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Games People Play !!

By: sydbarett Posted Mar 13, 2013 TIC 789 Views

The thing with mind games is that they seldom require 'mind'. In fact anybody in their right frame of mind wouldnt resort to them. They are, what I would say, an artifice used by people who want to make their presence felt and give others a nasty time doing so !!


Mind games in office, mind games with spouse, mind games between players, etc are all only too well recognised and often preserved for posterity in various forms of media (read books and cinema). But what would you say of games that have been practised and perfected with years of diligence and yet are so subtle that the poor man on the street doesnt realise that he's been taken. I was always in the habit of cursing corporate culture for the kind of tacit encouragement it gives to this practise. But lately I have realised charity...err mind games begin at home.


I have an ATM outside my office and because its so conveniently placed I rarely, if ever, withdraw large amounts of money. Rather I prefer to withdraw small sums as many times as required. Which means I often find myself standing in a queue awaiting my turn. On such occasions, I would often come across this middle aged fat lady who seemed to be a nemesis to the frequent users of the ATM. Every time she went in, she would take at least 10 mins, often 15-20. Whenever she stood in queue, somebody behind would throw up his hands with an air of desperation. It always required intervention from people standing outside, to get her out. It wasnt long before my lucky day arrived and I found myself next in line waiting outside the ATM door as she walked in. She was slow in withdrawing her money but then so were most of ATM users. Some recounting 5 notes 10 times, some just cooling themselves under the AC and some even crosschecking 100 rupee notes from every angle to see if it was fake.


I waited for her to come out. But she wouldnt. She kept fiddling with those 5 hundred rupee notes as if she was amnesic; occasionally glancing towards the door as if she was expecting something. I was getting late so I thought of checking on her. I pulled the door which opened on the outside. No sooner had I done that she sprang and blocked my entry with that 21 stone body of hers. I stepped back, surprised at the sudden spurt of energy, allowing her to hurriedly scrape past me and disappear around the corner; without as much as an "excuse me" for having almost stepped on me. Living in a Mahanagar, I am accustomed to rude behaviour day in and out, so I thought no more of the matter.


As luck would have it, I ran into her again after a couple of days. Again the same thing happened in exactly the same sequence, albeit with a different guy this time. Mentos khaye bagair dimaag ki batti jali - after watching her a couple of times I realised that the lady would just while away her time (and that of other people waiting outside the ATM) on some pretext or the other hoping that someone, tired of waiting for too long would come and open the door for her and hold it while she shoved her 500 pound frame through it and walk away as if she was Queen Victoria.


This disturbed me, it really did. But I realised there was little I could do. So the next time I found myself in the same situation, I thought of irritating her a little just to get even. She took out her money and started the charade of counting it, expecting me to usher her out. Instead I just folded my hands akimbo , and stood there smiling. A minute passed, then another, then a few more...and nobody would budge. Finally when it was 10 minutes, the queue behind me started to get impatient. Somebody requested me to take a look and help her out. I told him to wait for a few minutes and let the lady "complete" her transaction ! Meanwhile the lady was totally unperturbed and went on counting her money, maybe for the thousandth time.


After what seemed to be an eternity, she finally got tired of counting her money and began to show signs of relenting. I could almost sense her resignation as she started folding the notes, maybe with the intention of finally letting herself out. But ~sigh~ that was not to be. Just as she was about to open the door, a 15 year old kid rushed forward, pulled the door and held it for her. The look in her eyes was indescribable as she pounded out triumphantly, almost causing an earthquake !!


Meanwhile, the chivalrous kid walked back to his place, plugged in his earphones and began swaying to Alan Parsons, all the while mumbling :-


Games people play (you take it or you leave it)....


Games people play...in the middle of the night...


He couldnt have been listening to another song. It had to be this one. It appeared as if everyone was mocking at me. I was left with no option but to step inside the cabin wondering if this was the kinda game people play in the middle of day what would they be doing....in the middle of the night !!


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