Friday, March 29, 2013

Liebsters Again

Here I come again bearing another couple of Liebsters. I may not have become Awesome to anyone yet, I may be versatile to a few and even creative to some but, really, almost all the people who know and love me consider me worthy of a Liebster. I am seriously running out of mantelpiece space to stock all of them. It humbles me, however, that people who have known me for just about a year and only though my blog remember me when they have awards to hand around.

This time, the first one to award me is Rio De La Sciocco who I knew under a different name earlier. The key thing for me with him is the fact that he was the first person to host a guest post by me. What is more, he hosted my piece called "How to stay a bachelor" in his blog If that was not courage I would like to know what is?

The second one to award me is Apala Sengupta whom I had interacted with on the chat facility of Indiblogger. Now, Apala is more the poetic type and I, as anyone can tell you, am the last to claim any talent in either writing or reading poetry. So, it was such a surprise when she awarded me the Liebster as well.

As usual, I will skip those questionnaires about myself. Enough has been said about me by myself in I am Versatile  Versatile Again  Tagged as well as   And now the Liebster that even as narcissistic a person as I am must needs confess to satiety. If there be any such person among my readers who does not actually gag at the thought of hearing me mouthing about myself they are invited to test their fortitude in one of those posts.

And, now for those questions.

Rio De La Sciocco’s 11 Questions. Blame him for asking for single word answers. Have not quite managed it but then even getting this close is an achievement for a verbose character like me.

Favorite dish    : Bisibelebath
Best friend       : Books
Best enemy      : Laziness
Best blog          : Mine (Of course! Who said I was modest?)
Worst blog       : Did he really expect anyone to answer this?
Best politician  : Oxymoron?
Worst politician: Redundancy?
Best hotel          : None (I like home best)
Worst hotel       : All (Since I like home best)
Best book         : Fiction
Worst book       : Texts

Apala Sengupta’s 11 questions.

If you could go on a date with anyone on this earth, who would it be? Why?

Anyone who will pay for it and not mind either my dress or my table manners. Of course, pick-up and drop included – and, quite possibly, carrying me back to bed and decanting me into it.

Finish the two statements - Girls are ________. Boys are ________.

Girls are mysteries. Boys are not detectives

Fiction or Non-Fiction? Why?

Fiction, obviously! Non-fiction demands two things I do not possess – Brains and diligence.

Are you happy with the person you have become or would you like to change something given a chance?

I am quite fine with who I am. Been a while since I had this urge to change only to find that, after changing, I was still unhappy.

Do you believe in luck or hard work?

Put it this way – I would love good things to happen by luck to me because I hate hard work. On a mere conceptual plane, excepting exceptions, I have always found that it requires both to be successful. You need to believe in hard work but it also requires luck to succeed.

Are you the kind of friend you would want to have as a friend?

Yes! I am undemanding and that is exactly what I want in a friend!

Rank in order or priority in your life - love, money, honesty, self-respect

Honesty, Self-respect, love and money. There is no self-respect without honesty; a dishonest man is unworthy of love and incapable of loving. As for money, I must say that it is thanks to the fact that I am not starving that I put that last. After your needs are satisfied, money is a sheer irrelevancy – and by needs I mean what you cannot survive without and not that pressing need to fly in your own aircraft escorted by a bevy of beautiful models.

An easy tip to win your heart.

Be open and direct. I have only a modicum of brains and, thus, hints and indirect messages escape me but leave me feeling uncomfortable.

Your idea of a perfect day.

Any of those days on the mountains while I am on trek.

If one morning you wake up to find you are not allowed to blog anymore, how would you feel/react?

Probably go back to doing what I was doing about a year back. I am not too much of a person to carry regrets.

Any suggestion for my blog.

Keep blogging.

I must apologize for the inability to pass on the Liebster. Laziness and the fact that almost everyone I know has already got one and won't thank me for getting another should suffice for an excuse.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bangalore for Women?

Sometimes you find that what you thought was your world is proved to be so totally wrong that it is shocking. Sometimes what you thought you knew about other people’s problems is shown to be so totally inadequate that it is humbling. The TOI meet on ‘Bangalore for Women’ proved to be one such experience.

It is not that I believed that the problems of women were only exaggerated versions of hyper-sensitive people. On the one end women need to deal with criminal behavior like domestic violence, eve-teasing and its worse manifestation up to rape and sexual harassment at office. On the other end is the struggle for equality – the lack of which denies choices and opportunities to women.

