It is really funny how you tend to forget sometimes that people around you may not have the same taste in certain things as you do. I am never really reminded of the "geek" inside me unless my geekiness clashes with normal people. At the university, I am in a safe atmosphere that never lets me realize that I am weird in some ways because everyone is around here!
It is completely normal to overhear a near emotional fight between two people ( in a silent study zone) because they do not agree with each other on the US stand on Israel. It is also not outrageous to have someone in the group who survives on complete organic food. There are people passionate about working towards enhancing the dietary nutrition in Africa by using genetically modified and fortified fruit.
Sustainability may be the newest "fashion word" in the corporate arena. Where people talk about sustainable living over a platter of expensive lunch in some ritzy restaurant that comes with a gigantic carbon footprint but in our post-grad room there are people who honestly live towards a sustainable life everyday. They refuse to buy cars even when they can afford it and come to work on their push-bikes with funny helmets!
So each one has his own here and I am no exception.
When I go home however, I realize that I am a bit too much sometimes.
Like I have this compulsive habit of singing when I am in the kitchen and it is all good when I sing in Hindi. Sometimes though when I am a bit lost in my own world, I switch to Marathi and Bengali and Riju rolls her eyes in exasperation and goes," It was hard enough taking you in Hindi. Now please don't squeak in a language that makes you sound like a three year old".
Riju and I have turned into You-tube junkies recently. So when I start watching a Satyajeet Ray movie, I realize I might seriously offend her.
Last night, in my evident joy over finding Meera bhajans on youtube, I navigated to some Indian classical music. I was listening to it for a good five minutes when I saw the expression on Riju's face. She calmly declared," I have given a lot to this friendship already but if you are making me listen to this, I think you are taking it a bit too far. We have to reconsider our positions".
In the end we try to find a "mean" between my extreme choices and her pink songs with rainbows and fluffy white clouds. :)
When we have people over for dinner and they ask me what I do, I start off neatly by giving them a summary of biomass related work going on all over the world. Just as they begin to fade into their screen-saver modes, my flatmates come to their rescue with a refreshing change of subject.
The good side of being geeky is however, is that there is no one around you can really "compare" yourself to. So it reduces the unwanted stress over other people going in a desired direction unlike you. There are certain roads that you can successfully over-rule because you know they do not go with your eccentricity. :)
Another good thing is that after a long day in the lab, when you get a taste of the real world, it makes you want to go back to the lab first thing in the morning the next day!