Monthly Archives: March 2007

> Guest of horror

Uninvited guests are a pain, but at least it’s a pain that goes when the guests go. Still more painful are guests who overstay because they refuse to go and so the pain refuses to go.

Now it’s obvious I must be beleaguered by either of the two varieties of painful guests to be talking about this. And I am talking about the latter – guests who think an extra room in someone else’s house must be built solely to accommodate them forever. But no, that guest room does look better empty for some part of the year (at least). (At least) much better than being occupied by the same person throughout the year.

Interestingly, all hints of any inconvenience caused by them to the hosts rebound from their thick-skinned exteriors as they appear completely innocent of their obtrusive behaviour. Is it possible not to know how much trouble you are causing another person? Or is it easy to take advantage of civil folks?

Such guests of horror often come with a heavy baggage – of emotional, financial, social excesses. And seem to think that by resting it at someone else’s place, it will go away. Well, it doesn’t and can’t. And they must return home with the same baggage.

They say, we can’t choose our relatives, but we should be allowed to choose our guests please!

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>Mind over matter

So we are unique. And unique people do unique things. Like communicate through something as vague as telepathy. Vague, I say, because it is associated with paranormal phenomenon that is subject to continuous debate and disbelief. But as vague as it may sound, it’s as real as it can get! There are some bizzare incidents of telepathy irrespective of the presence or absence of scientific evidence for the same.

Like today’s, when my cook whipped up something I had only been thinking of. Now I can’t claim to have some inexplicable connection, like love-shmuv, with my 40-something cook, not till today at least!

How many times the person who’ve been thinking of calls up for no reason except perhaps that you wanted to speak to her?

Most often, incidents of telepathy occur when a near or dear one is injured or killed in an accident. It happened when an uncle of mine died due to a sudden cardiac arrest in the wee hours of the morning while he was travelling. And around the same time, all the people close to him felt as if they’d been jolted out of their sleep. Inexplicable.

On a lighter note, I remember this slightly eccentric friend from my hostel days who wanted desperately to believe in the reality of telepathy. And she would practice the art/science diligently to get in touch with the man she had a HUGE crush on but found impossible to meet – tennis star Leander Paes! I don’t know whether Leander Paes ever responded to her telepathic overtures!

Frankly, I’m not much of a scientist to be able to weigh the arguments and counter-arguments on telepathy. But I do believe that created unique, human beings have the power to do unique things.

> The ‘lost’ cause

Someone’s gotta win, someone’s gotta lose. But if you’re the one who’s losing, does this make as much sense as it does when you’re winning? I guess the Pak cric team would be able to answer that. Who else would know better the price you must pay when you lose – to a willow and your coach dies after that, all the head honchos of the Pak Cric Board resign, charges of match fixing are levelled against you and the Prez of your country promises action against the team for, you know, losing?

Okay, so you play to win, but whatever happened to that thing called ‘losing gracefully’? Doesn’t accepting defeat also take courage, especially when you have given your best shot but your opponent was still better?

I know this whole humdrum about how those who aren’t aggressive enough to win take refuge in the consolatory spirit of participation, but losing gracefully isn’t quite the same thing. Because even if you are a go-getter, you can lose. And how you take defeat then could ascertain your life’s happiness quotient.

If losing makes you very, very unhappy, winning isn’t the solution. The solution is coming to terms with what you can do to win and what’s still out of bounds for you – for instance, ensuring your opponent loses to you. The solution could be to embrace defeat – if that’s what is in store for you – with as little resistance as possible. That’s what I call a victory over defeat!

>How to hate the person you hate…

I always said life isn’t easy. And now there’s this dilemma I’ve been looking an answer for: what do you do when the person you hate (substitute with ‘don’t like’, ‘can’t stand’, “wish were dead’ or whatever) is being nice to you? It would be so much easier if the people you dislike continue living up to the unimpressive image you’ve formed of them in your head. Who needs the additional burden of guilt that comes with disliking an apparently nice person?!

Of course, the do-gooders will ask you why must you hate anyone at all in the first place! For people who understand that question, this blog would make no sense. For those who don’t, like me, answering the question is irrelevant and brings us back to managing the problem at hand of how we love to hate some people.

