Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The compliment Trap

An open letter to the toddlers of the day (Generation X Version N)

The best compliments are ones that are overheard.

For reasons unknown, the above mentioned thing has never happened to me. I however blame it on my low hearing power rather than on people not complimenting me behind my back.

But the above proverb (coined by me… Thank you! Thank you!) is incomplete. “At a high price” or something to that affect should complete it. For, it is my theory that each compliment comes at a high price. Let me enumerate using an example.

When I was a kid, I was bad at studies. Not because I lacked intelligence, on the contrary it was due to the fact that I had and uncommon amount of it. You see, I realized very early, that life was a set of rat races and you better join the “right” race. I saw my class mates slog it out and get 1st ranks. They got complimented to the high heavens for getting first rank.

But, did it end there? Oh no! They went on to the IIT’s and competed with an even superior set of rats. Naturally, they slogged their a**** off just to be in the race. Did it end there? (Hmm… why do I get the feeling that you already know the answer?) Of course it didn’t. They just went on to get their high flying (read back biting) jobs. Last heard, most of the men have gone bald and impotent and the women… well whatever they become under pressure.

I, on the other hand chose the slow moving race. Again, I reiterate… not out my lack of intelligence, but the over-abundance of it. I thus got 50th rank when I could have easily got the 1st. I got into an average college, an average workplace and guess what? I am today a half-nosed king in a land of the nose-less* (Not coined by me, but I am thinking of taking the patent anyways!).

The compliment trap.
Just imagine that for some obscure reason, your mother tells you “you are such a sweet kid”, don’t for a moment be kidded into saint hood. Just tell her “yeah sure, but I won’t repeat it!” I did it and just see where I am today. The lesser compliments you get, the lazier you can be.

The image trap
Another trap that you should look out for is “image”. Sometimes even the dregs of society will have a good “image” back home. End result… a split personality! You go to great lengths to keep your nice-guy-image and in the process end up worse by a hundred beers. Your father would be thinking “how did this imbecile ever spring from my loins? He doesn’t even want to share a drink with me” and you would be thinking “Ah! I have such a nice image in front of my parents…ooh! La la la!”

So here some pointers on successfully managing parental expectations
1) Be lazy.
2) Be a trouble maker at school. It’s a great way to trash your image.
3) Don’t fall into the compliment trap. So, if somebody says you are a good painter.. Abhor the brush from then on. Or they will end up making you the next Picaso!
4) Don’t fall into the image trap. You end up losing your identity.

Once you gain entry into the “hope-written-off” category, things are pretty easy (as if they weren’t from the start!). Show even a flash of mediocrity and everyone around you is all agape with wonder (Think mentally retarded person doing the sums). Show a little concern, a little love and a little mix of other human qualities and it is heralded as the “new beginning”. Of course if you screw up, nobody cares since the “I-knew-he-would-screw-up” psychology kicks in.

But over the years you may lose sight of the path and then, one fine morning you hear that whisper behind your back... the dreaded compliment! That’s when you know its time for a re-evaluation of priorities.

I will shortly be coming up with a book on “successfully under achieving – a guide to lazy happiness”. It will teach you the art of staying lazy yet brilliantly happy the whole of your life. And all this without moving even your little finger...:D (Ok, you got to turn the pages… but that is about it)

*Detractor’s claim that they can’t see my nose either… but then that is why they are called as such!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Following Buddha’s path.

“Knock, knock! Open up you bloody ass*****” I shouted from outside Tony’s flat.
Tony (Pullachen) opened the door, his eyes looking blood shot (Whiskey eyes we call it).
But no middle fingers raised, no “get lost F*****” and to top it all, there is a smile playing on his tobacco stained lips!

I look around… is this the right house? Is this the same Pulla? Or was he just too drunk to reciprocate our honorable salutations?
“What’s it da? What’s wrong, why do you look so dazed?” I ask him, thoroughly bewildered.
“Nothing man! I was meditating.”

