are never below 60 minutes. It is barely enough time to do small talk, ask about the weather and work and then launch seamlessly in to a discussion of life, the universe and everything. And what is even more crazy : the answer is always 42.