Saturday, February 25, 2012

The punch in the drivel

People can surprise you at times, with what they think about you. They don’t surprise me anymore with compliments not deserved, for I guess I have been ‘paidaishi misunderstood’ and so used to it, lol but they did recently surprise me with compliments I couldn’t have braced myself to desire and some that I could never have believed to be honestly given (it is now that it strikes me that I can’t be too sure about the latter :/).

Also, and more interestingly, at times a person, on his own, can be the source of surprise to himself.  It is funny to note what he himself thinks about himself, how he describes himself in front of others when given no time to think and come up with eloquent flowery words and how on retrospect, those very spontaneous words seem to be the perfect description of what one is.

It was a practical class with Dr. Renu Kishor the other day where we were learning to administer a personality test and while discussing Allport’s cardinal traits, we were asked to tell each other’s and our own cardinal traits, as part of the on-going discussion.
The traits we came up with for each other were all agreed to by everyone else and I guess we all felt like psychologists that day, though in retrospect I can see that some were not cardinal traits at all rather slipped into the realms of central traits.Kanta was called deep, a paternalistic kind of a leader (which made ma’am angry, for we didn’t say maternalistic, isn’t that cool?). Chhavi felt ‘self-belief’ was the term that epitomises who she is and others called her extrovert. Aayushi was called a picture of serenity, one at peace with herself and the world. Amrita was called jovial and Anjali was called un-motivated and non-serious by ma’am herself(it was Anjali herself who invited these terms by saying she is all that Sudha is not). Stuti, Medha, Divya, Pragati and Ankhtuya were absent. So this was it.
You see, as I said, most of these aren’t cardinal traits, rather central.

Anyways, for me, the first one was ‘deep’, coming from a person I consider deep, Kanta. Good beginning.
The second one was ‘genius’ and funnily this was unanimously accepted.  For them though, this was not funny (how glad that made me). Thankfully, ma’am somehow knew that I was the topper and so she didn’t find it funny either (she teaches only the 3rd year students and meets the 2nd year students for personality tests for only one term and we are the ones she met just a week back, her last practical group).
But me, well instead of feeling good, I giggled inside- a good natured giggle that dismisses what is said without betraying annoyance :D
One person however whom I wish to have seen accepting this was conspicuously silent and staring at me with a raised eyebrow and snobbish smile, the kind of understanding smile that says, dude I am beyond feeling jealous for I know what you are but I won’t express my agreement all the same ;)(I can see you beginning to get bugged up at the irritating stories of I, me, myself but isn’t this the very think that makes me lovable haan? ;))
Moving on, the next was ‘Wikipedia’. This was too much, I decided. Then started my usual pleas of “oh they are too generous with their compliments Ma’am” and “stop flattering me Amrita” and stuff of that kind. To no avail. In fact Ma’am countered with why anybody would flatter me!
Now it was my turn to say which one trait described me the best, so much so that my entire life seems to revolve around it.

I chose to call myself a seeker, one who seeks and is in love with the seeking, with the process, with the path. One who seeks anything that catches her fancy (not very many things do) -a magnet for things to learn and accomplish; the more difficult the better. One who madly seeks but hates it when the journey ends for she loses all interest after she has reached the pinnacle. 
And as soon as I finished, pat came another attempt at my cardinal trait- workaholic.
This time I didn’t just giggle, I laughed inside. Workaholic, me? Wow! How I wish to be that!
I guess I am a rare specimen of Type A personality who doesn’t find it too difficult to relax and loaf expertly, though only with literature and my blog, I concede.
Yet if I go be a workaholic, my love would feel neglected, and considering the ultimate dumpies that books really are (sorry dearests), I won’t aggravate their suffering by myself joining the list of those dumping them and claiming them back on their whims and fancies and needs. In fact, if I choose to be really really honest about this, and digress a little bit,reading has become almost a ritual, a sacred ritual, so much so that it is difficult to imagine a day when I won’t pick up a book, just like it is difficult to imagine not brushing my teeth or bunking a psychology lecture. In fact, books have become so much a part of my own self that it is no less important to read now than it is to have food. Exams, you are thinking, aren’t you? Let me tell you it is during the exams that I manage to bump into some of the most moving, heart rending words penned down and it is also during exams that I feel the ‘need to write’, a need as conspicuously felt as the need to rest or the need to have food, and every little thing around me throws me saucy inspirations!
I brushed aside the comment and further explained how I hate it when a book ends and how I want it to go on and on and on and found support from the professor who vouched the same.

This was the end of all I was allowed to say about myself for after a couple of questions regarding whether I was also a perfectionist and an introvert, which I seemed to be to her, followed a lot of good natured, but often heard before, advice on how I shouldn’t be too harsh on myself all the time, how I ran the risks of developing OCD and neuroticism and of course, the danger of falling into solitude was always there. I explained that unless I plunge into mini depressions once in a while, I couldn’t write anything substantial or deep (now you know dear reader, why I haven’t come up with anything deep in the last couple of months- working on projects never allowed me the luxury of being down and out!) and we instantly digressed to Ranbir Kapoor’s Rockstar. When we came back, I found support from two other people in the group who write. This was followed by ma’am asking me to mail her my blog address and I was left with grappling with the violent reproach I felt towards my madness for spoiling it all with my narcissism, for this was also the end of the discussion, with nothing much added to my repertoire of descriptions about myself except ma’am’s observation that I didn’t appear to be a loner to her, that I have a quick smile and that I am very approachable. Only that. :D 

How strange that the term ‘narcissist’ didn’t figure in the discussion! LoL

P.S. “Never place your punch at the beginning of a coloumn or at the end. Sneak it in where it is the least expected. Fill a whole coloumn with drivel, just to get in that one important line”(Dominique Francon speaking to Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand). Now you know the rationale behind this seemingly useless post. Go figure out the punch ;)


  1. I'm being incredibly dense :-S What is the punch line of this post??? Is it quite simply that you have been unable to post anything deep or meaningful recently??

  2. Lol...I'm taking that as a big fat YES!!! :-D


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