Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pessimism isn't dreary

Life's through a lot of hullabaloo these days. Twenty days back, had someone asked me - although its another thing nobody even asks .. and these everyday questions are also a part of hypothetical assumptions in this bloggers' rocking lifestyle - so how's it going for you ? Then I would have answered - not good at all. But ask me today - so how was it going twenty days back ? - now this looks like a typical hypothetical question - and I'll answer - wonderful. Such is the state of my pessimistic mindset. A long lost school friend called me up yesterday and I was cheerfully surprised that my mobile actually rung. And you need not be a disbeliever to resist digesting this last line. Actually, even I, at first, kicked my roommate out of his highly audible and ear friendly sleeping state as I thought it to be his phone ringing. It was only after he became even more alarmingly ear friendly after getting up that I realised it was my phone that was ringing. On cloud nine I was and I started searching like mad my mobile trying to sense where the sound was coming from. As soon as I began this modus-operandi, the phone stopped ringing. The roommate remarked - 'bad luck'. Subconsciously I tended to agree with him to the T with his remark but I forced myself to answer - 'shut up you fool ! At least it rang today. Shakal to achhi nahi hai baat to achhi kiya kar.' He stared at me with anger, I answered 'oh galti ho gayi … ab chhod bhi yaar' with my eyes. To another utter surprise , he relented. So after jumbling through mattresses and bedsheets and pillows and tables and chairs and suitcases, I found my phone right next to the dustbin. Sending all inhibitions to the dustbin, I picked my phone from next to it. Saw the number and decided to dial back whoever it was, however was somewhat sceptical that I'd get to hear - '' haan bhai bakhshi bol raha hoon, aaj tune call back kaise kar li … achha samjha .. Maine number jo badal liya hai''. Now this bakhshi is a real narbhakshi who'll bore you into suicide with his phonecall even when at his fascinating best. Happily, when I called, it was some voice I failed to recognise. He told - and I got - he was a school friend as I have already mentioned. After ten minutes of conversation in which he blabbered - 'aur kya chal raha hai' - 'kabhi milte shilte hain' - 'tu to bhool hi gaya *&^%$' - 'koi bandi vandi set kari' - 'aage kya karne waala hai', he finally said something that provoked thoughts -' arrey S*****t, I used to think you were an optimistic guy, and I'm thinking now about how wrong my perceptions about people can go'. I was myself thinking of it since afternoon - my lack of hopes - but still decided to change the topic. I knew I couldn't change myself (pessimism again ? ) but I could at least change his newly acquired perception of me ? Hoping so, I cracked a few jokes and I felt light when he actually laughed hard at them. Just when I thought I had pulled off this mission impossible, I don't know what urged him to ask me - '' do you watch horror movies'' and then took some names as unfamiliar to me as victories to Zimbabwe's cricket team when I answered - ' oh I have seem some Ramsay stuff like shaitaan ka kankaal and aadamkhor hasina'.. He cut me short and asked - 'do you believe it, I mean tujhe vishvaas hai bhoot hotey hain' and I said ' yaar bhoot to hotey hongey par films mein jab dikhateein hain ki jesus christ ka cross ya shiv ji ka trishul dekh kar bhoot bhaag jaatey hai, is baat par vishvas nahin hota'. I can guess what he took of this statement of mine when he exclaimed - 'you're gone. Tera kuch nahin ho sakta. You pessimist, hopeless fellow.' and ended the call. Sigh. Bad luck again.
Although every word in the preceding text smelt of pessimism, I still feel it didn’t smell of dullness. And isn't what I just said in this previous line the height of optimism. Isn't it .
Impossible is nothing.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Haughty is not naughty