In “A Ravaged Society”, I had tried to explain what attitudes need be changed and what behavior needs to be fostered. In my “Guest Post forRachna Parmar: In defense of Men” I had also tried to point out the fact that the social system also binds men in stereotypes that make it difficult for them to change.

The TOI meet, however, shocked me in quite a few ways. One of the things that I did expect to hear was of the lack of safety for women in public places and I did hear quite a few instances of that. That did not shock me but not because of a ‘Boys will be boys’ attitude on my part nor a dismissive attitude to the complaints. I realize that a criminal element exists and such criminal tendencies are on the increase. What shocked me was the sheer callousness with which ‘normal’ people could treat women.

The one incident that stuck in my mind was that of a woman on whose innerwear a neighboring boy had written lewd comments when it was hung out for drying. She complained to her landlord and the boy was taken to task. The aftermath was shocking. The landlord, apparently, evicted the woman in the middle of the night. That inexplicable callousness shocked me to the core. What was it in Society that made it possible for people to even consider such behavior? Whatever other impression had been created about the woman in the landlord’s mind later what could justify such cruelty?

Society is changing and the position of women in Society is changing. The increasing presence of women in the corporate world and their increasing assertiveness tends to challenge the existing power structures and, in some men, evokes the desire to convert their own feeling of impotence into sexual aggression as a means of asserting their ‘superiority’. Stereotypes about the character of a woman based on how she dresses and comports herself appear to give these men license – the ‘she was asking for it’ defense. Add to the mix the increasing influx of rural people to cities in search of employment with their prejudices about ‘good women’, the increase in of woman-targeted criminal activity is explainable.

It can be explained but it certainly cannot be condoned. But, if the so-called ‘law-abiding’ members of the Society will feel comfortable about acting in the manner that the landlord behaved with the concerned woman, it is time for serious introspection. It has become common for the ‘common man’ to refuse to intervene in cases of molestation or even in blatant cases of rape. This inclination to stay away from involvement is bad enough but to also become active participants in harassing women is certainly the sort of change that needs condemning in vigorous terms.

In times of Social change, the management of the attitudes of Society ought to be done by the leaders. Given that Society is moving towards more equality to women, outmoded ideas about their role in Society as well as ridiculous attempts to categorize them based on how they dress need to be changed. Unfortunately, we have a lot of leaders who are themselves incapable of changing. Even the well-meaning ones have this incorrigible habit of putting their feet into their mouths with great frequency.

I mean, if there is a major robbery at, say, Anil Ambani’s house, is that the time for a leader to mouth off about amassing of wealth? You may have your attitudes about wealth but to say that at that time is to condone the robbery. When you realize that you can't blame the guy whose pocket was picked for tempting the pickpocket by carrying money why does it seem so easy to blame a woman for tempting a man into molestation? At least from ‘leaders’ I expect that they need to keep their personal opinions aside when it comes to condemning crime – instead of giving the appearance of lending social sanction to the crime.

Changes in attitudes are difficult and take a long time in coming. That is not to say that attempts to do so need to be abandoned. The point, however, is that changes in behavior can be enforced and government needs to put in place the systems and procedures whereby, no matter how inclined a man is to molest a woman in a bus, say, he is constrained from doing so. The problem is that government sees it as only a problem of making laws – when the real problem is in the enforcement.

There is a serious disconnect between the law enforcement agencies and the ordinary citizen. All the women in the TOI meet seemed reluctant to take their cases to the police or, indeed, believe that any action would result. The government cannot merely put up its hands and say that if they will not approach the police, it is their problem. Managing perceptions is as much the job of government as any politician ought to know.

Attitudinal changes are necessary and should be pursued. Given the short attention span of the public, I think that any specific action plan should target the putting in place of some system whereby there is more assurance that improper behavior will be punished. If that can be done by a dedicated help-line of the Police department for women and prompt action on their complaints - coupled maybe with an NGO which works specifically as an interface and a watchdog – then pushing for that now would be useful. If the deterrent can be in place, then we shall have the leisure for changing attitudes without paying a high cost for the delay in doing so.

The developed countries do not have lesser people with criminal tendencies than we do. It is just that the law can be invoked by the victim without fear and the criminal faces punishment with more certainty than obtains here. Let us, at least, move forward on being developed in this one area for a start before aiming to become a super-power.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A typical(?) Group Discussion

“Ladies and Gentlemen! As you are aware, we are starting a new company for pet foods. We are here to discuss the products that we need to make and the markets we need to sell to.”

