To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Finding Meemo

Ahem… I am still in Bombay. Some new development happened to postpone the whole thing; should hopefully be travelling in two weeks or so.

Have been too busy to come up with a post. Some time ago, when I was reading a fellow blogger's blog, I was particularly amused by his description of a few of his personal traits – amused because I have some of the exact same traits. May have something to do with the common ‘Capricorn’ factor!

Posting those common traits here, so that you, dear reader, get to know me a little better (I always found this “dear reader” address very endearing :))

Here goes:

* I turned a vegetarian (of the “Ovo lacto” kind) in my late twenties after a slow process which started with witnessing the butcher killing chicken by simply twisting their necks. Ironically, in less than 8 months I was in Europe – talk about bad timing! But then, C’est la vie …… (Something similar happened to me when I was in my teens. I went to the market with my mom and when she was buying mutton, I happened to casually rest my hand over something, which something turned out to be the slaughtered head of a goat! For ages I did not touch mutton and I can actually count the number of times I have eaten it after that day!)

* I’m quite the geek when it comes to some things, e.g. loving numbers. I inherited this from my parents, especially my Ma. We love prime numbers, and my favourite number is 7. I usually wash my eyes 7 times each morning! (This one is true for me only with respect to number 7. I cannot even pretend to like numbers (except if they spell money :)), forget love them)

* On the other hand, I can’t be bothered with a lot of supposedly geeky stuff. For example, I’m not particularly into electronic gadgets, and I can barely remember which model my mobile phone is. Works properly, is rugged enough to not conk out too soon, and looking at it doesn’t make me wince – enough. (I am not into any kind of geeky stuff at all. The only extra thing I wanted from my mobile phone is that it be stylish. Friends pointed out that I could get more features for the same price if I settled for a different phone – my answer, do you think I would ever use Bluetooth anyway?; at least I can show off a clam shell!

* And yet by the time I was a teenager, it was hard to believe that there could be any supreme deity responsible for everything, and looking out for us. I’ve been a non-believer ever since. (I don’t remember exactly when I started doubting the existence of a supreme being. I won’t say I am a non-believer, but yes, I don’t claim to ‘know’)

* When it comes to being impressed and having favourites, I tend to have a broad range. I’m loathe to absolutely rubbish something, but equally loathe to use superlatives – I rarely find anyone ugly, but it’s also very rare for me to think of anyone as an absolute stunner. (hmm… not completely on the same page. I am very difficult to please, impress etc but it is probably rather easy to get on the wrong side of me. I very rarely use superlatives myself and find it difficult to relate to people who spout words like “amazing”, “wonderful”, “brilliant” at the drop of a hat. You might have to pinch me before I say any of them)

* I have a strong tendency to be precise/exact about things, even if I’ve managed to tone it down a bit. I can understand why it bothers people in some cases, but hey – I have no idea what you mean when you ask me for “2 heaped teaspoons” of sugar in your coffee. Tell me “about 2.5 level teaspoons” (or 2.75, if that be the case), and you’ll get the right thing. (Being exact, I must say, is one of my defining traits! Try as I might, I can’t be vague … and I get horribly mad when people are vague. For example, if someone says, “I’ll pick you up around 9.30-45”, my question is “30 or 45?” And, you may rest assured I will be ready by the exact specified minute. Punctuality is another manifestation of my exactness I guess :))

* This tendency, along with the accompanying one of debating/arguing, meant that elders often used to say “bada ho ke vakeel banega” (He’ll be lawyer when he grows up). But I was uncomfortable with the idea that my goal should be to save my client even if he/she may be guilty, and other such aspects, which is why I ruled that career out. Things are so much easier while you’re still thinking mostly in black and white :-p (If I had to describe one thing about myself, if taken away, will make me no more myself, it would have to be the tendency and ability to argue/debate. Like people are born with silver spoons in their mouths (never got this!), I must have been born with an argument in my mouth. And yes, I was always told that I should become a lawyer when I grow up – I am grown up and I still think it’s not too late)

* I have a strange record when it comes to public performances. As a shy kid, I wasn’t that keen on them but was often pushed onto the stage by teachers who either were fond of me or needed someone to represent their “house”. Then came a period where I was the one making the decisions, so I stayed at a comfortable distance from the stage until my mid-20s, when I started singing, and by some strange mechanism, I’d worked out how to avoid the dreaded stage-fear that I used to have. But after several performances in a short space in IISc/B’lore, I came away to Europe, and taking to the stage became a sporadic event once again. (Not quite the same here. I was always afraid of public performances and I still am. I can, rather strangely, debate publicly, but if you ask me to give a speech or something, I am dead nervous. I love singing too but never tried it on a stage)

* Reciprocity in relationships is very important to me. Give and take, it’s got to be. I’m usually quite conscious of keeping my end of any friendship or relationship, and also don’t really fuss over the small things, but at the end of the day, if it’s a bit one-sided, you just know it. And then something’s got to give. (This is pretty much how I operate too. I could go ten extra miles if someone takes 5 miles towards me but if they don’t take a single step or appear to take me for granted, trust me not to budge either. I sometimes wonder if I am too businesslike in my friendships and weigh give/take a little too much, but that’s how I am. I feel that the emotional investment I make in any relationship is probably too heavy for me to not weigh the risks appropriately)

* When it comes to sharing secrets, I don’t. As I once told someone “Jinke raazdaar bahut se hote hain, unke raaz bahut kam hote hain” (The more the keepers of the secrets, the lesser the secrets you have). This even led to quarrels with an ex-girlfriend, who took it to mean that I didn’t trust her enough! (I am not easy with my secrets either. But this I think is less to do with my lack of trust in the secret holder’s ability to keep the secret and more to do with my innate sense of privacy)

* Another reason for delaying haircuts is that I’m bad at saying goodbye. Always have been. I’m exactly the sort that has never-ending conversations at the gate. (I hate, hate saying good byes. But, I think I hate it even more when I don’t get a chance to say good byes properly, by which I mean the long and never-ending variety :))

* Family is very important to me. I keep in regular touch with my immediate family via phone, email, Skype etc., and even a lot of my extended family, and of course my “family of choice”, that is my closest friends. I also go home at least once every 1-1.5 years – I can’t relate to people going home once in 5 years or even longer. I can be fiercely individualistic, but my family does mean a lot to me. (Fiercely individualistic but family means a lot fits me too!)