Crotchety Chump

Don’t we all want happy faces around us all the time? We are all selfish and in turn want to share the communicable cheerfulness to brighten our own days. Grumpy looking people often make for a bad viewing and… company. Happy people share jokes, make us laugh, spread positive energy with their infectious smiles, and even make some unhappy ones seriously jealous. But have you ever thought why some of us are permanently grumpy? Don’t you think that they too want to flex their cheek muscles at least once every day and smile for a change?

Yes, I am grumpy. I’m told by people that there are, at max, 4 expressions that they’ve seen me wearing. I haven’t practiced them in the mirror. I just look that way. It’s, in all practicality, impossible for me to stay happy and smile all the time, for from time to time, the realities of life keep dawning upon me. Earlier my problem was I wanted to keep everyone else happy. I failed! Then someone, a few years back, told me to start thinking about myself and now my problem is I want to keep myself happy. I’m not fairing any better here as well. My sofa needs cleaning. I need new mattresses. I need a new seating arrangement for my PC at home, new chair and table, more ergonomic. I need to get the engine on my bike repaired and blah blah! I know you don’t want to hear it but that’s precisely how grumpy people talk, BEAR IT!

So what exactly does grumpy mean?

– Bad-tempered and sulky.

– Crabbed; annoyed and irritable.

Synonym – Crotchety!

Just like the way happy and cheerful people have days when they are sad and depressed, we, the grumpy ones; have days when we are Happy and Cheerful for once. It’s difficult for us to leave our comfort zone. Deep down we love the way people hate us, despise us, want to hurt our face so bad, that we look even grumpier. But that’s where we WIN every day. For no one hits us. No one can do a shit about the way we look or behave. All that they can do is look away which is precisely what we want – no attention! It serves me better that I’m introvert as well.

There are several emotions, aren’t they? We sift through plethora of them every day – from happy to sad or angry or empathetic in matter of seconds. It’s these emotions that often drive our moods. These emotions change the way we perceive our world, see its colours, and hear its sound – basically change the way we feel it.

What I find most interesting though is how some emotions bring out the best in you while some doom you to obscurity. These emotions impact our will to achieve like no other person ever can. They impact our state of mind and the vibes coming from us in general. These emotions are quite distractingly very visible and are quite in-your-face.

My mother has one such emotion – anger. She cooks her best food when she is angry. Me and dad used to secretly wish for her to get upset and then cook (psst psst we still wish so). It used to start with an argument between them that I’ll never understand. They never made sense to me. They were so – worldly. Dealing with day-to-day issues that anyone of them could resolve in the blink of an eye. Anyways – food and anger! Yes, this is one complaint my mother always has when she is angry – she keeps saying she hates cooking. That how she hates every moment spent in the kitchen and yet, when she sees dad set the first foot across the threshold of its entrance to cook himself, she’ll jump in and prepare some of the tastiest drool-worthy delicacies, a human will ever taste – all in a fit of rage and knowledge that dad will ruin everything inside the kitchen. The chances of her screwing up the food then drastically reduce to zero. I think most women will relate to this feeling!

And that brings me to my question – what’s the emotion that brings out the best in you?

Mine is anger and I guess this is something my mother has unknowingly rubbed onto me. I think clearer when I’m angry. I say better when I’m angry. My focus dramatically increases even when I’m venting out my anger on something completely unrelated to the real problem. I invariably end up doing all the right things when my hands are shivering with angst. The only problem is – that’s also the only time I’m thinking just for myself and in those on-the-thread moments, I end up hurting a few people.

Okay, then what’s the emotion that brings out the worst from you?

Mine is happiness. Yes, that’s the reason I’m grumpy. Happiness brings out my concern for others which in today’s world, is quite unappreciated. People start to think that I’m interfering with their lives when in the first place they are the ones sitting in my home, sipping beers, and sharing the sorry state of their sorry ass world with me – the most unconcerned person on this planet. People for some reason don’t understand genuine sympathy or empathy now. They fail to acknowledge an unselfish concern for their well-being but who can blame them. We all get ditched so many times and in so many ways, we can’t even rely upon ourselves to trust others and find their true motives, rest aside the chances of us believing anyone else for our good.