There was a rustle of movement. People crunching on their biscuits had to hastily swallow their mouthfuls in order to avoid making unseemly noises.

“Rahul! If you were the CEO of this company, what would you prefer to start out with – cat-foods or dog-foods?”

Rahul sank into a deep reverie.


“Sir! I am happy in my current department. I do not want to be shifted to this new company even as CEO”

“That’s not the point…”

“Sir! I think, maybe, Vandana would be the best for the position”, chirped in another voice.

“Do not keep promoting your protégés, Sid! Vandana has no experience in setting up a new project. Sulekha, on the other hand…”

A cacophony of voices erupted with some supporting previously proposed candidates and others proposing new ones. This went on for some time with the Chairman (of the group discussion) unsuccessfully trying to bring about some control.

There was a tearing noise at the head of the table. A great deal of hair was falling at the Chairman’s feet and there even seemed to be a minor bleed on his scalp.

“I think you people are missing the point here”

The Chairman turned eagerly towards the man who was trying to save the day.

“We are discussing pet foods. So, what we should be asking ourselves is – should people have pets at all”

There was a suspicion of tears in the Chairman’s eyes. It may be unmanly to weep but, God, there were times when it could be such a solace.

“Why? I mean, there is no point in cats, I agree. But dogs? A dog is a man’s best friend”. The speaker’s face had the smug look of a man who had turned an original neat phrase.

“What do you mean – no point in cats? Cats kill mice.” That gem of a zoological discovery deserved a Nobel Prize if one were on offer for Biology – or so the speaker thought obviously.

“Cool, guys! To each his own! I think we should allow people to have whatever pets they want to keep”

A detailed discussion ensued about what pets may be allowed for people and what pets ought not to be permitted. There was unanimous agreement – after a long discussion of the pros and cons - only on the inadvisability of keeping the larger carnivores for pets.

For a dizzy moment the Chairman felt he was in Parliament discussing a Bill on whether people ought to be allowed to keep pets. He shook his head and reminded himself of where he was. What he could still not do was to bring the meeting down to discussing what needed discussing.

There was a very provident interruption.

“Lunch is served.”

Absolute unanimity prevailed with everyone making a beeline for the lunch counter.

The Chairman turned to the Secretary.

“Make some cogent minutes of the meeting for this”

As the Secretary bent to his laptop to type in the minutes, he could hear the discussion that went on.

“I think that these restaurants are overcharging us. We need to look into the bills”

“Sir! We need to ask ourselves whether we should order food from outside at all or have a canteen of our own”

“Take that up later and concentrate on what is happening today.”

“Sir! In that case we should concentrate on whether today’s bill is correct, whether this particular restaurant is overcharging us and, if so, by how much. There is no point in talking about all restaurants and all bills now”

There was a retching noise, which sounded suspiciously like the Chariman’s throat.

The Secretary smiled faintly and started typing.

It was concluded unanimously that a consultant should be appointed to identify the products to be made by the proposed pet food company…..

If you liked this you may like to check out the index of other posts of this genre or read a selection of similar posts.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Riding Hobbyhorses

I have always wondered why this equestrian metaphor has been applied to someone who waxes eloquent on his pet subject, regardless of whether it is apt in the circumstances. It has pleased me no end, nonetheless, to have this so applied since I am a past master at this and the metaphor sort of makes me feel that I have added horse-riding to my immense repertoire of skills. There is one hitch, however. It is impossible for someone to appear elegant while riding his hobbyhorse.

Even the geniuses can make a hash of their reputation when they mount their hobbyhorses. Take Stephen Hawking. In his days when he developed irreligiousness and lost his then wife as a consequence (No! No! I do not say he did the one to achieve the other) he had written a book on the Universe in which he says that the age of the universe has been conclusively determined and, thus, “Even though Science has not disproved the theory of God creating the Universe, it sets a limit on when he could have done it” or something to that effect. What he meant was that based on the ideas of the evolution of the Universe and the current state of the Universe one could back-work when the Big Bang that started off the Universe could have happened.

He does say “…when he could have done it…” as if to mean that God had no choice but to create the Big Bang on time! Now that sort of egregious error of logic could never have been committed by a super-genius like Hawking but for the fact that he was concentrating on riding his hobbyhorse at that time. To explain – if it takes me one hour to reach your home from my home and I reach your home at 1 PM you know that I did start from my home at 12. But to assume that someone or something had held a gun to my head and said “You have to start at 12 – one minute earlier or one minute later and you are dead” is a huge stretch of logic. I did start from my house at 12 but I could have started at any time.

