As I sip down my pack of Frooti (which, by the way, I refer to as a pack of happiness), I am trying very hard to put together my thoughts structurally on a few topics I have wondered a a lot about in the last decade, and more so in the last year.
- How do you not stay in touch in today’s day and age of social media!
You know when you are younger, you have that favourite aunt who you are quite fond of and like going to her home on Sundays? And there is another aunt, who you are not particularly fond of and want to avoid. Now here, I want to clarify that it’s not them who I am judging or saying is bad or blah blah, it’s that I don’t see myself as compatible with that person. So you avoid seeing them. It’s like how two parallel world can co-exist, I do not (or rather do not want to) belong there and vice versa.
Cut to, today’s time, how do you do that in today’s social media! I will agree that I block people, and I am comfortably at a place where even if the person asks, I say hey it’s not that I dislike/hate you, it’s just that I do not see ourselves being compatible (that’s about it) and would rather not share anything even if it is via social media. And that’s about it. Nothing more and nothing less. I mean come on, tell me one person who is liked by EVERYONE. Can you name one( here I mean a real person and you can’t say Oh but everyone loves Beyonce! You don’t know Beyonce, you know the image of the public person which is created by a cumulative effort of their publicists, PR person, stylists, team of hair and make up artists and so on, and it is their full time job to make the person look good. And if you and I don’t fall for that image, their jobs, and hence a part of the parallel economy that public people support, are in danger) ? So technically, why can’t one say that I am not comfortable sharing and that’s about it. No further clarification needed. Why can’t it be that simple!
And Oh My God, the blue tick of WhatsApp, the culprit for ruining relationships! Why is it still present for Whatsapp groups!
2. Chronicles of an introverted extrovert or a Selective extrovert
The issue becomes more profound when you realise that you are neither an introvert or an extrovert but rather an introverted extrovert. Like you know how you would just talk to fill awkward silences at a dinner or a lunch table with colleagues, or when you really don’t want to host acquaintances for lunch or dinner but your husband wants to and when they arrive you feel like you are best friends and talk so much but the moment they are gone, it’s like they disappear from your lives.
Extroverts and introverts don’t have this problem (their struggles are different). Extroverts can go from people to people like pub hopping on a Saturday night, have a gala time, talk about everything in the world( and sometimes talk so much ad and still actually not say anything) and have an opinion about most things going on. Introverts again, don’t have this problem because they confine religiously to their inner circle. What about those people who do not necessarily have a lot of opinions on like everything that is going on in the world? Fine, I understand, you need to be aware but in this world where information is so readily available what are facts and what are being sold to you diminishes. Like for e.g.: in the union budget, I will be interested about the income tax slabs and the extra Ecess that I have to pay but not about everything, you know what I mean (and what is Google for anyways if we had to know everything)?
3.The dilemma of being right and being wrong
This, OMG! I often find myself in arguments with my husband who is a firm believer that being kind will solve half of the world’s problems (which is why I adore him so much in the first place, but also keep on arguing with him that you need kindness because there are assholes). To explain to him I say, if one was not fat, he or she won’t go the gym (I know people say oh I am going to the gym for fitness, fuck that. Most people work out to look hot, good health is a by product). You see, to know if something is good, you need to know that something bad also exists.
Now there are some fundamental things that most people consider bad, like we all know that eating biryani for all the 3 meals is probably not good for you and you may have to spend longer hours in the loo next morning. Or like defrauding (Nirav Modi tring tring) is bad (it’s my tax money too). But people are doing it. For good to exist, there has to be bad. Else imagine what would the world be like if it was all monks and saints. I am sure they justified it. I am very good friends with people who are from business families and have turn overs much over the free tax bucket of India but they pay NO tax by justifying it someway or the other to themselves. When police tows our car, and they say you have to go to police station, to avoid it we do offer a little bribe and justify it to ourselves. See, how no-one is a saint?
4.What the movie “WONDER” did for me
The reason I love watching a full on entertainment movie/shows (like a Ek Tha Tiger or the show “Younger”) is that they don’t make you feel so deep and do their job – entertain. What happens when you watch something as wonderful as “WONDER”, what does it do to you when you see a 7-8 year differently abled child being bullied by his school mates for not being good looking enough? When he cries to his mom and says you think I am not bad looking because you are my mom, to which his mom says, I am your mom and that’s why my opinion matters the most! That makes you think, is it true or is it somewhat true. Because guess what, when it is appraisal time, your boss’s opinion matters the most, when you are anticipating your green card for US, what the new president thinks matters the most, or if you do not have water from 10 am to 5pm at your home, it’s the municipality’s decision that matters the most.
Then why do we say to our parents or spouses that it’s ONLY you who matters and no-one else (very different from THEM mattering the most), because guess what, if you didn’t get water, or that visa or the above average rating, it does screw your happiness and of others too and these small things cumulatively make up your life. And to actually realise that its only your mom’s opinion or your spouse’s opinion that matters, it would take a lot many years for realization as you can only join the dots looking backwards. The fact that you decided to go to a college or a place to work comes with the risk that many times people won’t get you and people’s time and resources are limited. So you need to find your tribe and be prepared!
5.Minimalism vs. Capitalism
This is a never ending debate. You are never going to have enough. The richest person also feels exactly that and the poorest too. It is just that one is struggling in a Merc and someone else is in the streets.
6.Are we the sum of our experiences?
May be, may be not. At times we are more and at times we are less. But one thing is for sure, how we perceive things or situations is more to do with how we see our experiences have been in life, some which we may not have been in control of. And I know that you can never control what happens but you can control your reactions and how it affects you. But to get to that level of wisdom also you need time (30 years in my case). Many years ago, I saw a movie called “Paper Towns” where it was shown that every “map making” company would have a fictional town made in the map so that if the map is copied by another map-making company they knew that their product was copied. In scenarios, where I feel I am not able to trust a person and have to be around him or her (because #LIFE), I do that. I make up something fictional and then I see if that thing travels, you know through whom it did. Not a very ideal thing to do but hey we have established right there is no universal right or wrong 😀
7.So what now?
So you see how the struggle to remain real is real! Haha. Probably that’s why we need someone or something to hold on to, something that is in line with your value system, with your principles and basically how you want to be in life (not like a doctor or an engineer, as a real person) and let the noise go away, whatever the noise is : may be it’s your irritating aunt, the annoying colleagues, the person who you think you like but actually don’t. Use social media privacy settings (they are there for a reason) and use your own head for deciding what is right and wrong for you (because there is no universal right or wrong).
If you feel you have some extra time or money and you can help the underprivileged, do it. Say No when you want to. If you do not like that aunt of yours so be it, don’t pretend (she probably doesn’t like you anyways). Be stubborn, be carefree, be You!