We all have that one friend in college who is just too polite and shy. He dresses shabbily and is always there to help everybody! He is the epitome of discipline and hospitality. Your parents instantly like him. He is not at all ostentatious and is very down-to-earth. This kid’s upbringing and morals are often praised, but chances are that he is a guy who hails from a small town.
Now, the first day of college or school, we all look at that kid from a small town and make fun of him behind his back. We all have fits of laughter when he is mesmerised by the glam and glitz of the big city.
But he is the one who laughs back at himself with us, instead of being offended. He hardly loses his control over things, and even if he does, he knows how to apologise. Bruised ego, insults, and abuses don’t comprise his vocabulary.
Go on, give them a chance. Say, Hello and..
‘… Nina, Mina, Jack, Chuck and Wendy, we all used to play together’
Yes, they had a happy childhood. They had lots of friends and they all grew up together. They always had someone to talk to. And instead of spending their time playing video games and turning into couch potatoes, chances are, they all had fun together in the evenings. They are still in touch and he always has someone to depend upon. These friends from his hometown are so tightly woven together that a crochet can be put to shame.
‘My neighbour, Aunt Judy, is such a delight. And her best friend, Aunt Mags, who lives on the second street is known for her….’
They know their neighbours!
Not only their neighbours, but also all others of their clan. Maybe, they have even met them. Being polite and getting along with your parents might be because they know how to handle people. Unlike me - I smile awkwardly and then try to look busy on my cell. On the other hand, small-town kids know just what to say and what to do to make our parents believe a little more that they have a human automaton for a child as compared to your friend.
‘…but I love to walk.’ Or ‘I used to bicycle my way around.’
Trust them to always make you take a public transport to commute or even walk the whole way. They are not really bothered by the rain or the heat or pollution, for that matter - since everything in their town was at a walking distance. When you think about it from the viewpoint of saving fuel and checking pollution, it will all make sense. Not mocking, but the dude thinks up of everything!
‘I know how to paint, draw, fix the pipe, speak French, play the guitar, swim, play basketball….’
…and basically save the world. They had time and they spent it productively. They are involved in almost all of the extra-curricular activities offered by the college because they are a trained singer, dancer, athlete, performer and what not.
‘Guys, I think we should try out that dhaba instead of going to the mall….’
And you know what, he was right about that dhaba. It was feasible, the food was super awesome and it was much more fun. Trust them to find the cheapest food joint with the food your taste buds will be thankful for.
‘Have you done your assignments? No? Here…’
Trust them to be the one who completes all the assignments on time. Instead of rubbing your nose in it, they even offer to help you.
Yes, they have a big heart!
‘In our town, we have this…’
They always have an amusing tale to tell you about their town. And they don’t mind sharing these tales.
‘You can tell me.’
They are simple, down-to-earth, patient people. They have experience with problem solving. If you want an honest opinion or a good, practical suggestion, then they are the guys you should seek out. They will always be there. They are much more than just the person with the attributes I have compiled here. And one might never figure out what I am talking about unless and until they enjoy being in the company of a kid who hails from a small town.
We might laugh at their expense at times, make them our escape goats, but at the end of the day, they are always there. They are hardly ever biased or judgmental. They are often very compassionate and very honest. They might not always be right or even make sense, but you know they will always be there. If you are a small-town kid or you have a friend who hails from a small town, you know what I am talking about. And if you are still to have a friend like him or her in your life, you are missing out on a lot!
Photography By: Zubair Alam