I guess I’m searching for unadulterated love, for my love even for myself isn’t enough pure!

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I Smell People-ish

My dad arrived home today. He’s come to say goodbye to the sixth member of our family who leaves for US tomorrow! Sounds so hunky dory, doesn’t it?

But, I killed it for myself. I’m running low on cash these days, for a lot of travelling and health bills were torn against my name this month. So instead of taking the more expensive option of auto rickshaw, I decided to use the Delhi Metro to reach the New Delhi railway station and help dad deal with the luggage that he was carrying. Well it wasn’t as heavy as I’d expected but it sure was difficult bringing it up to the 2nd floor of my house.

So, DELHI METRO! The pride and joy of Delhi. The only project in India that’s actually making profit. The guys worked really hard and it shows. Terrific infrastructure and great maintenance. Something though, didn’t feel very right yesterday. As I gathered myself from slumber, and walked to the platform, there were huge groups of people waiting to board the metro. Something was wrong!

The metro arrived packed to its capacity and yet around 20 of us managed to find a place to stand with people’s armpits on my nose and my armpits on someone elses and what not! Ugghhhh!

Now to make matters worse, there are close to 15 metro stations between the station that I boarded and the New Delhi railway station. Each time the door opened for passengers, when 2 left, 4 boarded. I had my headphones plugged in though and people weren’t really bothering me, just that I knew how I’d smell like after I got down from the train. People inside just kept making space out of nowhere and people from outside kept boarding till the last inches were used up. And then some more came in!

cwg-metro

Then a scuffle stirred up. A police constable standing right in front of me and next to the door, tried to stop passengers from getting in, for there was absolutely no space left in the coach. The counter argument from the outside was – “You get down as you are the public servant” and they started pulling out the constable nearly tearing off the sleeves from his shirt. The constable though had nowhere to go, for he was stuck inside just like all of us were, and so they even couldn’t pull him out, such was the agony we were all going through!

To be honest, I was enjoying this. This misery that people decide to put themselves through everyday, made me feel proud of what I had achieved in life and how my resolution to never put up with this kind of life always put me in a better place. I made a resolution very early in my struggling days that I’ll never use public transport for two reasons –

1. Those places are very vulnerable and I have too much to do in life than die in an accident or a bomb blast.

2. They are very risky, for Indians in general treat public transport like the transport system owes them something once they’ve paid for the ticket. What they don’t think of is, these are the same buses and trains they may need to take everyday for the rest of their freaking lives, and they are all responsible for its upkeep and smooth operations. But once they stop respecting the means, the means stop respecting them and so they start crumbling, till they are at the point of breaking and that’s when public transport becomes a danger. Case in point, was the taxi that we boarded, once my family members had arrived. That taxi sounded awful and when it started to move, I felt the wheels coming off every time we made a left turn!

Now back to the Metro. We were about to reach the largest station among all metro stations – Rajiv Chowk. Rumors started flying that the train will be half empty by the time we leave this station, and sadly ALL the passengers along with me were eagerly waiting for this miracle to happen, quite badly! And like all stories that don’t have a happy ending, luck didn’t favor me this time! No one got down and still some more found a way to get in. The next station was where I was to unboard. This was real tricky. For once in my life, I had to handle people subtly and that I did. I started cracking mean jokes that made people laugh and in between, I’d ask them to make some space to let me reach the door, so I don’t miss my drop station caught up in this hell hole. And I made it, just not on my feet though. The moment the door opened, I (125 kgs) was picked up in the air and helped down right next to a pillar. I have absolutely no freaking clue how or what happened. I just counted my lucky stars for the night, checked my wallet and my watch, and started to walk to the railway station.

This was one hell of a ride, and I’m never travelling in a Metro again.  what’s tha God awful smell? Wait, I smelled  ‘PEOPLE-ISH’!

Me Out Of Me!

