Just picture this scene.

I have just returned from a four kilometer brisk walk, am all sweaty and pleasantly tired and satisfied with the evening’s outing during which I had met many friends and spent some time among my regular group which is always therapeutic.

I turn on the water heater in the bathroom so that I can take a shower in a while and turn on the computer to catch up with mail and perhaps visit a few blogs and leave comments, or respond to comments left on my blog posts.

It is around 8.00 pm Indian Standard Time. But the story can extend beyond 9.30 pm!

As I am often do, I seek a friend in the UK who lives alone, to check if everything is alright there and to share my own day’s activities. I am on Instant Messaging System primarily to chat with this friend. I turn on my status as Away Or Busy, DND (Do Not Disturb) and hail my friend. Mind you my friend is on GMT, or 5 1/2 hours behind, meaning that it is still early afternoon there. Dinner and bed time for me and tea/coffee time for my friend.

We start chatting and I am keeping a wary eye out for other contacts on the chat who may just decide to try to chat with me despite my status discouraging them.

Having exchange all possible news for the day, I tell my friend Good Night. But no, my friend is in no mood to let go of me! Something or the other comes up for further discussion and eventually, I have to find an excuse to get off.

I have used one or more of the following excuses to get off.

1. I need to go to the toilet urgently.
2. I have just received a long distance telephone call.
3. Someone is at the door. With variations that the grocer or the chemist is delivering preordered stuff.
4. I am all sweaty and desperately in need of a shower.
5. I am tired and sleepy.
6. I have got myself a new book which I am eager to start reading.
7. I have to cook/eat my dinner.
8. A mentee in distress wants to chat.

And, after my father moved in with us,

1. Have to medicate/feed my father.
2. Have to wash the dishes.
3. Have to put him to bed.
4. I am being summoned by him.
5. He has fallen down.

You get the drift?

Yesterday was classic. I had just informed my friend that I had gone shopping and got myself a new bedside lamp for reading in bed. After other pleasantries, I begged leave to go offline and I got this comment: You are dumping me for a lamp?

How my dear reader, will you handle that question?

I will wait for some responses before I take you on a fascinating journey on what was really exchanged.

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