Like most other things, it takes a while to polish one's responses to the standard questions: What do you do? Where are you from? What are your hobbies? Moving to a new company in Bangalore has forced me into creating simple, one-liner answers to these questions, even if not totally accurate.
For instance, when someone asks me what my hobbies are, my standard reply is, "I'm interested in everything except sports and politics."
I had someone ask me last week about it: It's a good thing, isn't it, to be so enthu about everything? Must be fun!
After thinking over it for a while, I have an answer to that: I don't know. At least, it isn't fun in the way you think it is. Here's what I went through when I was reading the newspaper - the leisure section - yesterday morning. My thoughts are in italics.
The back page has an article about Prince... they talk about his new album being a worthy successor to When Doves Cry and among his good stuff. Haven't heard Doves properly - I need to hear it. There's an article about Van Morrison performing Astral Weeks live somewhere. Aargh, haven't heard that either - I've heard nothing but Brown Eyed Girl.... The books page talks of a new collection by Arun Kolatkar. I need to get Jejuri soon and read it. Also this new one, The Boatride. And he mentions Nissim Ezekiel.. When am I going to start reading that collected poems set of his?
On to the movies section, and I go nuts. Wong Kar-Wai! I need to watch more of his stuff. Oh boy, how can I miss The Eiger Sanction? Clint Eastwood! Oh, Yojimbo's based on Red Harvest... I need to read more Hammett. Apparently, N.N. Kakkad was a big poet in Malayalam who combined tantric tradition and a modern sensibility. I need to find out about this guy.
On to the next page. Chettinad looks like a lovely place to visit. So does Mangalore. Wow, Skiiing at Auli. When can we go? Man, they're doing amazing stuff with resorts in Rajasthan - more heritage resorts! Do they serve Daal-Baati as well?
Wow, two new restaurants in Bangalore! Oh, one is all kebabs, so no point in going. But this other place serves stuff I don't know about! What are we doing next weekend?
And on and on - All that was only from one newspaper. It goes on all the time. The more you're interested in, the more you have left to do. There's no way to catch up and all you can do it to keep running, keep experiencing.
Doesn't mean I'd give any of this up, of course :).