In Which Wanderlust Tries Giving It Those Ones

I promise I won’t end this by joining evening Law classes just so that I can sue people.

I wish I could begin this with a swashbuckling “THE END :)”, but that will have to wait a bit.

I see one recurring pattern in the story that is my life. Each time a phase seems to be reaching closure, I do a fixed set of things, which all have the same outcome. As to what set of things, I’ll probably blog about it twenty-five years hence. If the concept of blogging still exists, that is.

An overwhelmingly scary amount of people I know are exchanging/have exchanged vows. Maybe I know people all in the same age group or something, but it’s still a bit disconcerting to start off with a bunch of friends and colleagues for whom a wedding is something that happens to someone else, and end up with a circle full of married people, all in the span of a few months.

I amaze myself quite a bit these days. I keep my head in really edgy, nail-biting, emotion-sucking incidents, and lose it without fail over the little stuff. Makes people wonder what I’m smoking. And some of them say ‘Aha! Caught You!’ when they see me inhaling something deeply…. and promptly go down on their knees once I manage to convince them it’s just my inhaler.

When you go through life, it happens that you meet people who are Dementors in letter and spirit. JKR couldn’t have created more lifelike characters. It takes quite some time to realize what a Dementor’s Kiss really is, and even after you’re through, the memories -to use another Potteresque line- dog your steps.

It also happens that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. I’ve somehow never been able to do that. Atleast not very well… there was this one incident when this kid was bawling his lungs out when the doctor was attempting to bandage a pretty bad scrape, and I had to get out of the scene just because I couldn’t both hear the kid bawl and not scream “Please don’t hurt the little git!”.

And I’ve never been able to stand megalomaniacs. I know I’ve fallen into that category on more than one occasion, but it turns out that the people who are more in-tune with reality are the ones that are most successful. After suffering a big loss, you do tend to numb your pain by becoming mildly delusional…. but you need to take a lot of care to avoid the delusion becoming your perceived reality.

I’ve also been quite, quite pissed with adults who think they know all about ‘teenage’ and the pains it brings along with it. I’ve lived through the whole ‘You’re a teenager, where’s your acne?’, ‘You’re a teenager, list out your crushes’, ‘Oh, you’re a teenager, you’ll rebel like this only… it just has to do with age’ nonsense, and to see my teenaged sisters and brothers go through all this makes me want to fall on the floor laughing.

I’ve never understood the preoccupation with ‘teenage’ and ‘changes’… cmon, a period of seven-eight years is so long that changes are bound to happen. Don’t people change in the period from when they are twenty to when they are thirty? I’ve found people more inclined to experiment when they are between nineteen and twenty-five than when they are between thirteen and nineteen. I think it’s just a crutch used by people to explain away the fact that they’ve lost touch with their children. And I won’t even mention the word Hormones here because my sister is so tired of that word being used in context of her age group… whoops, sis, I just did! *evil grin*

I don’t know why, middle-aged people think all you need to do in order to ‘understand’ the ‘youth of today’ is to talk about romance and relationships. More than one teacher has begun a class with ‘And I also have something interesting for you guys today 😉 ‘ and proceeded to tell a borderline perv joke, or mention something about a love marriage… *sigh*, I certainly hope I don’t grow up to be like that.

Because it turns out that I’ve respected not the ‘cool’ people who ‘understood’ when I was apparently ‘checking out’ a nicelooking guy and who tried finding out if I have a little pink book where I write batshit insane Lord Byron-esque pieces, or those who thought nothing of swearing in front of fifteen-year-olds just to be ‘with it’, but those who’ve acted their age. Those who were dignified about everything they said or did. None of that cheap loose talk about relationships being absolutely necessary to prove you’re a teenager. Just the right doses of reality and advice. From adults who behave like adults and not people who are in their second teenage at age thirty-five. Nagesh Kukunoor seemed cool in Rockford being the chilledout gym teacher, but in real life, I’d find it really hard to respect someone who fibbed to my principal just to let me meet my romantic interest.

Hell, I don’t think it’s even worth it… school is not someplace for something serious to begin… from what I’ve seen, the cool people at school don’t turn out to be the cool people later on in life. All the folks I considered rockstars when I was fourteen aren’t my rockstars now. People take on such different paths in life from what they seem to be headed for in school. Or rather, what others make them out to be in school. Case in question: my mother was told by my class X teacher that I shouldn’t try for something ‘serious’ like engineering or medicine, but something more like a BSc after which I should probably be a housewife. Fate willed otherwise – with grades like mine, any degree college would have thrown my application out in a trice , thank god for the AIEEE which just ensures you’ve got enough in your XII. And housewife… just suggest that to the mother of any eligible bachelor and she’ll laugh.

