Alone but not lonely - do you know the difference?
I’ve noticed I need positive people around me. I do much better when I am not beating myself up over money being made, weight being gained or lost, or general futility of life. I sense of lightning of spirit when I leave the company of some people. People who will always point out mistakes, obstacles and faults. People who always see the bad, the unhappy, the shortcomings, the less, the not haves… We aren’t perfect and there is no requirement that we should demand it always, around us too, is there?
I need someone who encourages me to do my best, believe in myself, encourages me not berate myself, not belittle myself, not constantly compare but do my best and help others do their best.
I read a post on selfishness today morning and realised we really attach a lot of stigma to thinking of ourselves and ours before anything else. I know if I become a person who helps bring out the best in others, it will be very liberating and, in a way, my way of helping others get where I am. Letting people trample over me in the effort to be selfless is not really cutting it for me.
I didn’t think I was a positive person but I have to come realise, it is a precious balance. The slow steps you take towards your goals and the glimmer of achieving them can be easily destroyed by a careless comment, by an insensitive soul, who thinks their unheeded advice is what you need. Sometimes you are required to just let things be. Why is that so hard?
The bigger question is how do I tell the people who pull me down, that they can’t be a part of my active life? Or how do I become strong to carry them forward?
What happens when there are two sides to an argument…you agree with one side.. but prefer the person making the other side of argument? How do you make up your mind? Especially if it is a subject you don’t read much about…
This essay has me in a quandary but I am the first to admit I don’t know enough about “regional writing” to comment on it. But, to me, English is an intrinsic choice, one that I make without a thought to the power it supposedly awards me or success it ensures. So do not relate to the point that nuanced writing in English is a deliberate attempt at enhancing Indianness. On the other hand, I intensely dislike writers who wrap India on a platter and serve to the West. Jhumpa Lahiri and many similar writers come to mind.
On the other hand, I am huge fan of Chandra and of his writing too. But now am feeling a wee bit forced like I have to like his opinions too (not neccesary I know). So I can’t make up my mind about which side of the issue I feel strongly for.
That apart, the essay is very well written.
I can feel her give up control now that I am back but my mind is yet not back. I am not willing to be domesticated again and am looking for ways to run away again.
But she, who perhaps bore the brunt for a month that I was away, is ready to let go.
No peace in sight.
Today morning, on my way to work, I saw a man venting his rage on a autorickshaw driver. The auto had perhaps scratched the car and he had stalled traffic to abandon his car and thrash the driver. As my auto crawled past his, I saw the car owner punching the auto driver. But the auto driver was repeatedly apologising, even had his hands joined together, as if saying sorry. But the man kept punching him.
I wondered at that point what does one do with rage when the person in front of you accepts his fault and apologises?
I have been on both sides of a similar situtation and in both times I didn’t feel any better. The first time, I was in my car, stationary, and waiting on the side of the road to park. As I turned into my parking slot, I felt a huge bang and didn’t know what happened. People came running and picked up a guy next to my car. I then realised a biker had hit me. He caused a huge dent in my then relatively new car and I was super angry. I got out to give a verbal lashing. I was righteous because I knew I was not wrong (that assumption in retrospect could have been wrong).
But as I got out, I saw his arm bleeding, his bike twisted and he saying ‘Sorry madam, mujhe maloom hai meri galti hain‘. I was stumped and didn’t know where to put all that anger inside me. I just stalked off.
The second time around it was me as the pedestrian. Walking, I have realised, is actually a life-threatening task in Mumbai because more than anything you will die just trying to outshout the horns. One particular bad evening, after having fought with bikers who were climbing onto pavements and then honking for pedestrians to get out of the way, and then fighting with traffic cops, I reached the shop I was heading towards.
Just as I got there, one biker was trying to make his way by honking relentlessly. As in, not-lifting-his-finger-off-the-horn-relentless. With my temper on a tether, I turned around and yelled, ‘Stop honking a$%^&*e‘. And just as my luck would have it, he stopped just in front of my nose and I stopped yelling. He, of course, got worked up and asked me what business did I have abusing random strangers. He immediately went on the offensive and despite my saying sorry, drove off mumbling ‘You frustrated c*^t’.
Then too, with mingled anger and frustration and even some degree of apathy, I stood there wondering what do I with them feelings now?
I felt bad for the rickshawdriver today, though knowing fully well that the chances of his being at fault were high. What is the point of attacking or shouting or giving any radical reaction, if the person apologises?