Thursday 31 March 2011

Selective sharing of information

It so happens that I cannot discuss everything with everyone. I don't know why but I have this peculiar trait in me. Perhaps it is not quite peculiar as I think it is. I have few close friends but that does not mean that everyone knows everything about me. I choose to be selective. Now, why do I do this? I cannot fathom why. It is not about trust or any such thing. I am made like that, I think.Now this trait is not limited to friends alone. I choose to be like this in any relationship. I safeguard some bits and pieces about myself within me. There is this feeling that I should have something which should be savoured by me. Only me.

But there are some downsides to this trait. Many a times, people feel that I am not quite open with them which in turn leads to issues of trust. It is difficult to tell people that I want certain things to be in my private chest and not open to scrutiny by any one. Usually people say that love is something where there is nothing hidden from the other person. Somehow, I can't buy that. Inspite of keeping my wee stories with me, I can love endlessly. Is love only measured by transparency? No.

Well, I am sure every individual has certain things that form a vital part of their personality, which are meant to be only within them and not shared with anyone, however close. I could never be one who divulges every single detail from potty habits to bedroom antics. I choose what to say and what to treasure within me. The non-sharing comes from the fact that if I let it go, it will be not be something that is exclusively mine.

We all possess some traits as these and that is what makes us who we are. So, dear reader, what is your take on this topic?

Image: Internet

Monday 28 March 2011

Unawares and stealthy: Thy name is change.

Change is quite a strange creature. It attacks you but is careful enough not to let you know. No matter how much you try to understand yourself in terms of change, you realise that all that is only theory, which exists in the crevices of your mind. Sitting smug, you imagine that you know everything about change and how it is the only constant feature in life. Just the other day, I received a mail from an old friend. The person had replied to my mail after four long years! The mail also had the mail I had written. I was quite surprised to find that I had written something like that. Well, I had changed from what I was then but the realisation was like a chuckle which escapes unconsciously.

Take another instance like trying to wake up every morning for a walk. Everyday, I say to myself that I will get up the next day for a walk but the day breaks but I don't get up for a walk. Now what is so special about that, you wonder. Well, two years ago, I could get up without any effort and bang, go for a walk but now, it is no longer possible. I have become soft in my resolute. But just because I could do that two years ago, I think that even now I can effortlessly do it. Change has crept in. I pretend to be unaware. Laziness has taken hold of me. It is change, nevertheless.

I have seen that change is defined in many ways by different people: physical, mental, intellectual. Now, which one has more importance, I cannot say. But the saddest part is when does not know that she/he has changed. I felt quite sad for myself when I realised that I had changed from a person who was quite active to a person who is gradually becoming a bit slow. I know that this is something which can be changed but then, I don't worry about it as I still cheat myself into believing that "Well, so what . . ."

Sometimes, my ability to rant gets the better of me. Let me stop. How do you see change slowly spread its wings within your heart, mind and body? Do you see when it's coming or do you wonder whether it has really come?

Image: Internet

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Role models/Mentors/Godfathers: Do all humans need them?

It is not very uncommon to hear someone saying: He/She is my role model and has always influenced me. When I heard those words, I was just quiet, wondering whether everyone ought to have someone like that in their lives. Many people influence and inspire us but can we find all glowing qualities in a sigle individual?

People fail us. Not everyone is perfect. Well, every human has his/her own feet of clay. Now, I don't mean to say that perfection is what I am looking for. I just want to be amazed at the intrinsic characteristics of every individual I meet. Spiritual leaders are an inspiration for many but what their image stands for and what they are, is something most people don't realise.

When I was a child, I always held my mother to be my role model. Well, everyone said that they had someone as their model and I didn't have any, so I said that my mother was my role model. Today, that makes me smile. I love my mother and can relate to the many problems she faced but I just cannot see her as a role model and keep her apart. She is very much a part of me. She is real, tangible and human. Role models don't make mistakes, so say the people. But my mother is human and humane, prone to mistakes. Well, I am not talking of my mother here, so let me carry on.

There have been many who have stood for various things in my life. While I can admire one quality from x and another from k, I cannot think of anyone who is flawless and most perfect. Everyone can become a model for me at some point in my life. I seem to have a peculiar weekness for the common man/woman as my role model instead of celebrated people like Gandhi, Einstein and their ilk. They seem quite far away and stand for something that is distant. Well, sometimes I can relate to those streaks of greatness in them during my 'other' moods.

Well, do you have a role model who has never let you down? Do you look up to someone when you think you are facing something that seems quite endless? What is your take on this subject?

Image: Internet

Saturday 19 March 2011

Great moments come quietly

Well, this post is the aftermath of a long awaited event. For four years, I had been working on my dissertation and finally on Thursay, I submitted it. It was a calm feeling. Numb. Still. Calm. Neither was I ecstatic nor jumping. I, of course, updated my status on Facebook. But it was more like an intimation to people that I had finally handed it in. There were many who wished me well and stood by me through the gruelling process of writing my thesis. Instead of writing to every single person, I let them know that I had handed it in.