I’ll today acknowledge that I’ve never had incidents that laid all the odds against me. After a lot of hard and furious thinking, life as I know it isn’t as bad as I sometimes think. I’ve had difficult times, but never a crisis (leaving an isolated incident). Life hasn’t yet thrown at me what I can’t handle. I’m yet to find myself at the receiving end of grief and I’m thankful for it. I’ve always been the more responsible person, the saviour, the guardian for people who want me there and I thank life and my parents for it. They grew me into a hard son-of-a-gun that I am and I won’t fail to admit that I am one. They bred in me top-end survival instincts that always made me stand clear of trouble.

Nothing special. What I’m about to tell you must at all costs be avoided and never attempted in real life. Although I did it, doesn’t mean you’ll pull it off too.

They gave me hands to catch that running train that I so nearly missed. Headphones plugged in my ears, I got off my train to buy a book at Bhilai Power House station. Train stop scheduled at sharp 2 minutes. In a frenzy to select one as fast as could, I forgot to check on the train. It had started to move very fast and my coach had already passed me.

They gave me legs to sprint now, Usain Bolt style, to at least grab one handle of any one of the remaining three coaches. I started running as fast as I could, put out my hands, one push, fail. Second push, I grabbed it with all power available in my young hands. Such was the grip that I flew with the train but my momentum and power joined to help me grab the far handle too.

They gave me the will to pull it off. As I sat at the doorsteps of that coach facing out, huffing and puffing, watching those trees and stones fast blow by me, knees against my forehead, I realized how confident was I to pull something like this off. Many thinner ones may have blown off that handle, many bulkier ones may have never got that far. I did and not only made it inside, I lived to tell the tale too.

Thank You Mom and Dad for making me out of me! I’m yet to lose!

Lets see what others are writing about this supremely intelligent daily prompt

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Superheroes

Superheroes

You know what’s so special about superheroes and common man? A superhero wants to pretend as a common man while a common man wants to pretend as a superhero. The difference is between the need, the want and their aspirations. They are a case of dichotomy!

One is a superhero and needs to show himself as a man to gel better while the other is a common man but wants to be a superhero to look different.

We grew up watching and reading superheroes. As the childish innate desire grows to emulate them – their heroics, their generosity and their responsibility, the child grows too. Like all desires have their ceilings, this too has only two ways to go with age – either to get killed in the whirlwind demands of the world or come out, turn us into real superheroes of the world.

Some people choose roles that make them humans while others decide differently. While the former dissolve in the sea of normalcy, the others become the insoluble particles always visible. When we see them, we talk about them and decide whether they be acted upon. Whether they be left there untouched or be filtered out. We decide what to make out of them.

In this world where the different is what’s noticed, the value of the act in the eye of the observers decides if doers are really our superheroes. Since each act is scrutinized for we are too judgemental, we sometimes forget that in the end, they are humans too.

While this designation of superheroes may or may not necessary be happening at a worldly scale, it may be happening in our small little lives. This designation may or may not be happening at the doers expense too. It may have already happened in our subconscious without us even knowing about it.

But since most of us need a figure to look up to, we first choose them from among each other. Most often, they are dads, moms, grandmas, grandpas or a simple caretaker even. But they all exist and sometimes we fail to analyze and see these mere mortal men and women as humans. Vulnerable to the world and prone to mistakes themselves.

I pointed this out, because for some reason humanity is the last practical virtue we learn in our lives. By then we have already placed it below so many other crappy values that it becomes hard to find in the face of some simple human needs and desires.

While you may run in this world scathe free, your superheroes always have to watch out for their reputation in your eyes for your heart just can’t be broken. For this, some may even sacrifice their secret desires, their aspirations for the latter part of their lives when they have seen their children grow up, get married. The question for them will always remain – what do you need?

While the others may just break a few hearts and return to being humans and fulfil their own aspirations from their lives for their part in their small world is complete. They make their point clear to their world and tell them – we got to do what we got to do. The question for them is – am I done with my responsibility?

Both the sides live in this world harmoniously and yet when they do show their faces, both of them are right! Which side are you on?

