Lets talk.


You think you see me stuck to the phone nonstop, chewing my meal like a cow on mastication overdrive while dishing out the dirt on who’s getting it off with whom (all celebrity trivia rest assured, the rest of us friends have very boring lives and are achingly monogamous), and how so and so definitely has had work done to her wrinkles, and how can she even afford that new rock she’s flashing around. You see wrong. You see a woman working hard at improving her brain. This is serious hard work I tell you. Harder than getting your gluts into the gym to sculp them into little buns of steel. It requires working two muscles in tandem and a hell of a lot of coordination that only we women can manage with a fair amount of agility. And maybe Chris Tucker. Yes. You get the picture. Or the sound to be more specific.

I am now taking the improvement of my intellectual performance very seriously, and if research published in the February issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin is to be believed with all the vats of salt I can personally haul over from the salt pan, gabbing is the key to making yourself the next Einstein. Okay. That too long haul? Well, at least it will ensure you don’t sink into senile dotage. I’ll settle for the second one, given that my current response to every question of import had become the standard. “Huh.” “Where are my shorts?” “Huh.” “Mamma, I want to do potty.” “Huh.”  “I think she is really hot.” “Huh” If that isn’t evidence enough of the brain going on slow decline towards Alzheimer’s then what is. In the good old days, the last statement would have been enough to have the fire brigade called in, along with the ambulance for hapless man assaulted by harridan wife. Now, I reply “Huh.”

Therefore, the gabbing.  Says the research, and I quote, “Ten minutes of talking face to face or by phone, improves memory and boosts intellectual performance as much as doing crossword puzzles. So if I ever prided myself on being able to complete the Times Sunday Crossword puzzle give or take a little cheating here and there, dictionaries included and online help sought for, I should just junk the pretence of working out my miniscule brain in such a torturous fashion which has remainder of ungreyed hair graying up at the speed of light. Yes, in the same ripple pool manner in which light disseminates itself. All I need to do is pick up the phone for a gabfest with an equally gabfest deprived friend. And voila, I will be bursting at the cranium with renewed and repleted brain power.  Says the research, and I quote, “A team led by University of Michigan psychologist Oscar Ybarra asked more than 3500 people ages 24 to 96 about their social interaction and tested their working memories. Regardless of age, the more the social contact, the higher the level of mental function.” So peoples, the next time the bosses haul you over the coals for spending more time at lunch than required to pack in a meal, you know what to answer. And those water cooler and chai breaks. All required in the very vital interest of exercising your brain. And doesn’t your organization want your brain to be in ship shape working condition? Which boss could argue with that?

And for all you loners sitting out their watching Seinfeld, doing Sudoku puzzles in minutes and solving complicated algorithms, wipe that smirk off your faces. Because your brain is the one that is going to languish with disuse. I am going to have long face to face gossip brunches with the girls and sharpen my brain to razor edge. Hah! Gosh, how I love research. Now if they only can prove that sitting down and doing nothing is the best form of exercise.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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