The path wasn't an easy one. Many times in the process of writing, I thought of quitting but there were many who egged me on and gave me the strength to hold on. I had even written an angst-ridden post, "Anxieties of a research scholar," exactly a year ago.

This post reflects how great things don't always come with a bang or create butterflies all around. It arrives and leaves. This post is also a rendering of thanks to all the dear ones who were constantly encouraging, inquiring and wishing me positive energy. You mean a lot to me.

Life goes on . . .

Are your big moments also quiet and still? I know it is not always.

Image: Internet

Wednesday 16 March 2011

The like/love debate

For a long time now, I have heard different people of varied age groups utter: 'I love him but I don't like him' or 'Loving is easier than liking.' Well, I do understand the semantic difference between these two words but what puzzles me is the line: 'I love her but liking her is not quite my forte.' I had always assumed that the next step in liking has to be loving.

Coming to the usage, many times people associate inanimate objects with 'love.' For example, one says, 'I looove cheese' or 'I looove butterflies.' But can one actually attribute love with cheese and butterflies. Isn't 'like' the word to be used? While in personal relationships, one graduates from 'like' to 'love,' how can it be that one can 'love' somebody without liking him/her?

In that way, I'm glad that Facebook chose the word "like" instead of 'love' to show appreciation for a comment or picture. Well, this must be one of the few things that is worth praising in Facebook. Coming back to the like/love debate, I guess for many it doesn't matter whether it is 'like' or 'love.' As long as it suits the hearer, it is fine, is the attitude. But for certain contexts, using the appropriate word is quite commendable. Take for example this sentence: 'Joe, I love your wife, she is a fun person.' If a woman utters this, then Joe will be happy but if a man utters this, Joe will definitely squirm, unless he is one happy and jolly person (not many are so). So, I guess language has to be properly used.

Inspite of meandering through the terrains of 'love and 'like,' I still cannot comprehend how someone can love an individual without liking him/her. Care to explain?

I wish you happiness and love, always :)

Image: Internet

Monday 14 March 2011

Flirting with intelligence or Intelligent flirting?

I have always believed that flirting is an art which can be mastered only by a few. Though there are many kinds of flirting, one that I subscribe to is the flirting of the intellect which invariably connects to the individual. Talking about music, art, literature and culture is something that I immensely savour and enjoy. Flirting, which involves the above mentioned factors has always attracted and fascinated me. While attraction which involves other means like excessive flattery and unnecessary gibberish which passes off as subtle tools of flirting, flirting of the mind is something which involves intelligent conversation sprinkled with a liberal dosage of names such as Kant, Aristotle, Bach, Monet, Gogh, Shakespeare and the like.

Now don't get me wrong and think that name dropping is intelligent flirting. No. One has to truly know atleast something about the personalities who make up the creme de la creme of intelligentsia. This kind of flirting, I must say, is the playground of only a certain section. Now, I am not berating flirting of other forms. I can only talk about something which I like and believe in.

Flirting via the mind is quite beneficial to both parties. One gains knowledge,has stimulating conversation and of course impresses the equally integellient listener. I guess this kind of flirting comes with age and experience. But one must be wary of imposters who pretend to make intelligent conversations but are actually hollow on the inside.

Sometimes many of us do flirt even without knowing that we do. Maybe intelligent flirting is so.

All said and done, I conclude by saying that flirting (of the intellect), to me, is an art which cannot be mastered by many.

Well, life goes on. What say ye?

Image: Internet

Monday 7 March 2011

The boredom syndrome

"I'm bugged with work."

"Facebook is boring"

"T. V. is boring"

"Studying is boring."

"Bathing is boring."

"The day was boring."

My mother always says, "These days everyone is bored with something or the other. I was/am never bored. There was always something to do or think. But these days, though people complain that there is no sufficient time, they still get bored. Quite strange."

The lines uttered by my mother made me think and observe my vocabulary closely. Sometimes even when there is enough work to do, I randomly proclaim: "I am bored." This line is not uttered by me alone but many others who just say "I am bored." While I have never heard such utterances from my grandfather, uncles, aunts and mother, it is quite common to hear them from people in the present day world.

Why do people get bored? Are they genuinely bored or are they just exclaiming the words? While I tend to utter it for situations like valuing examination papers and the like, some choose to add the word 'boring' to almost every single act. Sometimes even life gets boring for people. Now, if life gets boring, what is the best solution? Change life or better still, die? Well, even that has a solution, according to self-help books.

I think the word 'boring' has replaced many other expressions. Being tired, overworked and the like is replaced by the boring syndrome. What has caused this change, I wonder? Is it the worthlessness of today's lifestyle or the plenitude that has caused saturation?

Well, for some blogging has become boring and so has reading posts.

What do you have to say about this sudden shift where everything has become boring?

Image: Internet

Saturday 5 March 2011

"Meet my dad, he's my best friend"

The parent-child relationship can take different hues and turns. But one thing which baffles me is the proclamation of the child saying, "My father/mother is  my best friend." I am never able to get over the fact that parents can be friends of their children. Well, I can understand that the relationship between parent and child can be great and quite affable but friendship is something I cannot reckon with. Well, how can a parent be a friend? Impossible. 

