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How Are You?

We often ask and get asked with this question when meet someone – a stranger or even someone whom we meet daily. This question has few variants too such as “How you doing?”, “How is life?”, “How is everything going on?” etc.

How Are You?

How Are You?

This question has been a form of superficial gesture. It really means nothing to either of the person, i.e. person who asked it and the person who was asked. The person who asks, asks without the intention of really knowing the true answer for it. And you would have observed that when we ask this question, sometimes we don’t even wait for its answer and start with another statement instantly after it, like its answer doesn’t matter at all.

I was pondering on this question and I encountered with few questions such as:

  1. What should be the core purpose of asking How Are You to somebody?
  2. If we ask this question to somebody and answer comes as negative, shouldn’t we put our efforts to sort it out?
  3. If not, why in the first place we should ask it out? Does it really look good asking this question in a superficial manner?
  4. What message it gives to the person whom we ask this question when we are really don’t care for its answer?

After some brainstorming on these and other related questions, I came to a feeling that only Almighty has the TRUE RIGHT to ask this question, because if he asks and finds out that the things are not FINE, he is CAPABLE enough to sort it out. But we know that Almighty won’t come to us and ask this question, so if we think we are CAPABLE enough to sort someone’s people then only we must dare to ask this question.

Recently, I was reading a book, which was about the Saints living in Himalayas, and there was one incident mentioned when two Himalayan saints met. When they met, they didn’t ask each other any such superficial questions, rather they sat together and remained in mauna (silence) and that way did the conversation. A layman observing their way of communication, later asked one of the saints who was his guru about why they didn’t ask each other How Are You? and such things? To which he replied that “We don’t ask them because if we ask them and if there is some problem, we are bound to sort it out, leaving everything aside. So when we don’t mean, we don’t ask.” How BEAUTIFUL his answer was!

As I pondered a lot on this question, also another idea evoked out of it to make a short film or film on this subject. Broad idea is that, there is a solo leading male character in the film who gets crazy when somebody asks him this question. He meets people from all different sectors (doctor, lawyer, student, teacher, friend, boss, co-worker, shopkeeper, beggar, parents, neighbour, poor person, rich person etc.) who asks him the same question. He gets nuts on hearing this question. He observes people while they ask this question to him. He laughs inside knowing that they really don’t want to know its TRUE ANSWER. He then ponders a lot on it to himself….. well, there is no such filmy END to this story…. but it’s a series of encounters that this person goes through when he is asked the same question…. I think, Irfan Khan or Kay Kay may be the best cast for the leading solo character!!!!


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

5 thoughts on “How Are You?

  1. કેમ છો. એમાં ઘણું આવી જાય છે. પહેલું તો સ્વાગત, પછી તબિયતના સમાચાર, પછી તમારા સમાચાર કુટુંબના સમાચાર દુનિયાના સમાચાર, ન ઓળખતા હો તો સહજ નવી ઓળખાણ અને એવું ઘણું એમાં પરસ્પરના સ્વભાવ, જાણકારી, અનુભવ વગેરે પણ આયનામાં જોતાં ન ભાળ્યું હોય તેના દર્શન થાય.. માટે કેમ છો…
    કાંતિલાલ પરમાર

  2. Jigar Patel says:

    Asking someone ‘how are you’ is definitely a superficial gesture and most of the times the question is not asked with the intention of hearing the true response. It is what we call one of those social ‘formalities’.

    Some other examples of similar gestures are:

    1) when we are guest at someone’s home and are asked about how was the food, we right away say ‘Khoob Saras’ (Very good) or delicious–not always an honest expression.

    2) When someone we are not very close to ask us about our opinion on their new jeans, cell phone, car, sunglasses etc. our response will mostly be superficial.

    I think formalities or superficial expressions are important part of human race and society. But specifically talking about ‘How are you’ question– there can be many reasons why we are not truthful about answering.

    1) Would we want to tell someone we are not so close to about our personal issues?
    2) Are you okay to tell someone that you are not fine because you have a big lump on your butt? Or you are not fine because you are not happy with your sex life? Or because you failed your exam for the 6th time?

    Its us who don’t always want to share our personal problems with others and thus, those ‘others’ who are asking us the question, already knows that you are going to say that you are fine.

    If we start telling people truth (keeping in mind that we are okay with sharing our very personal problems) then very soon people will actually start asking this question more seriously and will wait for you to answer.

    Anyways… How is everyone???

  3. Urdu Gazal says:

    It seems to be very interesting place.
    Nice to be here.

  4. Hey nice blog dude…..

  5. Have posted some like mided articles on my blog.
    Do check into it

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