Neighbours. I wish they came with a *Conditions Apply

I’ve lived in my apartment for over ten years now, and getting my neighbours to say “Hi” back to me is still like pulling teeth. I’m clean, I’m upstanding, I tiptoe around like a ballerina, I’m genuinely (not fakey over-the-top) friendly, and I recently gave around boxes of seasonal-festive greetings. So, what’s going on?

Do you say “Hi” back to your neighbours? If not, I’m intrigued and would love to hear why. Perhaps you’ve been burned by overzealous neighbours in the past, trapped in 20-minute conversations when you’re already late for work? Or is it too weird to talk to people when you know the intimate details of their TV-watching/sex/snoring habits? Or do you wish people would just leave you alone since you’ve always lived in neighbourhoods where people were overtly linked to each other.

I have no intentions of ceasing to say “Hi” or “Good morning” when I pass my neighbours in the hallway. I am polite, dammit, and stubborn as well. I’ve been trying to get one of my immediate neighbours to smile at me for like half a decade (only because we share the same main gate) and I’m hoping to succeed (I don’t know why, I’m always hoping.) I did make her smile once when I brought her Diwali sweets, but the smile wasn’t directed at me so it doesn’t count.

ImageStill, every time one of my neighbours just stares blankly back at me, I have a mini- crisis. Why this weirdness? Are they psychopaths? Should I be concerned?

I realised the weirdness doesn’t really end here when I heard her screaming at the top of her lungs right up- from the third floor down at a bunch of guys playing badminton, only because apparently they are “too noisy” and are “too old” to be playing anything.

So I figured, it’s really nothing to drive myself crazy about — I guess I was just waiting for a ‘realisation moment’. How do your interactions with your neighbours go? How do you wish they would go?

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One thought on “Neighbours. I wish they came with a *Conditions Apply

  1. This happens with me also, my neighbor is very rude. He hardly speaks with anyone in our building. I still say ‘Hi’ whenever I see him.

    I used to stay in one of those old houses (popularly known as wadas from Peshwa’s era) in Pune’s sadashiv peth area. People were very friendly, I used to stand near the window, and chat with people every morning. Those days (till the end of 90s) people used to value each other, respect each other, and neighbors were considered as relatives (in some cases). There was a time when people used to keep their house keys with their neighbor while going out.

    My dad rented an apartment in early 20s, we moved out of our old house and that’s where it all changed. I found my new neighbor as ‘rude and unfriendly’. They were more like the ‘brindles family’ from small wonder (TV series).

    Now we stay in Kothrud (Pune), but story remains the same. I guess this is because time has changed the way people behave. Day-by-day people are becoming selfish, greedy and cunning. In some cases, jealousy makes them behave rude. There is no way to change their behavioral skills, it’s better to just ‘ignore’ them.

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