If parents become their children's friends, I can foresee many problems there. Parents, to keep up with the child's lifestyle resort to acting like the child in terms of clothes, language, among other things. I would like my parent to be different from what I am, in terms of language, style and disposition. If my father or mother speaks the language that I speak, using the same slang and other things, it may seem cool but then where is the line that separates us? Generation gap is but natural in a relationship that is apart by ages. I guess that is healthy. The parent can speak of a time that is hitherto unknown to the child.

Every relationship has a specific role to play and though there can be occasional slipping in roles, there cannot be a role-reversal. I would like my parents to be friendly but not my friend. I have read and heard of many parents who want their children to share everything with them. It is quite healthy on some levels but there are some things that cannot be shared. On the other hand, if a parent claims to be a friend, then the parent has to invariably think and share the child's problem as a friend. While some parents find it easy to be a friend when it comes to using language and style, in the areas of problems, the parent has to precariously tread between roles.

After having said all this, I should add an disclaimer that these are my observations and perceptions. I am not yet a parent and so my observations are only hypothetical. But I do think that when I become a parent, I will be a friendly parent to my kid and not a friend. If I become a friend, my child would get a tad confused.

Well, parents and others, sound me on this trend.

Image: Internet

Thursday 3 March 2011

Under the radar at all times

Being a teacher is lovely. No doubts. But being a teacher entails responsibility. Now I would like to see responsibility in two ways. One, where the individual is by default responsible and two, where the individual has to be consciously reponsible. But then one cannot always be categorised strictly into either one of the categories as there are moments and times when an individual slips between categories. Isn't everything in life like that? Well, that is why this post is so titled.

Every word and deed of a teacher become quote-worthy material. This post can also be seen as an extension of an earlier one titled, The perils of being a teacher of English. Sometimes I have to be quite wary of my words and examples as I am aware that I am being watched intently. The ability to switch from one role to another comes quite easily to a woman (Statistics say so, it's not me) but occasionally it does become a tad tedious. When among friends, I let lose my guard but then I suddenly realise that my students are around. Changing from a teacher to a friend and again a teacher requires immense acumen. I'm sure you will agree with me. Even the role of parents are quite similar. But parents have only one or two kids in comparison to the teacher who has to be aware of her/himself when in the presence of many kids.

My language, both verbal and non-verbal and style, when with students becomes different when in a formal classroom. Though I don't think of myself as a conventional teacher, there are times when one has to be taken seriously. As I write this post, I wonder what my students will think of this piece of writing? Are they aware that their teacher is not a teacher alone. Some eager students (whose enthusiasm for the subject is absolutely admirable) accost you while taking a break and suddenly the bliss of reverie stops mid-way and reality (as a teacher) cloaks one's personality.

It's wonderful to know that students admire and look upto you. On many a gloomy day, my visage is brightened as I enter into a class full of eager (and not so eager) faces. But in spite of all that, I feel that I am under a radar at all times.

Professional hazards, anyone? Some hazards are just an outcome of excessive thinking and analysing.

A companion piece to this post: Corinne Rodrigues' Do You Follow The 'Rules'?

Image: Internet

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Too much of a slave to imagination

People say that students of literature and the like are given to too much to imagination and fantasies. Well, I won't deny that but at the same time I would also say that it is a sweeping generalisation. One such imagination for me is when I undertake travelling of any kind. Whenever I board a bus/train or flight, I always imagine that I will meet interesting people and have conversations which would stimulate and excite me. Well . . . I guess I imagine and fantasise a bit too much.

Last night, I travelled by train. The passengers who were with me did not even smile at me. I was bit hesitant to make conversation as I thought that all of them did not want to be disturbed. And to top it all, all of them have their mobile phones and laptops to keep them company.

This morning, as I was waiting to get off the train, the man who was with me in the same compartment started talking to me. And we found out that he had gone to the same College as me and also belonged to the same department. Bang, we started . . . but alas! we had very less time. His words still ring clear: "Gosh, I should have spoken to you last night. These days people don't want to be disturbed and so I didn't talk to you." I wish he had spoken. How often we assume so many things but the assumption is not without a grain of truth. People do not want to be disturbed. Gone are the days when travel meant sharing stories, food, addresses and other things. I know of some people who have fallen in love while travelling in trains. These days everyone is in their own world either fidgeting with their mobiles or tapping away in their palm/laptops.

Coming to imagination, as I mentioned earlier, I used to be excited to travel as it involved meeting new people but I guess I should curb that imagination and be practical. But a sliver of hope still runs within me. I shall not give up. Some of my flight journeys also have been quite boring as the fellow passengers don't much talk. They don't even smile. Well, I sometimes think that I have to take off my rose-tinted glasses when it comes to travelling but I will not do it anytime soon.

Travel tales, anyone. What kind of a passenger are you? Do you like to talk or do you prefer being cocooned in your make belief world ignoring the other passengers?

Image: Internet


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