There’s the whole gamut of emotions that you must scan to narrow down to that one feeling that seems most appropriate for the situation. Should you:
a). Also be nice in return, but continue disliking him?
b). Also be nice in return, and change your opinion about him?
c). Be rude, reject his niceness?
d). Wait for him to be bad to you again?
e). Feel guilty you hated him in the first place?
f). Ignore the strange situation?
or
g). Write a blog?

What do you think I did!?

>The power of communication

Yes, I believe in the Right to Shut Up, but I also believe that with rights come duties. No matter how we choose to express ourselves – through speech or silence – communication with people whose lives we touch remains a duty. Relationships between people, between groups and even between countries are based on it – such is the power of communication, and the lack of it! So when someone chooses to withdraw from honest communication, they are virtually attacking the foundation of all their relationships.

History has been a witness to this. What was the Cold War of if not almost 50 years of communication problem between the US of A and the Soviet Union? And aren’t the telecom, internet, postal and so many other industries hinged on the need of effective communication?

However, we all have our range of communication problems. Some of us just don’t know how to interact with strangers. Others, are better off communicating with just them. Perhaps that’s why so many people create blogs to talk about themselves(?) Still others indulge in incomplete communication – speak half truths, share their feelinsg without telling the facts or vice versa. A certain kind of people simply expect everyone to understand their intentions without ever talking about them.
Obviously, the art of communication is tough to master, but to forsake all concerted efforts to that end for this reason is to stop living because you’re going to die one day.

> The right to speech. And no speech at all!

There’s been much ado about the freedom of expression right from the time of constitutional evolution the world over. But sometimes being quiet is more important than being vocal about an issue. So how come nobody thought of the freedom to shut up?

Spiritual teachers have time and again emphasised the need to be alone with yourself to achieve inner peace. But somebody who wants to stay mum has no legal backing to do so in our world! Friends and well-wishers around you will force you to speak up, tell them what you’re thinking, try to force you out of your solitude by cajoling, persuasion and emotional blackmail. The message is loud and clear: you have no right to shut up when you want to, especially if you’re the gregarious types most of the time.

The only occasion when the law gives you the choice to keep quiet is when they’re arresting you for an offence: ‘Whatever you say or do can be and will be held against you’. But not all of us get the opportunity of committing so grave a crime when such a privilege could be accorded to us. So we’re stuck with the freedom of speech for most parts of our lives, having to make the right sounds forever! And because our society does not comprehend the Right to Silence, we’re bound to make most gaffes throught incorrect speech and suffer the repercussions of bad Karma. Tragic, don’t you think?!
Like the not-so-popular-now Boyzone would put it, It’s only words and words are all I have….

> Silly point!

If you’re feeling like a social outcast these days because you don’t eat, breathe, walk and talk cricket, take heart! There are quite a few of your ilk around, except that newspapers, news channels and advertisers aren’t thinking about you in these times of World Cup 2007 and I can’t blame you for feeling like you’re suddenly a space alien at whom all this cricket jargon is being hurled. Whether you’re at home or office, parties or meetings, why is a simple bat and ball game the topic of all this discussion?

I mean, how are you supposed to know that ‘silly point’ isn’t just what you say to somebody who’s trying to make a silly point, that ‘gully’ isn’t the narrow bylane where your car invariably gets stuck in, that ‘duck’ isn’t simply the bird that children love making out of the number 2, that a ‘delivery’ isn’t used only to refer to childbirth, that ‘economy rate’ isn’t what the Fin Min talks about and that ‘no ball’ is not a physiological disorder that some men would get nightmares of! Really, these are just words that could mean anything, but for the cricket fanatics they do mean only one thing, i.e., how they are used in cricket terminology.

With more nations making their debut in the cricket World Cup like Canada and Bermuda, chances are that the cricket fanatics of the world will join hands to eliminate anyone who’s not of their species. What do you know, the US might be the next to join the league of cricketing nations! But I assure you, things will return to normalcy post 4/28, the day when the World Cup final is played. So till then, hang on there and remember, all this brouhaha over cricket could very well be a silly point!