When Some we appreciate, Some self-depreciate.

WHEN SOME WE APPRECIATE, SOME SELF-DEPRECIATE.

IS IT THE LOUSY FEELING I CALL ‘GUILOUSY’?

 Under the shower I was seized with an uncomfortable thought- should we refrain from praising some, because some other wise ones take it otherwise? They don’t express it, but the sulking and ruing are in the air; we feel their absent presence… like ghosts.

They feel slighted merely because some one else is delighted. Desperate, they love praise heaped upon themselves, even if undeserved; but recoil in jealousy, if not horror, when someone else is applauded, particularly when that someone is close or known.

Is it inferiority complex? Or guilt? Or jealousy?

Or is it guilt-jealousy combo…the lousy feeling I call ‘Guilousy’?

But how to assuage their hurt? Their deeds or lack of them are so awesome, one can’t voice admiration…for the mouth is agape in astonishment. : )

                      chimpanzee pic: pixabay.com

When Good is Bad.

We can face the world, but it is difficult to face ourselves. Solitude compels us to look within. It brings us face to face with our ugly self; and forces us to vividly recall the injuries we have inflicted upon many including our close ones, and our unfairness in many a relationships born out of  selfishness, presumption, ego and  arrogance. Our soul knows us well, we can’t lie to it.

Selfishness invents justifications; integrity, empathy, and understanding do not need crutches of justification.

And within us, there is a kind of selfishness which lurks and masquerades as selflessness. Even while thinking for the good of our children, spouse, parents…we think from our angle…we look at their well-being through the prism of our own pleasure, our joy…not from the lens of their space, their feelings. If I am being kind, I do not realize that perhaps I am being unkind. If I am truthful, I don’t realize that truth also hurts. When I am trying to be righteous and upright in correcting others, it doesn’t occur to me that being so very correct is sometimes incorrect. We want to see the image of their happiness in our mirror, and the picture is always blurred. Many a times we try to be good for the selfish reason of feeling good, but is it really doing any good?

We forget the individual identities; that the fist is one, but fingers, though joined together at the base, are still separate; that at the very basic level, persons, persona, personalities and perceptions are all different.

Due to misplaced love and kindness, we grown-ups unconsciously tend to control…be it our adult children or our elderly parents. We try to decide what is good for them, and we preach and specify the ‘dos and don’ts’. Whereas our ‘for their own good’ instructions to children alienate them; the ‘kindly limits’ we set around our parents sometimes compromise their dignity, trample upon their feelings and sense of independence, and end up manipulating them.

Should we be so helpful to our grown-up children and our elders that they look helpless and feel hopeless? But we put them either in nappies or on pedestals. Needed or not, we constantly provide crutches.

We try to control (even if unconsciously and benevolently) because we have the arrogance to assume that we know better. Ceding this control sets everyone free, and there is nothing more beautiful than the sense of freedom.

Lifelong we don’t cease to parent children, and we parent our parents too. Grown-ups want to make their own decisions, at least some of those decisions. No one likes being coerced into a situation or an act. We need to be sensitive to their sense of shame and embarrassment arising out of unwanted dependence. What is needed is understanding and empathy, not control or sympathy. We are sensitive to what we want for them, but not to what they want for themselves.  

By doing away with parents’ responsibilities in totality (in order to give them so called ‘peace of mind’), we also snatch away their involvement and authority…be it personal, financial or pertaining to the family…making them redundant. There is nothing worse than being consigned to irrelevance.

So, let them be….so they can be themselves…in their space…with their identity and their perspective.

And let’s ask, not assume. For, there is no absolute in life. There is right and there is wrong, and in between are the doors of perception. And perceptions differ.

Photo Credit: Old Couple: wonsung.jang; 4 persons: Dimitri Houtteman (unsplash.com)

Chances We Take, Choices We Make.

The chances we take and the choices we make throughout our lives, decide the course of life. Life itself is a result of choices and chances.

Chances present choices before us. We make a choice to take a chance, and we take a chance in choosing that choice; for nothing is certain, and the calculated outcome is, at best, an intelligent guess.

We have no control over chances, which are circumstantial, and therefore, could result into good, bad or ugly; sample these: an understanding spouse (good), losing all the money in gambling (bad), infection by Covid-19 (ugly). However, we do have control over choices; though we can’t altogether cast aside the chance repercussions of our challenging choices.

This is true in all spheres of life and living at all times – education, occupation, love, marriage, or family setting. Confusing it is, but every challenge and each change is an outcome of this chance-choice conundrum.

