Those 2.5 words stop me cold every time they are uttered. My brain short-circuits, I can hear the crackle and sputter of my neural network, unable to fire. It’s like Homer Simpson’s head, the words bounce around an empty cavern, echoing on themselves.
what’s new. What’s new? I grope desperately in my mind’s crevices for something titillating to say. It almost panics me. Did I try bunjee jumping since I last saw you? Have I published a best seller book? Did I get picked up as India’s next biggest thing?
As you can see, I really don’t know how to answer this question, “what’s new?” Nothing short of dramatic will suffice as an appropriate answer. Since I consciously work on minimizing drama in my life, it is no surprise I end up muttering an insipid “not much. How about you?”
New is overrated. New is detrimental. Take wine. When it’s new, it is disgusting; it has to sit, and age, without any stuff being added or taken away. Nuanced alterations that are not talk-worthy are what make a good wine good. Same thing with people. The ones that really have something worthwhile to say take a long time to get to that point. They experience. They reflect. They chew cud. And then, one day, there is something to say.
I’m in the midst of experiencing, reflecting, and chewing cud. Ask me in a few years and I’ll have a good reply to “what’s new.”