After reading Aspi's autorickshaw confession #5 about hug-o-war today, I realized that I've had similar encounters with others but the situation's little different. It happens when I'm not in the hugging proximity of the person (read less than 2 ft) but almost face to face. You know when you're trying to squeeze through a narrow space at work or outside or at home for that matter and you come face to face with a person traveling in the opposite direction from you and you both try to go cross each other from the same side. It continues for about 4-5 times and then eventually one person gives up or just stands and the other one finally is able to make it across. I hate being in that situation. It feels like all of a sudden you're brain-dead and have lost all your decision making powers. So helpless.
I remember back in the mid 90s, when Urmi and I would talk of our first time experiences in the US with a lot of things, this used to be one of them. We’d share our daily adventures with each other and laugh like crazy. She said once she was at the university and came face to face with another gora student and they did this kabaddi move for almost a minute before she finally said out loud "chum nu lya haaru!" to the other person, who thoroughly got confused at what she was saying. We laughed so hard and also talked about how frustrating it gets to be in this situation. Btw, if you're still wondering what she had said is in charotari Gujarati and roughly translates to "what's going on man!" And I totally sympathize with her after going through similar experiences so many times. One of which included almost spilling the hot beverage on the other person. Of course in India, I remember a lot of people do this to annoy the other person intentionally, specially the guys to girls in school/colleges, which is a lot more annoying than the unintentional kind. In any case, it's not a fun situation to be in and hardest one to get out of. I'm still trying to figure out a way to avoid this, but I read once that the best way is to hold the person from their shoulders and just switch sides with them. Personally, what I've found works best for me is to just turn around and start walking in their direction (in front of them) instead of going over to the other side. Give it a try sometimes, it works! ;)
This one I still feel little bad about sometimes. I got into the kabaddi move (almost kind of) with a coworker one day. We have one of those garbage cans that you press a bottom lever with a foot to prop open the lid and when you let go of your foot from the lever, the lid drops back in closed position. So I had just thrown something in there and now it was time to move out of the vicinity. There comes the other person to throw away his trash. We don't work together directly so most of the times when we run into each other in hallway or kitchen, we just smile and once in a while may be say hi. So here he is, ready to toss the object and I was right there. I’m thinking *what do I do?! what do I do!?* and oh-so-considerate me decides to help him open the trash can so he can throw away his trash. I step on the lever. The lid opens. I give him a it’s-time-to-throw-that-away look. He won’t throw it in. *UGH* I do it again, he’s almost stuck his hand in there, still not throwing it in. *argh! someone kill me, kill me now* I try it the third time and lid opens and by that time I’m so tired of pressing my foot on that lever, and my foot gives up! *BAM!* his hand got caught in there for a fraction of second and my foot woke up only to realize it was too late. *YIKES* "Oh I’m so sorry, are you okay? Did I just close the lid?" And in my mind I’m like DUH! He must have wanted to say "Heck!! Yeah!!" but didn’t. I apologized three times or may be more. He said he was okay. Yea right! Okay my foot. I know that because he won’t even look at me now. I just avoid any eye contact altogether. It’s been months since the incident happened but I can't forget about it. To make myself feel better, I just say to him (in my head of course) whatever dude, go open the garbage can yourself next time. And to myself I tell not to do anyone else another favor of opening a garbage can lid for them, no matter how tempting it gets.