Hate And Why We Love It

I was reading a rather disturbing feature on Time about the attack on Nido Taniam in Delhi. It struck me that this, and other instances of hate that happen all over the world every day, are not surprising. We can’t pretend to be shocked, awed and disturbed, and cringe away from these acts of violence. As human beings, we are programmed to inflict pain on others. And we love it.

hate and violence
British Riots. Image Courtesy: BBC

My theory is quite simple: we are hateful creatures, forced to live together on the same piece of land and a bunch of makeshift rules and laws thrown in to govern our behavior. We forced ourselves into this corner. No one did this to us.

On our own, we are quite the pacifists. Well, most of us. But why is it that when we are put in a crowd of people, we bare our teeth, beat out chests and turn on each other? I think the answer lies deep within ourselves – our inherent fears. I’ll explain what this means.

I’ve been doing this very interesting social experiment for a few years now without anyone realizing it, and it’s proven to be quite the eye-opener. Whenever I am alone with someone (say Bob), in any situation, the conversation progresses like any other conversation between two people – about random things or something in particular. The minute a third person (say Dave) joins the fray, I use a variation of the following line: “Dave, hey! What’s up? Have you met Bob? He’s my friend and he’s uh.. um…”

I pretend to forget what Bob does for a living or what he’s good at, or what he has achieved, in an attempt to trivialize him. Bob immediately takes the cue, subconsciously, and rattles off his résumé to Dave – where he studied, what he graduated in, where he has worked, what he is currently working on, etc. This does not always happen, mind you. But when it does and you observe Bob’s body language, and he is the very epitome of defensiveness. His body is closed, arms folded, shoulders drooped, as though he is bracing for an attack.

The same thing also happens when I’m alone with Bob and I feign indifference to his achievements in life.

It’s our fear of rejection (or the fear of being dismissed as unimportant) that puts us in this situation. We all do it. I do it too. I have found myself talking about my career choices and my achievements (or lack thereof) to people for no fathomable reason except my fear of ridicule and rejection. I don’t want the other guy to think I’m weak. Or stupid. I beef up my arms and shoulders, brace myself and start telling him through my body language that I’m a (relatively) smart guy and can defend myself if need be.

This behavior tells us a few very important things about ourselves – we are all in a constant state of alertness, always on the lookout for a threat. This threat can be in any shape of form – physical, mental, emotional, financial, etc. We believe that everyone around us are a threat to our way of life. This is perhaps why we don’t do certain things like wear sunglasses when we’re inside a building – we fear that people are going to point at us and laugh, thus making us feel small, insignificant and vulnerable. This leaves us open for attack from a larger predator.

When the concept is applied on a global scale – to societies and nations as a whole, we realize that the equation does not change one bit. A billion paranoid people are constantly wary of a billion other paranoid people. Fear multiples in crowds and takes a life of it’s own, which leads to bad decisions and ultimately, a lot of people die. This is used as fuel to further our paranoia  – because it’s all right when we kill someone because we are doing it out of self-defense. But we fail to realize that the other person is killing for the same exact reason. We think he’s a monster, with no thought control and emotion.

The fact that we need this mutual hate and fear to survive and lead our lives is the biggest illusion that we have performed on ourselves. The idea that we need to lash out at a fellow human being in order to survive is ultimately going to make us as extinct as the Dodo. But not before we realize that it makes us just as dumb.

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Mumbai, Meri Jaan?

Having a lousy time in Mumbai. Sigh. I hope to survive this insanity long enough to return home safe and sound. I can’t believe I am in the heart of Mumbai and can’t make an international call. I can’t believe I’m in the heart of Mumbai and can’t access a stable internet connection. I can’t believe I’m in the heart of Mumbai and am cut off from the world with no phone, no money, no internet, no nothing. I can’t believe I ate Ruffles Lays for lunch because I didn’t have money to buy myself a decent meal. I can’t belive I traveled in the handicapped compartment of a local train because I didn’t know it was reserved for the handicapped. I can’t believe I went around the whole city in sweltering heat, and didn’t feel tired because I was beyond fatigue.

I can’t believe I’m in Mumbai. I can’t believe I hate this place so much, and yet, there’s something about this city that makes me want to come back, again and again. I can’t believe I love this place.

I can’t believe I love Mumbai.

 

 

A Conversation With God :)

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Me: Hey God, what’s up?

God: Nothing much. You tell me.

Me: You know that this isn’t really happening and that I’m either stoned or drunk.

God: Yes, I do realize it. What can we do about it?

Me: Nothing, I guess. Let’s make a deal, shall we?

God: What?

Me: You promise me that you’ll leave me alone and I’ll promise you that I’ll not spread rumors about you.

God: You’ve been spreading rumors about me?

Me: Uh… No, forget that.

God: No, no! Tell me, what rumors have you been spreading about me?

Me: Nothing, God. Nothing. Let’s move on, shall we?

God: I don’t think so, Nikhil. Tell me now!

Me: (Shit!) Er, are you sure you want me to do that?

God: Um, yeah.

Me: I’ve been telling people that… that you… you are… Hey, did you watch that new movie? Isn’t that cool?