In that, riding hobbyhorses is like equestrianism. You probably are concentrating too much on the pain in your butt that your mind goes numb. Before someone starts flogging his hobbyhorse let me hasten to add that the Hawking example was not meant to conclusively prove the existence or omnipotence of God. I am only trying to say how you can be driven astray by your hobbyhorse.

Now where do I get off sounding like some logic professor? We all ride our hobbyhorses at times and, invariably, look stupid when we do so. There are people, however, who suffer more because they do not know when and where to ride them. Like the chap, whose hobbyhorse is the divorce laws, mounting up on it when he is congratulating the bride and bridegroom; like the chap, whose hobbyhorse is his irregular bowel movements, trotting it out at the dining table – people like that.

I draw your attention to this simulated conversation below

A.R. Rahman (proudly): I got an Oscar for my music in Slumdog Millionaire

Well-Wisher : It is more than sixty years since we got independence and we are still running after foreign awards.

After that, our well-wisher is astonished, hurt and wails, “Nobody understands me” when he understands that Rahman is less than impressed with his doughty patriotism. That is what comes of riding hobbyhorses – you really do not understand that there is a time and place for riding horses. It can end up with the horse choosing to evacuate itself in the middle of your living room and you finding yourself knee-deep in horse-shit. There is no real point in weeping copious tears about the world not understanding you. You will have to deal with the shit yourself.

All of us have met those people who we consider as bores (Of course not me! You are saying that only to hurt me). They buttonhole you and flood your ears with their pet ideas till you decide to sacrifice the button and get away. I plead for more understanding for these people. After all, all of us do ride our hobbyhorses at times. It is only that these people have got on the nag and, then, forgot to dismount. Some may even be unable to dismount – sort of more like hobby-tigers if you know what I mean.

Now, just to prove that I can dismount, I leave you here to ponder on all this wonderful philosophy!

If you liked this you may like to check out the index of other posts of this genre or read a selection of similar posts.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Guest Post for Rachna Parmar - In defense of Men

Any more of this and I shall start believing that I am an immensely popular blogger myself. Again I have the privilege of writing for another truly immensely popular blogger - Rachna Parmar. Like all the others who have hitherto carried my guest posts, she has so many nice things to say about me that I am having difficulty recognizing myself in the description.

For her, I thought I would do a bit of defending of the male sex after all the bashing and battering they went through on International Women's day. How effective my defense was you can check out in the link below

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Middle Age Blues

I had never really understood this concept of middle age blues till, of course, I hit middle age myself. Isn’t that true of all of us that only the problems that can afflict us are worth considering while problems that may or may not afflict other people may as well not exist?

Now if you are all agog to hear about hypertension and cholesterol, please skip over to another blog. If you are eagerly scanning this piece for nuggets of wisdom about how to deal with rebellious teenagers, I am afraid you are digging in the wrong mine. Nor, indeed, am I about to satisfy the thirst for knowledge about how to attain Nirvana. For all such trivial problems you can approach a doctor or a psychologist or the nearest guru – for none of them can be granted the exalted status of Middle Age Blues.

Put simply, Middle Age Blues refers to that state of angst where the middle aged man feels the purposelessness of his life. (I shall not debate that stupid idea that it refers to the quest for a problem where no real problem exists!). The young always have a purpose even if it is only to get the autograph of the latest starlet to shed her clothes on the Silver screen (or the latest hunk to do the same, lest I be accused of sexism). The old know the purposelessness of purpose – since there is no purpose to be achieved by their having a purpose, given the shortness of their remaining stay on Earth. So, this is something that peculiarly afflicts the middle-aged.

I classify people with Middle Age Blues in three categories. I make no pretense of having made a comprehensive classification of all middle-aged people who are so afflicted and, most certainly, this classification does not encapsulate all middle-aged people.

The first category – call it MAB1 – comprises of those who had worked towards a goal and achieved it. Now, they suddenly find that they are unable to think of another achievable goal to work towards for the rest of their ‘productive’ lives and find themselves moving around aimlessly. To illustrate, assume someone had set himself the goal of becoming the Chief Rat-catcher in his town. Let us say, he does become the Chief Rat-catcher in the town by age 45. Now he sees an endless vista of life chasing the rats and rat catches of his town; no viable possibility of hitting Chief Rat-catcher for the State within his working life – so feels blue. In short Middle Age Blue 1!

