There is this part in all of us, a place in the brain which makes us do things that we normally do not think of doing. We are perennially inspired by things that happen around us. We always want to do things that may make us a hero of sorts. We try to prove a point to people, people who doubt our abilities, or challenge us to an action. We all have done things simply to prove someone wrong (or prove ourselves right) at some point in time. Ever hoped that we ourselves are proved wrong? Not a chance (try it…it’s difficult). Ever tried proving a point to yourself? I suppose your answer is ‘yes’. But think again. Do we really prove a point to ourselves? Or do we simply change our perception to suit the results?
Trends lead our lives. We want to believe that we are not influenced by anything and that we are our own person. (But then, we do not get what we want, do we? It’s a law of nature.) We simply cannot pay heed to our inner voice that is supposed to help us decide on issues. We accept (and try to ignore) all kinds of advice from all kinds of people. We believe that we have our own say about things when we actually consider our own ‘inner voice’ frivolous and trifling.
Does criticism drive you on? Or is it your sheer will to prove your critic wrong?
Look at it this way. Do you feel bad at negative criticism? Ideally you shouldn’t because you did something that you decided on, by listening to your ‘inner voice’. (no…this is not a mathematical proof) This just shows that how wrong we are to think that it’s us who is in charge of our actions. A practical amendment is reasonable…but mental distress as a result of criticism is not justified. All criticism is constructive (ideally), whatever the intent. But our ego or self-conceit is always disturbed. (But) If we did have an ego, we wouldn’t really care about criticism, would we?
There are times when trends and reputation are a desirable option. But if they don’t work out, it’s still you who decided on them (by listening to your ‘inner voice’). Or did you?
Expected a post on vivas, didn’t you? Well, I do not want to relive those moments until they come back next semester. However, I stil have one segment of time that is fresh in my mind (a mind that wasn’t…in those times of ‘convert all grey matter into memory storage’). For the first time in my life I woke up at 4:15. Yes, in the morning…or late night, to study. The first thing I always do after waking up is brush my teeth. I heard something else brush and shuffle. Bird feathers. And those persistent hoots and gargles (pigeons…as you might’ve guessed). Whoever said birds sleep at such times. I thought I’m not the only one awake at this forsaken hour.
The previous day was an academic disaster. And if coffee wakes you up…toothpaste does that to me. I suddenly saw images, heard voices and flashed back to those 20 minutes when I was made to realise that all I know is what I don’t actually know. I am a burden on society (academically) and I should barr myself from this technical stuff. Anyway, I heard those hoots. I thought they were keeping an eye on me. I better behave and study for ‘today’s viva voce. I started reading a book (funny…because I’ve never read a novel…and here I was trying to read as many pages as possible and comprehend). I was reading letter by letter, word per word. It made no sense at all. Its still dark. Don’t these birds sleep? Don’t they get tired?
I tried to ignore the birds. And concentrate. I’ve felt the happiest in recent weeks when I could understand the working of a simple motor. All these years of rote-learning and now I get it. The birds weren’t disturbing now. I started reading ahead. Suddenly pictures of the previous day. At that moment, I did not care to study for ‘today’. All I wanted was to pass ‘yesterday’. I tried to concentrate again. Blame the birds. They make so much noise. Drive them away. It dawned on me that all I knew was that motor. When dawn arrived in the actual sense.
I was offered coffee. I kept it aside. I had to concentrate. Read you moron. What did you do all semester? And then at that exact moment, the entire population of the birds species waged war on me. Sparrows, hornbills, pigeons, mynas, parrots, crows…you name them. To a poet in the fifteenth century, this was heaven. Birds chirping, playing, calling, frolicking around in the air, rustling leaves, fluttering feathers, flapping wings. To me…all I could say was a loud “Shut Up”.
Yes me, someone who’d just stand and stare and smile at a sparrow, who’d set up his balcony for mynas to perch on and munch, go to an under-civilised place to gaze at hornbills, get his camera out on a slighest glimpse of a parrot. For me, Bird-chirps and annoyance are antonyms. I guess it wasn’t me I was talking about. Remember the coffee I mentioned? It was still on the table…untouched…in the evening when I returned.
I hear birds in north India are a delight. And I’m sure they are not ‘annoying’ as ‘someone’ made them out to be…albeit for 3 hours in ‘tense’ conditions’.