Zee2Etch – Task #16

Yesterday, something happened which took me by surprise. Dad and I discussed the difference between Attitude and Nature.

It all started when I asked him what is my reputation? He got confused and at first cracked all possible jokes thinking I was joking myself. But I had to shake him up and tell him to get serious as this is about a blog I have to write for a task I have signed for. He then told me a few things about me that caught my ears and here they are –

I am someone who gets influenced by my surroundings. The more I come in touch with my surrounding, the more I run away from it so no one can question my lifestyle or methods. He said I told me that I’m a thorough professional although he couldn’t, for his mediocre vocabulary, put it into a word and this was what caused a lot of commotion between the two of us. All he wanted to say was, I am different from others because of my “Professional Attitude”. Now first I took his words to actually mean “Professionalism”. But apparently, that wasn’t what it was. He wanted to tell me, that I have a nature to stay correct all the time and to do that, I may sometimes falsify some people for which I may never give any explanation. I run away from such situations and the poor chap is left scratching his head to think the wrong he has committed.

Okay. So this must be my reputation among others as well. I went around asking a lot of people about this and told my dad about it, for which he had a very simple answer – “You know, it’s only you who can gauge your reputation and no one else. Not even us. We are your parents. For us, you are the most beautiful thing that happened to us and we will never put you in a wrong place and will never mean to hurt you. But this world isn’t us. They’ll lie to you, so they may gain points with you and earn your hard-to-gain trust. So there’s no point asking others about it. Ask yourself. For example, when you enter a meeting or a social gathering, you will automatically know if you are liked or not, respected or not. That’s your reputation”.

I couldn’t have agreed more. No one will ever tell me my exact reputation. So I’ll write for this task on the basis of what my dad told me about me.

Let me explain his statements while analysing them too. He isn’t very good with what he says but spend time with him and you’ll know what he meant 2 hours ago. I’ve had an entire day to myself and when he said that I get influenced by my surroundings, he meant that I like to carry a lot of perspectives while making decisions. I like to consider all the opinions and keep my options open before coming to a conclusion. Regarding my correctness, my answer is I have forever rising inner urge to stay equal and fair to all. No one is high and no one is low. All things belong together and it’s that harmony that makes this world livable.

He said a sentence twice – that I run away from situations. Well that has just one answer, I am the rarest possible introverts possible and as my brother would testify – I told him a few days ago that I’d like to buy a recorder so I may record all my thoughts and turn them into posts on my blog. All he said was – you are the biggest introvert I have ever seen.

Just for the record, my fathers testimony is enough!

MBTI Personality Types – ISTP

Right now even though my left ear is aching from holding the cellphone against it for so long, I’m relieved. And frankly I don’t have the slightest energy to blog for today but here’s something about the people I just talked to – My Parents.

If any of you ever gets to visit or see my parents, one thing that you’ll surely notice is, how beautifully they respond to intelligence. Mom, completely gives in to you. She becomes a fan of you and wants to hear you and understand from you. While my dad tries to indulge in as many intelligent discussions you may want to have with him. He has a say on every topic and he doesn’t care if he is right or wrong but a response is something he always has. Amazing! He will understand you and try to breakdown the discussion into pieces only to build it up later and give a clearer picture. Both of them are all ears and brains then.

We can learn from it. Not only should we hear more, but also try to understand to build our own perspective about it. It matters a lot – our perception.

In one of my earlier posts, I had told my audience that from unconfirmed sources like a few websites I had listed, that I was of INTJ personality type and how it was the second smallest population on this planet.

I stand corrected. I have now officially appeared for my MBTI test and I am from the ISTP group. Here’s an excerpt from the related MBTI website about us –

Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency.”

I’m too besotted to think beyond my bed.

I love You Ma and Papa! The credits come hither and thither but please remember that you are always there.

P.S. – I will never forget the excitement in your voice today Ma.