Movies like Rock On!!! never fail to piss me off. Apart from the feel-good factor, they strike me as utter nonsense. Most people shy away from quitting their day job and trying to be a rockstar not because of any uncoolness within, but because… well, it’s risky, unstable, and you can be living off the streets… and how do you even know you’ve got what it takes to make it big? You might just end up wasting the best years of your life. Which sensible father will agree to spend his hard-earned money on something like that… and why should he? We only hear about the outliers, and not about the million others who died trying. Now I’m not saying we can all not aspire to be that one outlier, but you shouldn’t base your decision on misinformation.

And yeah, all of us have delusions about how we are all outliers, something special, someone inscrutable, someone very different from 99% of the population. Inclusive of me. There’s nothing anyone can do about it, because it would just break down all our self-confidence and urge to excel in this ratrace… so, oh, whatever, never mind.

And just as I write this, news reaches me of Michael Jackson’s death. I wasn’t so gaga about his dance moves, I was never very much in that line. But for people like me for whom DD was synonymous with television for a large portion of childhood, MJ was synonymous with western music for a very long time. Heal The World and We Are The World used to be staple diet at the innumerable socialCause events where someone would have to sing. I also vividly remember the time many years ago when he came to India (Mumbai, I think) when girls were simply flinging themselves at him (On TV), and people generally indulged in the ga-ga-ness hitherto unchronicled in India. But it was only at NITK that I actually (re)discovered Mr. Jackson. The voice…. the range… I was seriously amazed. Vocabulary fails me. Of course, I assumed he was forever and his discography could be covered in time while I went more slowly on The Beatles, Queen and The Bee Gees… but I guess death waits for none.

I meant that last line there in a very matter-of-fact way, not in a deep sort of way. Which brings me to… people always seem nicer in death than in life. But one incident wants me to put a caveat there. I don’t want to go into the incident, but I’ll say this – parents don’t think your death or maiming is too high a price for the humiliation and suffering you cause their kids.

And all that apart, there’s a lot to be said about doing away with state education boards and making Class X Board Exams optional, apart from Mr. Nilekani being made a cabinet minister…. but I’ll reserve those for another post.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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28 Responses to In Which Wanderlust Tries Giving It Those Ones

  1. harish says:

    Naanoo kooDa class 10 exams bagge illenoo heLalla. 😛

    Tumba ondu angst iTTkonDu bardideera ee post-na ansatte. [ By the way wiki tells me that ‘The word Angst has existed since the 8th century, from the Proto-Indo-European root *anghu-, “restraint” from which Old High German angust develops. It is pre-cognate with the Latin angustia, “tensity, tightness” and angor, “choking, clogging”; compare to the Greek “άγχος” (ankhos): stress.’ ]

    Houdu, movies with unnecessary exclamatory marks piss me off irrespective of their story line. Yaarig gottu, they might even make sequels changing the punctuation marks. For example, ‘Rock On !;,’, or maybe ”Rock On!!?’ athva ‘Rock! On? !’. Athva more educative aagi, ‘Sedimentary Rock On’, ‘Igneous Rock On’ antellaanoo maaDabahudu.

  2. karthik says:

    Ah, yes, one of them meandering posts that made me read the entire archives when I subscribed to this blog. ಬಹಳ ಮಜವಾಗಿರುತ್ತೆ ವೊದುಕ್ಕೆ! Reminds me of what Paul Graham has to say about essays.

    A few things, then:

    1. The link to Annie… is broken.

    2. We need megalomaniacs and heretics. I can’t bring myself to be one, but I like seeing them all around. In what sense did you mean the word? (Wiki says “Delusional fantasies of wealth, power, genius, or omnipotence”- Seriously?)

    3. I was subjected to none of that ‘teenager’ talk and condescension, and boy, am I glad! I never understood what the fuss was about.

    4. No one likes pretentious adults. Everyone likes dignified adults. Actually, I think that works with ‘adults’ replaced with ‘people’ in general.

    5. “My mother was told by my class X teacher that I shouldn’t try for something ’serious’ like engineering or medicine”
    That makes me cringe.

    6. About Rock On: I can’t bring myself to take any phrase with gratuitous exclamation (or question) marks seriously. (The requirements for being a pedant seem to be lowered every few years.)

    7. Outliers: If we’re all outliers… this reminds me of what a professor at IITM is reported to have said. (“I want all of you to score higher than the class average.”)

    8. “Parents don’t think your death or maiming is too high a price for the humiliation and suffering you cause their kids.”
    Was there a switch of context there? I don’t get it- why would anyone be humiliating their kids?