The second category – MAB2 – comprises of those who have been working towards a goal and find themselves so far short of it at middle age that they have no conceivable way of reaching it by the time they come to the end of their ‘productive’ lives. Consider another person, who has also yearned with every fiber of his being to become Chief Rat-catcher of his town, and has only managed to hit Assistant Apprentice Rat-catcher by 45. The exalted station of Chief Rat-catcher is so far ahead of him that he cannot conceivably aspire to reach those wondrous heights before he is chucked out of the work-force and, thus, feels blue. In short Middle Age Blue 2!

The last category – MAB3 – comprises of those who have been working towards a goal and, regardless of how close they are to the goal, they suddenly discover that they actually liked a different goal after all and working towards this goal was a colossal waste of time that had denied them the opportunity to try to achieve their real goal. Like a person who wanted to become Chief Rat-catcher; is currently Additional Chief Rat-catcher; and discovers that he really does not want to spend lives chasing rats but wants to chase butterflies instead but it is too late to become competent at it. This type of Blueness is MAB3 (maybe MAB3A since a person who has been floating with the tide without a goal may suddenly be afflicted with that goal achieving disease and become blue thereby falling in MAB3B).

If you start citing old people who are afflicted by one of these or young people afflicted by one of these, the problem is not with the analysis but with their mental age. As for the middle-aged who are not afflicted by any of these, it must be because they have used all their thinking faculties on those silly problems I mentioned at the beginning; or because they stick to their goals and achieve them only close to the end or because they find a new goal that seems achievable to them or because they have learned to enjoy floating with the tide.

You cannot give any dissertation of this nature without someone poking his nose into where you belong in the above categories. Actually, in none! There is one last category – people who float with the tide and continue to float with the tide happily since no-one told them that Life should have a purpose!

If you liked this you may like to check out the index of other posts of this genre or read a selection of similar posts.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Truth is stranger than Fiction