To Home and Back – 4 days full of bliss

Sometimes we just need vacations. To run away from our mundane life and the same fucked up people we meet everyday to meet new ones. I needed this vacation. I was sick and tired of the sickening fucked up home and such life. After all that my wife and I bore together in the past few months, both of us desperately needed a vacation or at bare minimum, a change of location. I had tried applying for vacations twice but one got turned down and the other wasn’t even given a heed in my office. But my last attempt got cleared and 2 days and a weekend was what we had to reboot our heads.

It’d been a long time since my brothers marriage and we hadn’t seen our parents and somewhere deep within our hearts, we owed them a visit. So,we decided to rather see them and save our money than run away to some hill station and spend all that we had saved.

It turned out to be a fantastic decision at the end.

The first day was normal stay at home and we just slept through it. A simple foray into a market and we got my mother her most favorite Pineapple cake. Soft and sumptuous as it was, we just couldn’t resist digging our fingers into it but wait was what was in store for us. We also had to go see my in-laws and once we were late to return from there, my parents had already slept. So tired as we were, a simple hug and a birthday wish was all we could offer her that night before we all slept again.

The next day was packed for activities which included a visit to my parents favorite temple – Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain (M.P.). We woke up and got ready in a haste to reach the temple as early as possible so we don’t get to face the extreme heat. But this was my mum’s birthday and the cake cutting was in order. The cake was duly cut and dug in and she absolutely loved it. We then boarded a taxi and started for our journey. Quite frankly, as you will all see from our faces, we are a family of die-hard foodies. And one particular restaurant “Pappu Da Dhaba” holds special fondness among us. It serves hot breakfast with tea and just totally makes our day with it’s taste. The best part is, it’s located exactly at the half way point between Bhopal and Indore and completely satiates any hunger for the rest of the day. Here is one picture of the route I took with my phone’s camera –

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It was a glorious day, bathed in sunshine, with mild heat emanating from the ground, making it so much more comfortable. I hadn’t had a field day in months and I was absorbing all that nature had to offer. We reached Ujjain in around 3.5 hours and headed straight to the temple.

To learn more about Ujjain, please click the link below –

http://ujjaintourism.in/

The temple hosts Lord Shiva in his most glorious of forms. As taking pictures inside the temple isn’t allowed, I couldn’t get any but they certainly are available all over the net. Try and search it out for yourself or visit this site –

http://dic.mp.nic.in/ujjain/mahakal/default.aspx

On normal days, the temple is absolutely packed full of pilgrims at all times but for some strange reason, we were quite early there that day even at 12:30 pm and the temple to our collective sighing souls was fully available for view at our discretion. Here are some pictures we took at the pavement –

This is my family (from the left) – wife, dad and mom!

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Indian rituals wherein we tie threads to trees for every prayer or wish we want to come true –

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We then went from temple to temple, all of whom held historical significance and here are some pictures from them –

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By the time we were done with the 4th temple, moms feet had given away and we decided to direct our journey back for home. It got very cloudy and then rainy by the time we re-crossed the same “Pappu Da Dhaba” but that didn’t deter us from taking a tea break there. Here are some pictures from the way I think are worth noting –

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I was surprised to see something that mom and wife had bought right outside the main temple – a Rudraksh that contained nearly all the elements that pertain to Lord Shiva. I think it’s fantastic. I have tried washing them and nothing but some paint has come off it for I just couldn’t believe that something of this sort could exist, so apparently it may be real too –

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Coming home, late that evening, I couldn’t help but realize how nature tries and holds it’s course while all that humans do gets dissolved in it. We pollute it and then we preserve it but how it has stayed pure at its roots is something what should teach us – to hold on to our firm pure roots.

The third day was my moms kitty party and oh man – how do us guys then realize that we aren’t even welcome home for those 4 hours. They despise us, hate us and then it’s left up to our better judgement to find a place where we can spend those 4 hours loafering around the city. It was that afternoon that I tasted peppermint right from it’s leaves in a nursery. It was heavenly.

The next evening after a lunch at my in-laws, we left back for Delhi.

I loved the journey and couldn’t help but share it with you guys.

Thanks for reading.