To lighten the mood, take my case. I was at Guwahati and had the option of leaving for Bangalore just before the lockdown. But I took a chance and made the choice of staying back another week. My choice of taking a chance has confined me and confounded others. In this extended, albeit unintended overstay, I embrace embarrassment, while many lurk behind feigned amusement.

Choices create chances and chances cause choices. But we can make our choices independent of the chance-fate presented to us on a plate by the past. It is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to us by life. We can choose to build new alternatives. And we have the choice to act or not to act.

The chances we take…

And the choices we make,

Give us life, or drop by drop…

Bleed us to death.

                      Picture Credits: internet/unsplash.com

Solitude of Social Distancing

Due to the prevailing norms of social distancing, people are suffering from isolation anxiety and fear of solitude. In this context, following extracts from Pablo Neruda’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech are enlightening:

“There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny…

Our original guiding stars are struggle and hope. But there is no such thing as a lone struggle, no such thing as a lone hope. In every human being are combined the most distant epochs, passivity, mistakes, sufferings, the pressing urgencies of our own time, the pace of history.”

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The seductive art of conversation…where have we lost it ?

Where have we lost those thought provoking, soul satisfying conversations…which delight our hearts,  soar our moods and illuminate our minds…..those rewarding conversations from which we come out with a deep sense of satisfaction, feeling all is well with the world ?

Many a times, do we not indulge in the inane and the mundane, the banal and the vapid….making us literally die of ennui ? Do we not end up talking about people and issues…shallow n superficial…. leaving us with feelings of waste and emptiness ?

Why have we forgotten what a treat it is to savour the scintillating conversations laced with stimulating ideas, how captivating is brilliant repartee, how delightful is the needle sharp wit, how charming is the subtle n nuanced humour ?

The exciting give and take, the enthusiastic sharing, the amalgam and the synthesis of divergent yet non-judgmental views, the meeting of intelligent minds, leave us enriched, enlightened, enthralled….and provide fodder for thought, reflection and contemplation.

Connoisseurs will agree that a great conversation is a rare vintage wine….sparkling, heady,  intoxicating….drowning our senses in its effervescence and exuberance , enlivening us with sheer pleasure, and giving us a heavenly high.

CHEERS !!!

Life Abbreviated !

Brevity is the soul of wit, but reduced to abbreviations aren’t we at our wits’ end?

Bitter or sweeter….communications are shorter n smaller. As they swarm all facets of our life, abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms confuse, confound and control, but there is no escape.

As men appropriate by playing GOLF (Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden), undaunted ladies have moved from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to JOMO (Joy of Missing Out).

In SOML (Story Of My Life), I am never IRL (Me In Real Life). As I DFTBA (Don’t Forget To Be Awesome) coz am 2H2H (Too Hot To Handle), LMK (Let Me Know) DAE (Does Anyone Else?)

Today none is CBGAILY (Caught Between Goodbye And I love You), and in the nano-second relationships it takes no time to traverse from  KMYF (Kiss Me You Fool) to BFK (Big Fat Kiss) to H&K (Hugs & Kisses) to KMA (Kiss My A..).

We are pinned to PINs, swindled at ATMs, and promise of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) doesn’t give what we see. CAA, NRC and NRP: Some insist AOA (All Of Above) and some shout NOTA (None Of The Above).

I am not JK (Just Kidding) when electronic mirth flows infinitely with LOL (Laughing Out Loud) and we are ROFL (Rolling On the Floor Laughing) and I end up LMAO (Laughing My Ass Off).

Rarely F2F (Face to Face), we are at our laconic best with HMU (Hit Me Up). BTW (By The Way), TIC (Tongue in Cheek) some say ASL (Age, Sex, Location) do not matter for YOLO (You Only Live Once), and so what if you are MIA (Missing in Action).

But not so long ago, the only beauties in mass circulation (whether AM or PM) were OK (which never was), RSVP (which no one followed) and PTO (which none did)    : )

P.S. Though politically incorrect, I suffer from RSS (Reverse Snobbery Syndrome) and now I put FUTAB (Feet Up n Take A Break).

Abbreviations

Guilty are those who impose Guilt !

For hiding their own guilt or guilty-conscience, some people perpetually impose guilt on others…in ways subtle or crude. They swing like pendulum from being extremely aggressive to wearing sorrow on their sleeves. They resort to emotional blackmail, portray themselves as pathetic losers, and sport underdog’s hangdog expression. Else they shout and sulk; throw threats, taunts and tantrums; issue ultimatums, lock themselves, become incommunicado, inflict injuries and abuses on themselves, and leave home food untouched (but hog secretly).

