26 October 2017

How I met my new Facebook friend but never talked to him

This is an interesting “intersection point” where a friendship was established. But no words were spoken. I am not even sure how to write about somebody that you have not talked to. But here it goes…

I had made a quick dash to Ahmedabad to meet a friend about some work related stuff. In between our meetings, we had strolled over to the Crowne Plaza next door to catch up on some food. We were sitting at our table in some deep discussions, when I realized that the waiter was standing next to me. Instinctively, I told him “Just a glass of water”.

I had almost turned my head away to continue with the discussions when I realized that the reaction from the waiter was not exactly what I was expecting. I turned back and saw him pointing to something hanging from a lanyard around his neck.

That is when I realized that he had no ability to hear or speak.

That is not an everyday experience I go thru. It took me a few seconds for the whole thing to sink in. Meanwhile, he fished out a small diary. Presumably for me to write on. I smiled at him and pointed to my glass. He got the message and went away.

But I was totally distracted the whole time. Multiple times, I saw him helping other guests so seamlessly. Did not betray any signs of shyness. He would interact with every guest with the same level of sincerity and proactivity as he would if he could hear and speak. Except of course, it was happening thru notes on a notepad and finger gesturing.

Finally, I told my friend that I had to meet Hardik again. I signaled him to come to our table. Which he did. And then I was stuck again. How do I ask him questions? How do I tell him that I was totally moved by his courage?

Presuming that I was ready to order, he brought out his notebook again and pointed out to some blank space below what I assume the previous customer had written – “Black Coffee”. Not knowing any better, I drew a long line and wrote “I am very impressed by what you have achieved!” and gave it to him. He read it and looked at me. There was obvious delight in his eyes. He did his namaste thing.

I turned the page and wrote further that if he wanted to be friends with me and chat, he could email me. And gave him my email address. He scribbled something over it. I turned the notebook around to read it.

Want to take a guess what wrote? He wrote – FB?

I am an idiot. What was I thinking giving my email address to a millennial? Facebook it was!!

He himself located his FB profile on my phone and sent himself a friend request!!!

That is how I had a memorable “intersection point” without ever talking!!

This story will not be complete without a shout out for Crowne Plaza, Ahmedabad. I am not sure whether this is a global practice for them or just in India or just in Ahmedabad. In any case, hats off for stepping up to the plate to make this a better and caring society. May your tribe increase.

Posted October 26, 2017 by Rajib Roy in category "Intersection Points", "Vacations


    1. By Rajib Roy on

      My guess is that they don’t want to be thought of as special people – just normal people. With special needs – like I need glasses else, I can’t see. But I have not asked them – this is just my assumption…

    2. By Kumar Doraiswamy on

      Rajiv, sometime back I used the word ” dumb and deaf” then one elderly person corrected and told me to use “special people” That is the reason. Sorry if it is otherwise.

    3. By Rajib Roy on

      i was not trying to push back on any point of yours. Just wondering when do differently abled people view something as being empathetic versus patronizing. Again, I do not have any answer. Just conjectures…

    4. By Kumar Doraiswamy on

      It is fine Rajib! But let me appreciate you for the efforts you are putting in meeting your old friends, teachers etc. In this case spending time with such folks is really good. It shows that you care for them Excellent.

  1. By Sreerupa Sengupta Banerjee on

    Love this story!! By the way, this is the first time we get to see your actual handwriting and with my limited graphologist knowledge, I say its very interesting 🙂 Could have mistaken it for my sister, Sreeparna’s

  2. By Rashmita Sahu on

    Dear Mr Roy, Greetings from Crowne Plaza Ahmedabad City Centre,thank you so much for sharing your experience with hardik as your “personal BLOG”This will definitely encourage Hardik Kansara and the other team members.We also have more five team members with different ability. Looking forward to your next visit. Regards, Rashmita Sahu

    1. By Rajib Roy on

      Really, the whole credit goes to folks like Hardik and the corporate support from Crowne Plaza Ahmedabad. I certainly am glad that I could be in a position to highlight their efforts…

  3. By Deepak Gupta on

    He is very sweet guy and we all love him.. as a part of Crowne Plaza Ahmedabad team, than you so much for your encouragement for him.. personally I salute you Mr. Roy you have a big heart .. Big Namaste to you..
    Regards, Deepak Gupta, Security Manager of Crowne Plaza Ahmedabad City Center


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