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 37; the thirty-seventh edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "Truth is stranger than fiction"
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All right! Let us get this dissertation on ‘Truth is stranger than Fiction’ off the ground. Do we, in true dissertation style start the discussion by defining Truth and Fiction? I do not think that it will get us anywhere beyond a discussion of the definitions for the next 1000 pages or so – we may end up digressing into ‘absolute truth’ and ‘perceived truth’; may wander over to Mayavada and get lost in illusions and may even end up pinching ourselves to ensure that we are real. So, let us assume those words to mean whatever they mean in the context in which they are used and get on with the dissertation.
When it comes to Fiction, however, one does face a problem. Do we take Fiction to include fantasy? If so, we may have insuperable problems in proving that ‘Truth is stranger than Fiction’. I mean, we may think of our CEO as Sauron and the top management as the Nazgul but do we really think the CEO has ‘One ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them’? Do we really think that the CFO can be killed only by a woman employee and the Chotu who gets us our tea? Fantasy, I am afraid, we shall have to leave out of this learned discourse.
There used to be a time when one started citing personal experience or individual incidents to prove a point the academics frowned on it and said scathing learned things like, “You are missing the wood for the trees” and the like. That was merely because the term ‘anecdotal evidence’ had not been invented then. Now, thanks to this wonder term, one can prove anything to be true by citing an individual instance that supports it. In the spirit of the times, I shall present some anecdotal evidence to prove that ‘Truth is stranger than Fiction’.
In childhood, one perceived textbooks as repositories of truth. You may doubt it and, in particular, choose to rail at history at least as being more fiction than fact. It is nevertheless true that fiction of the fairytale variety must necessarily have been less true than the texts. In childhood, thanks to the quaint ideas of my parents, I was expected to be spending a good portion of my time reading text-books. I must have amazed them with the dutifulness of my adherence to this irrational injunction, thanks to the fact that I had discovered that the Grimm’s fairy tales fitted in very nicely within the boundaries of an open textbook. So, Truth – as in the textbooks - was more a stranger to me than Fiction in my childhood days.
There are more anecdotes from childhood. Schools have this unnatural habit of holding monthly tests and, in my time, ranking kids on their performance. Thus, every month, I was in for something like six beatings - one each for my performance in each test and one when the monthly progress report came in. I may not have been the brightest star in the firmament but a native shrewdness was – shall we say – beaten into me. It is thus that I bravely lied about not receiving the corrected test notes till such time the progress report arrived. After all, what is the point in getting whacked up six times when some creative adjustments of the truth could cut it down to one? So, in yet another way the Truth was more a stranger to me than Fiction.
What did you say? Truth being a stranger to me is not the same as Truth being stranger than Fiction. You nit-picking people are the reason why no research ever gets off the ground. Oh! All right! All right! If that is what you insist upon.
Let me then tell you of the Suresh-Ramesh anecdote in my life. Well, actually, had it been Ramesh it would have been even better but, though I did have a Ramesh or two at school in Neyveli, it happened to be a Ravi. It was six years since we last met in school and I was at IIM-Bangalore in those days. One day I was happily walking down MG Road when who should pop out of an ice-cream shop but Ravi from my school? We went through the obligatory Suresh-Ramesh, sorry, Suresh-Ravi routine and caught up on what had transpired in our lives.
That was that. No e-mail, no FB, no Linked-in in those days and we lost touch with each other almost from the moment we parted that day. Three years later I was working in Delhi and rooming with an NTPC employee (Now this was a Ramesh but that does not count, does it?). One day the two of us were walking out for dinner and he pointed at a house and said that was the residence of a mutual acquaintance. I turned to see Ravi standing near the boundary wall. Yes, the same Ravi of my school and the Bangalore Suresh-Ravi episode. Our mutual acquaintance was his sister’s husband.
Now tell me if I had written a novel called “Two States” hinging on two such accidental meetings – suitably changing Ravi to Ravina, of course, since one cannot do without the Romantic angle – do you think that the reading populace would have taken me to their bosoms like another Chetan Bhagat or would they have uttered snide comments like “What? Is this some believe-in-10-impossible-things-before-breakfast business?” Truth is stranger than fiction, Q.E.D.
WHAT? You oppose my conclusions? You say that if three brothers separated and in widely different locations can congregate in one hotel and unite by singing ‘Yaadon ki baarat nikli hai yaar…”, Fiction has proven stranger than truth? If a rupee note signed by the hero and heroine and transacted in Chennai can traverse the country and end up in the heroine’s hands in Kolkatta, Fiction has proven stranger than truth? That you have even seen a movie where the lead pair separates and then find themselves meeting each other in a country not even on the map and, so, how can Truth be considered stranger than fiction?
Oh! All right! I will amend the conclusion. Truth is stranger than non-Indian Fiction. There, now, are you satisfied?
If you liked this you may like to check out the index of other posts of this genre or read a selection of similar posts.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: The Fool, Participation Count: 10
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Friday, March 1, 2013


Who has not heard of that cliché “The first impression is the best impression”? Not that it has ever been the best impression of me for anyone but it is true that most people who have formed an impression of me at some point in time view me always from that perspective through the rest of their lives. I presume it is true for most people.
I have always striven to give the impression of being inept – well, not that it required any great striving since it is, by and large, true of me. My aversion to work is also a byword among family and friends. It is a great help comes the time when something needs doing and people look for someone to do it. Their eyes sort of slide over me as though I were invisible thereby saving me the chore of ungraciously refusing to do whatever they would have asked me to do.
There is an added advantage. Have you ever seen one of those unfortunate souls who always leap to help people out? If, perchance, one time they fail to do it that is the instance that gets most talked about. “You know, you people always say Vinit is so helpful. It is all drama. That day I wanted him to get me some milk and he refused giving some frivolous excuse about having to go to the hospital to see a friend.” And things like that!
On the other hand, if one time I do something to help someone you can guess how it goes. “You guys have nothing better than to spread bad rumors about people. Suresh is so helpful – he got me a glass of water the moment I entered his house – and you keep saying he is too lazy to do anything.”
It is this habit of reporting only the exceptions that establishes reputations. If you were only to hear party gossip you would get an entirely erroneous impression of a modest and helpful Suresh being calumniated by vicious people while a sly Vinit has managed to hoodwink people into thinking that he was a helpful chap.
Not that it has always been a bed of roses for me. The one day when my office managed to corner me into working for nearly sixteen hours and I came home staggering with exhaustion did I receive any sympathy from my mother and sister? Not that I could notice!
“So, who were you drinking with till this time of the night? Are you not ashamed of coming home staggering like a homeless drunk?”
That was the day I realized that Life is unfair!
If you liked this you may like to check out the index of other posts of this genre or read a selection of similar posts.