They play victim to victimize. Those who impose guilt are the ones who are guilty. Let’s not be guilty of feeling guilty due to someone else’s guilt.

Guilty Sulking

From Attachment to Attachments To Attachment to Detachments.

My good friend n cousin Lalita often cautions me about the perils of attachment.

Confession: Narcissist to the core, I am attached to myself, my body and its appendages. Am attached to amazing tendencies and hypocrisies (I practice what I hate in others and don’t what I preach). Am attached to my achievements (read failures) and failures (showcased as achievements). Am attached to fantastic fetishes and hilariously hideous habits (e.g. acting feline or admiring that imaginary dimple on my cheek).

Am attached to creatures which include some friends, few loved ones, fewer relatives, no Exs, and all animals & enemies. Am attached to the real which is unreal, and to the fake which is surreal. Am thus attached to myriad possibilities, prejudices and pretensions….the good, the bad, the ugly, and of course the beautiful Me.

To cut the crap, I am attached to the bad in me (which others like) and to the good in others (which I dislike).

And when I tried to shake off attachments, I became attached to detachment.  Try detaching and soon the detachment attaches you to its own attachments….passions of mind or obsessions of the heart.

I now wonder: I am attached to the attachments or the attachments are attached to me ? Am perplexed: I am attachedly detached or detachedly attached ? Ohhh Niru, whither Nirvana ?

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Fat Weddings, Slim Bodies and More.….

Let’s laugh at the antics (including our own) displayed in the weddings we attend:

Highlights in Lowlights: This misfortune befalls the well-heeled sooner or later….all dressed up, everywhere to go, and a heel breaks……all hell breaks loose. Many a slips show, and intentionally oblivious of the obvious, we pretend ignorance as the show must go on. Who wants to be branded as a spoilsport? And just when we are beginning to be intoxicated with the exotic smells emanating from the beauties, a silent killer scent from an unknown orifice makes us flee the scene in great haste. You present your best face to become the Facebook darling, but you are caught on camera at your worst with mouth agape full of saliva-mixed morsels, ketchup dripping down your chin, and eyes wide open with utter glee.…depicting you as Dracula in a horror movie.

Man vs Woman: Whereas men like me display narcissistic tendencies refusing to change their stripes, women exhibit abundant selfless love for self and selfies with pouting lips.

A Women Exclusive: Fatter the weddings…..slimmer the bodies, with slim turning into slimmer and slimmer vanishing into thin air.

Spirited Spiritual Men: And what with the clean-shaven, the moustached, the goateed and the bearded sneaking out to the openly secret watering hole… suddenly there is vacuum, as if balloon is emtied of half its gas….and we find famine of the masculine, only the feminine populating the pandals in powder pink and pale purple.

Love n Longing: Amidst tumultuous cacophony, some try to steal still moments. Setting out in canoes or sitting under canopies, they weave themes of their dreams. Hoping and hopping from event to event and changing attires but not the attitudes, they wink and hoodwink to keep the rendezvous.

Touching: Bride side or groom side…is besides the point; the unwanted are kept at arm’s length. And for the privileged ones, hugs are from far and back slapping is inflicted in measured manner, lest the wrinkles creep into clothes and conversations. Husky cries, coooes and croonings of …how are you….oh my…you look so good….where were you hiding all these years….. begin with vigorous air-kissing and culminate into even more vigorous air kissing and never-to-be-kept promises of “let’s keep in touch”. Touching indeed.

The last laugh: And the one, who like me did not have the misfortune of going to an English-medium school, has the last laugh pronouncing “am in the middle of bedding”, when a friend inquires about his whereabouts. Hilarious… definitely. Scandalous…may be. But scarce are scarlet cheeks… like onions these days.  : )

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HORSE SENSE

LET’s NOT IMPOSE….NOT EVEN GOODNESS!

Subtly show the right choices to the family’s young adults, but don’t make their choices; they will make their own intelligent ones…..when they want to.

All are comfortable in status quo and instinctively resist any change, and therefore, become defensive and defying to defend the ego.

Why insist or instruct, and come across as interfering? Let them sing loud and dance electric to Dr. Alban’s “It’s my life”, and join the party. Why be a spoilsport.

Forget coaxing, cajoling, cautioning and correcting. In today’s world, we can’t even bring a horse to the water, forget making it drink. Horse Sense!