May the heavens open up and strike me if I am exaggerating one bit... But you could have felled me with a feather right then!!
Nothing rattles us Menacherry’s you know, but then there are these rare moments (The last one being way back in ‘82 when pop Menacherry saw me first time!) when even us great souls lay down our arms in defeat and cry, I quit!.

This was no laughing matter! Our gang’s premier pillar of immorality had suddenly turned into frigging snow white!!! Just like that! The world is definitely going to the dogs, I decided.

Seems like it was the "Pyramid spiritual societies movement" that did this to him! (Must be a pretty evil society!!)

I didn’t care one hoot for all this meditation crap, but he gave me the speech anywayz. It seems that all you need to do is to sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and take deep breaths. Sounded easy! And to top it, if you are sitting inside a big pyramid, you end up getting a lot cosmic energy…free! No cash backs though…:(

Next thing I know, I am part of the gang that is supposed to visit this pyramid situated about 40 K.M from Bangalore, on the Kanakapura route. Naturally, I was not consulted about it!

Thus on Nov. 2 Sunday morning, I found myself in the company of (women? No! That’s just wishful thinking!) three dumbos who actually believed in this meditation bull shit, namely, Shyam, Pulla and Pakkan.

The place in q is still under construction. Like all holy places, one is supposed to remove ones shoe. I hate removing my shoes, but decided to conform to the rules and not be a spoil sport. What if the pyramid had any special powers after all, eh? Better to be on the right side of un-known entities. They are kind of well known to look down on people with shoes!

The pyramid… well it was an imposing structure, about 5 storeys tall (a rough guess). It looks grey from the outside with some sinister symbols drawn along its triangular faces. We trooped in and were welcomed by a number of boards saying “Silence please!” Thus, totally clammed up and in a highly spiritual mood we entered the pyramid... only to see workers happily hammering away at the struts! With each knock echoing about 5 times over inside the hollow pyramid. Ah! Such divine silence!

Situated at one third the height of the pyramid is the “Kings Seat” The point where all that elusive cosmic energy gets concentrated. We clambered up the stairs and sat in the requisite meditative pose. Pulla, with all his meditation experience entered into “trance mode” in about a minute. I, Shyam and Pakkan followed suit.

Though the meditation itself is simple, one basic percept regarding concentration is real tough. Your mind is supposed to be free from all wanton thoughts and be in full concentration. Easier said than done as I found out!

THUD!!!! That was Shakeela chechi being thrown out of my mind.
thud!! That was Aishwarya Rai.

More thuds ensued, but like Tharakasuara of folklore fame, for each one kicked out, a thousand sprang up! I peeked at the rest of the gang… they were all concentrating perfectly and that too with such serene expressions!

So, I closed my eyes and tried again. This time, I had better luck. I was able to concentrate for about..... 5 seconds...:( Time to change strategy, I decided. To keep my mind occupied, I started releasing the tension in my muscles one by one (an old technique learned during school days… but then, that’s another story!).

I started with my brow, then the pate, then the chin, then the neck… I remember doing it till my chest muscles. The next thing I remember is Tony waking me up..:( I must be an expert at meditation! It is said that only the greatest of the great can attain the "state of sleep" during meditation (Ok! I made it up, now don’t go Googling to prove me wrong!).

On the return journey, I kind of felt left out. They were going on and on about cosmic energy and how they literally “shivered” with all that energy. (Shivering my foot! The only shivering these idiots ever got was when they did not have their Friday night drink) But, I kept my peace. I was pissed off with myself for not being able to concentrate for any long period.

Thus, I am now in the serious search for concentration. I searched a lot and did some serious research on the subject. I guess, It is a well known problem. I found about a million hard ways to achieve it.

Some easy ways too! In my search for this great knowledge, I came upon this juicy fact. The Holy North Indian Baba’s smoke charas/ganja to achieve high levels of concentration!! Finally I have found my answer to all the worlds problems... Nirvana! Here I come!

Anybody got a bit of these narcotic items?? It’s for a good cause you know...:D