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The idea of writing this post came to me, the other day, during our lunch time nonsense-talks. Our usual lunch itinerary at 'Village Food Court' says you place an order and wait at least for 40 minutes, for the food to be served.

To utilize this interval, we start something you name leg-pulling. Luckily Neeraj never minds being the target of all the activities in these sessions and consume all the bullets fired on him with his usual baffled calmness.

Vikas had a presentation at the FMC that day which I missed (!).

"I was all prepared to give Neeraj proper answer for the questions he asks. But I was surprised that he did not come up with a single question today. Probably it was a good day for him," said Vikas in jest. Neeraj is famous (dreaded!) for the questions he usually asks during presentations and lectures.

As they went on with the pastime, actively participated by Keshav, Naveen and Amar, I started processing the question in my mind. "Why do we ask questions?"

Here's an account of the findings of my mind-churning (!) research on this topic.

Type I: Because you actually want to know something you do not know.

You usually have to face this type of questions when ever you are with a kid. "Where have you got my brother from?" They ask because they have a curiosity to know and you do not know what to answer.

Type II: Because you feel that you should be asking questions.

Your are in a (forced )conversation with one in a topic that does not interest you. But you want (or forced by the situation) to show that you are hearing with interest. You ask questions (and do not care to hear what the other replied!).

Type III: Because you are bound to ask questions.

You must by now have accepted the fact that there's nothing to be surprised when a TV news reporter interviewing a survivor of a bomb-blast throws a question like this, "So how do you feel (after you have lost your limbs!)?"

Type IV: Because you want to show that you understand what the other is saying.

Often during an interactive lecture or at a seminar, you find intellectuals asking questions of this category (a part of their effort to get better, in-depth understanding of the subject.) They are usually the ones who keep nodding their head (in "I am getting your point" sense) most during the lecture.

Type V: Because you want people to know that you know

Babu Bhai, one of my university mates, used to set the best samples of this type . He seemed to have information (better said, knowledge or wisdom) about everything under the sun. In one seminar on "Role of Media on nation building", he interrupted the honored guest to ask a five to seven minute long question (a Guinness Record!). At one point our guest interrupted him and asked, "All of what you are saying is right, but where's your question?"

Type VI: Because you have something to say

Just like the one with which I started my post. The sense of this type of question usually is, "Do you feel the same way as I do, on this issue ?"

Do not know how this type differs from the previous one. But I feel they are different. Perhaps there's a hairline difference, perhaps not.

What do you think?


Photo courtesy


starry nights said…
I think it is all of the above.
totaramkiaaatma said…
And what do u say about bloggers who compile such variety of ? and then pose a question
Rita said…
Are the types arranged in any particular sequence? I suggest you make type one, type six. ;)
Rita said…
You've been tagged. check my blog.
Mindinside said…
I am a kid:
I usually ask because I actually want to know something I do not know or else why should I ask foolish questions if I need not know?
jac said…
I think it depends on the persons and situations, like when a bunch of high wire soft spoken executives bargain for the release of a number of hostages. They too ask questions to the terrorist but for a different reason. So you see it depends... me, I too am a kid.
If a donkey can quench my curiosity, I don’t mind asking him. LOL
Ghetufool said…
hey, thanks.

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