Wednesday, February 13, 2008

6 degree game

This Friday I am playing the six degrees of separation game. Of which I am the inventor and rule maker.

It all began when I met a school classmate last summer, not by chance, but by design, pre-ordained by that great connector, the internet classmate yahoo group. It’s a group begun by the enthu-cutlets (one of my favourite terms since school) and carried forward mainly by people letting others in on how successful their lives have been since leaving said institution. Every once in a while someone will post a message about how they are moving to Tokyo to be the Big Boss of something and this will be followed by a flurry of people writing in to exchange banal everyday news of the same variety, designed to show off their success somewhere in the world. Very tiring. But when this girl wrote in saying she moved to London and did anyone from class live here I immediately wrote back to her to say yes I did (thereby swiftly avoiding any interaction with the yahoo group). I know I know - why am I on the group? (Actually am on more than one but the others seem to be less inclined to show-off –something to do with distance back in time from present – as if we have more to prove because really in school we were at our very worst, most tatty, most competitive, most undone with teen angst). Well, just to stay in the loop is my honest answer. Everyone I am friends with from back then I stayed in touch with first with letters and then with the internet and cheap telephony. This way I can be a repository of knowledge on the others. And possibly show-off when I have something to show-off about.

So anyway, arranged to meet said new-to-London-classmate because, if rusty memory serves me well, in school we were both friends with the same girl, just not friends with each other – and I wanted to be nice (the disease of my 30’s). She was studious. I was trying too hard. Here we were in London, 14 years later, the playing field a bit flatter. Both in need of friends. Or at least hang out acquaintances. Owing to a leap of faith earlier in the year I had discovered that there were friends to be made even at my age. Women with the maturity to form strong good friendships and to trust with my still growing-up pains. Maybe this classmate could be a friend yet. We met a couple of times last year, just for a quick coffee after work. We never managed to make it a meal because of busy work/ travel schedules but I could see us being friends of the firm kind and so this year I decided that I would make of an effort.

I have drifted off. Let me stop now.

So instead of hosting another dinner party where I would spend nearly than half my time between the oven and the dining table (of which variety I have already hosted 2 this year) I have decided to organize a 6 degree of separation meal this Friday. It started when I decided that V and I would meet this classmate for a meal in Covent Garden on Friday evening, mainly as she hasn’t yet met the very busy V. All weekend I was thinking about V always going on about how there couldn’t quite be 1 billion Indians because if you threw 30 of them in a room almost everyone would be able to find a connection to someone else. So I have decided to put this to the test and invited people from 4 or 5 circles of my life to join us for this meal. There are childhood friends, school friends, MBA friends and new London friends. I was surprised by the enthusiastic response. Clearly I am not the only lonely one. I even asked people if they wanted to invite other friends of theirs to join us. Some of them have said yes and so now even I have the opportunity of meeting new people, tried and tested friends of friends. So far there are 16 of us.

And even if we don’t all find people in common I think it’ll be alright. We’ll find things to talk about, holidays, books, movies, exhibitions, restaurants, different Londons to share and mull over. And even if we don’t find any of that in common (highly unlikely) at least we will be eating some yummy food.

The year has begun entirely satisfactorily.


  1. Anonymous8:35 PM

    Hello,Really like reading your blog.Have never posted a comment before.Keep up the good work

  2. Anonymous1:57 AM

    Hi! Delurking to say I love your blog esp. for its honesty and the uncanny manner in which you seem to blog about those very issues or events that resonate with me. Here's the thing though, I'm turning 33 this year and am slowly despairing of ever forging new frienships like I did oh-so-easily way back in college and grad school even. With every passing year it seems even more difficult to connect on a deeper level with women my age or is it parhaps as some character in SATC said that I'm really not putting myself out there. Sorry...was only musing out aloud.

    Enjoy your pardee and blog about it for vicarious pleasure seekers such as myself:-)


  3. Anonymous7:04 AM

    i think in this internet-age, and the fact that most people have far-flung friends and relatives...6 degrees is too much...i think 4 is more like is amazing how many people know people you know...40in2006

  4. Really enjoyed this post...could totally relate to it. I am not on any of those type of - keep me connected with the school mates - yahoo group - but even so I can relate to all of this...What a neat idea for a party! :) Enjoy and yes, do post about it soon!

  5. Hiya. I only just found your blog and loved this post. It is evidently something that bothers a lot of us!( I hope your party goes swimmingly.

  6. Anonymous11:22 PM

    Have fun 30in2005

  7. Anonymous1:10 AM

    what a great idea! i am a firm believer in this 6 degrees thing - have made many wonderful friends through common connections.

  8. Sounds good. And at least you won't be spending much of the time i the kitchen. Hope you have a blast and meet some people you'd like to meet again:)

  9. It's true that there can't be a billion of us - when I was studying in France, there were something like 65 Indians on campus, and we were all connected to each other in some random way, though we'd never met before we got there!

  10. That sounds like a fun party :)

    Btw, I might be in your part of the world in May with my brat. Would be lovely to meet up if you're there...

  11. Anon: Thanks for calling it 'good work'.

    Deepa: Thanks. Yes enjoyed. Expect a post soon.

    40in2006: True

    Noon: Must be the invisible fly on the wall in my yahoo group! You will have to forgive me but I just am not inclined to do tags nowadays. Will file it away and reprise sometime soon, ok?!

    45minutes: Thanks. It did. Will post asap.

    Chakli: Soon you will know how it went...

    Dipali: Yes, not cooking for 16 people is one of the highlights of my Friday night.

    Bev: Who'd have thunk it?!

    Rohini: E-mail me on