Something has seriously gone wrong with people. I have written about it here and there but in bits and hilarity. But somehow, the excessively frequent recurrence of such ridiculously wasteful attitudes among a hell of a lot of people my age has really vexed me up. I would usually not use negative adjectives for other people, be it in generalisations or particularly, more so at a public vent such as a blog. This outlook is largely because of my upbringing which repeatedly asked me to not consider myself superior (or inferior for that matter) to others. We do not have to be all equals for this world to become a better place. Rather, behaving and carrying ourselves as equals would suffice, I used to be told. And this is why I would not say that the person X is doing that thing so he got to be a fool or a person Y is rubbish if he makes a statement Z. Because I do not consider myself as any sort of a higher authority on wisdom. Because in the final analysis I was very comfortable with the thought process that says what's right according to me IS what's right 'according to me' and NOT the 'absolute right' for the world. It isn't any sort of confusion because to lead a life I would like to live I just need a set of values which are right 'according to me', which are right 'for me'. As long as my conscience is clear to me, its more than fine to lead a life according to my set of values.

As I wrote all that I wrote in the preceding paragraph, it looked all right and good and great to me, I can't say for others.

But I won't say - I don't give a damn what people reading it think. I would not at all say - I don't give a shit what people reading it think. And I would never say - I don't give a fuck what people reading it feel. And saying all this is precisely the mindset prevalent among most people my age that has vexed me up. This is precisely the reason why the first paragraph of this post was perhaps the most self contradicting set of words I have written as far back as my memory takes me. This is the attitude that has somewhere forced me to divert from my own outlook before I become a social misfit. Getting the topic now ?

Sceptics can rest. Nobody has told me on my face - I dun give a shit to what u think.. Neither has some X person told some Y person - I don't give a damn what S*****t thinks. In fact, to be very candid, I wouldn't have been this concerned had something of this manner occurred. Because, there is nothing to read deep with concern in statements like this, these at the most will suggest a personal discord of person X with me. Not any alarmingly unpleasant arrogance of youth.

The thing that worries is that the most visible of the youth, by and large is too stuck up in its own arrogance to create something worthwhile, to try something new, to think something constructive, and most importantly to learn something good.

Another observation that I would love to put down here is almost every time I hear or overhear the 'I-dun-give-a..' statements, it is said in defence of activities like boozing, neglecting-duties, using-foul-language, and other such noble activities. Hardly ever, if at all, have I heard these statements in defence of things like starting-your-own-business, giving-monetary-help-to-a-poor-guy and other such futile activities. And these are also things, though good in intent, that people generally object to, but why don't I ever hear the 'I-dun-give-a..' statement in response to these ones.

Another observation which is in bad taste is that these statements of people are largely targeted at people who'd care about them, wish good things for them, advice them for their good. What's tragic is that these statements are even targeted sometimes at their own parents, family et al.

Yet another thing that hurts is that what all this reflects is that people don't want to learn, they are not open to ideas, they are not receptive. Renaissance wasn't about closing all doors to traditional wisdom, it was just about questioning its pros and cons first. It was rather about getting through with most knowledge that people that time could - then question its righteousness - then accepting it and being happy if it was indeed right - or delve into greater depths to arrive at the crux of the matter - and be happy again at the end of it. I am sure everybody reading it knows all that but I am writing it because all this resistance to learning is coming from people pretending to be dressed in uniforms of renaissance flag bearers.

As Sir Conan Doyle famously wrote in the 'Valley of fear' , "Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself while talent instantaneously recognizes genius". Alas, the people I want to ponder over all this will rather say - "I don't give a shit to what Doyle *£$*&* says". I just want to say - let us rise from mediocrity. Let us open our eyes.

If the preceding text has made you think I am really pissed off with things, that’s not the case. I am not upset, I am just concerned. To put it as accurately as I can - I could no longer remain indifferent. And feeling a little sleepy now. But before I stop, I have something soothing to say to the 'I-dun-give-a..' club.

*Learning is not compulsory :) :)

neither is survival…


*Just to give credit where it is due, this last one was from Mr. Deming - a famous business writer of the previous century.