    • wanderlust says:

      1. broken link fixed.
      2. Yes we do need people like that… but it’s such a pain having to nod to their version of reality which you KNOW is just NOT TRUE!.
      4. But in all these teen flicks you have this adult who seems to ‘understand’ the teens and helps them out with their romantic tangles… and every single teen feels “ah, if only we could have a character like that in our school!”.
      6. Even Yahoo!?
      7. Good one.
      8. yeah, switch in context i guess. it was supposed to read like this: if in case you hurt/humiliate someone’s kids, don’t be too surprised if they consider your subsequent death/maiming (if any) as justly and richly deserved justice.

      • karthik says:

        Ah, I take it you’re referring to cranks and crackpots, not megalomaniacs (in the usual sense.) This tribe of people withers away in the absence of attention; I suppose the only way to deal with them is to ignore them, or at least their cranky side.

        “Yahoo!” has one exclamation mark, it’s not gratuitous(!)

  3. Shwetha says:

    Well, First things first. Both of you make me follow your blog by the bizarre topics u write upon. and well you sure seem to be venting all your anger by quoting all the topics on mind.

    And don’t you think the title should have been “Bizarre thoughts of the delusional and demented mind” 😛

    1. Yup too many exchanging vows and to add onto it, the elders . . When will you get married? I feel like asking them, why are they desperate about it. . Hmmph!

    2. Dementors ? you have met such shady characters ? !!

    3. yeah! teenage vows. . 😦 and adults do have their ever long crisis period.

    4. “From what I’ve seen, the cool people at school don’t turn out to be the cool people later on in life.” Seriously true. Their coolness fades away with time.

    5. I love Rock On only coz of Farhan! *sheepish grin* *wink* *wink*

    6. If we are all outliers. That “If” is a probability, But but but there might be a chance in the distribution. and u end up being what all dream off every single moment of being different,of changing the world. No matter how many times the self confidence breaks down. .

    7. Till now it was about the child abuse and suddenly people start worshiping him(MJ) . .

    8. “parents don’t think your death or maiming is too high a price for the humiliation and suffering you cause their kids.” Din get you!

    9. Well about the class X and Nilekani, write another post. .

  4. Swati says:

    “parents don’t think your death or maiming is too high a price for the humiliation and suffering you cause their kids.”- didnt quite get this one ??

    “Death of MJ”- Truely saad… i loved his songs especially the one youve mentioned and a lot more…somehow his crazy personality ( remember the baby dangling incident n his affinity for facial metamorphosis at regular intervals ) overshadowed his music during his last years…

    “wedding wows”- i feel the same as you..esp after seeing a certain someones pics!!

    your thoughts about ” Rock on” and outliers- spot on gal….i think the same..

  5. Swati says:

    LOL @ harish’s comment on Rock on!! and LOL LOL !! IITM prof: asking students to score above the class average!!

  6. Logik says:

    I guess everyone seems to be commenting in bullets. A powerful post this one.
    1. Bsc housewife…ROTFL you seem to be more of the mane-aliya arrangement type.
    2. That hormone thing is a bit too easy to say, everyone does it. Teenage mentality, and generation gap are kind of the generation binding words. Both parties feel very smug and happy when such things are used.
    3. Was the latest Pepsi ad where the idiot ridiculously climbs a pile of trash, rejecting ” stable” and respectable offers on the way, only to prove himself not only dumb but deaf as well ” I caaaant hear you”,
    a tribute to Rock on ?
    4. Michael Jackson’s news hit me bad. Measuring him solely by his creative works, he has influenced at least 2-3 generations. He was the role model for a wide range of people [ singers, dancers, etc etc]…
    One of the only times where Bangalore Mirror showed hints of journalistic abilities.
    ” Vaikunta Samaraadhane For Michael Jackson, by the Dancers association of Sandalwood”..

  7. If you ever want to sue people, don’t bother with evening classes. Contact me. Competent lawyering, Competitive prices.

  8. Most of the bloggers would have taken 4-5 posts to cover what all you have said in one :). Btw, I completely agree about the dementors. They have a big mouth where there should have been eyes and through it they suck all the happiness out of you. *scared*

  9. chethan says:

    nice post.. enjoyed reading it.. frankly, i dont remember much abt the post now ( i.e., after reading comments ) All i remember is that i might currently be using a lot of exclamatory marks while chatting and i shud remember that some ppl hate it.. n dememtors ( i hv met them at some point in life.. still hv no idea wat to do if i meet them again).. n LOL for harish’s comment abt sequels.. n LOL for “And it was just… courtesy… when someone talks to you in kannada, you don’t reply back in tamil.” 🙂

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