God: Don’t change the frikkin topic, dude.

Me: (Oh Crap!) Look, God. You’re a decent guy. And I’m sure you’re rational, to an extent. Let bygones be bygones. What say?

God: More than rational, I’m a bit more realistic. Now, stop beating around the bush and tell me what nonsense you’ve been telling people about me! Tell me now or I will banish you to an eternity of bloglessness!

Me: (Gulp!) Okay, I’m sorry. I think I should confess. I’ve been telling people that you don’t exist.

God: Hmmm… Really? Is that it? Or are you hiding something?

Me: No, no! That’s it! I swear. I am not lying!

God: May I ask why you did this deed?

Me: Well, I don’t know.. I mean, look at you. You’re this big and powerful entity and you apparently created the whole universe and you’re omnipresent and omnipotential and all that jazz. But you’re never there when people need you, are you?

God: Oh, you’re referring to the recent increase in terrorism, aren’t you?

Me: Terrorism? No, I think a lot of people are already doing that. I’m referring to something much more fundamental.

God: Really? What?

Me: My sense of time – I woke up today and thought it was a Thursday. And on Wednesday, I woke up and thought it was Saturday. What’s happening to me?

God: I think it’s some deep atavistic instinct of yours kicking in.

Me: Oh yeah? Do you see me dangling from a tree branch and scratching myself?

God: In a way, yes. I do.

Me: (Scratching myself) Hmmm… You do have a point there. Maybe it’s time we put an end to this ridiculous conversation and get on with our daily chores.

God: That’s the most intelligent thing you’ve said all your life.

Me: Why, thank you, God! I was running low on sarcasm.

God: Get lost. Bye!

Me: Goodbye! 🙂

The ‘Butt’on Brigade

This post is for the person who gave me that screwball lecture on Global Warming,   😀

I sat through a long discourse on global warming and how it’ll affect the kind of clothes we wear on a daily basis. Apparently, the Earth is going to become too hot for us to wear clothes and we’d all be walking around butt-naked on the streets, sweating like pigs. Nudists are going to have a field day, however, but for the rest of us unfortunates, we will be forced to do something drastic to preserve whatever ‘little’ decency we have.

From the Stone Age to the Information Age and the present Boobage, we’re hurtling towards another Ass Age. Strangely, this comes just before the next Ice Age, and the two pronunciations are not to be confused. So, what do we do in this ex-ass-perating situation?

There will come a time when people’s butts will become a taboo – as taboo’d as the other ‘private’ parts. Unfortunately, people will not share the same obsession they have for these parts and we’ll see them being bared in public. But the butt, it’s gonna be highly private. Someone will invent a Butt-Guard or a Butt-Off or something similar in all shapes and sizes and fake ones too, that will protect the butt from prying eyes. More than anything, these inventions will prevent Ass Lovers from their eye-candy.

These Ass Lovers will create a secret society called the ‘Butt’on Brigade, and their main objective will be to beautify the backside through underground videos. Scores of people will be misled into joining the ‘Butt’on Brigade and kids as young as 10 will be brainwashed and made to join. Law and order will fail against the sheer numbers of the Brigadiers and the kids will create their own version called the ‘Little Asses.’

And since all the truths about Global Warming would have been proven to be true, the Governments of all the countries will decide that they need to ignore the ominous signs again. Their anal logic would be: Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, so why should Global Warming?

But the logic would turn out to be just that – anal and stinky, Global Warming would strike again, bringing an end to the Ice and the Ass Age. The taboos would return to normal. We’d be flashing our butts in public again and hiding other parts.

If only this fucked-up version of the future were true. Unfortunately, it’s just a dream. An ass-piration…

20,000 hits in 5 months! :)

Yay! Time to celebrate!

I would like to thank each and every one of you who have read my blog, commented and made this wonderful thing possible! Crossing 20,000 hits in the fifth month of this blog’s conception is just too good to be true. I almost want to celebrate now, rip my shirt off, whirl it in the air and cry, “Yippee!” out loud, but the fear of crossing the line of decency and losing my job. 😀

Thank you all for making me smile on a mundane Monday morning! 😀

Cheers to all!

The Death Of The Knock-Knock Joke!

Fellow blogger and close friend, Scorpria, just killed the “Knock-Knock” joke!

For centuries, the Knock-Knock jokes have enthralled us and held us captive in their charm and wit and charisma, and total disregard for pronunciation, punctuation and common sense! They have never failed to bring a smile to our faces and laugh at our own ignorance! Now, the Knock-Knock joke is no more! There is even  a Wikipedia page dedicated to this great joke!

This was the conversation, verbatim, that occured on the 18th of July, at 4.59 pm.

Me: Hey Scorpria, mind if I tell you a great Knock-Knock joke?

Scorpria: Oh, not at all! I love them!

Me: Knock! Knock!

Scorpria: Come in!  😀

…………

Doctors, please note the hour of death. Obituaries are called for, and may be deposited in the comments section.

Due to the gruesomeness of the murder, I also call for a discussion to decide the most appropriate punishment for Scorpria. Such murderers cannot be allowed to walk the streets scott-free! Also, please be noted that a motion has been passed to officially christen July 18th as the “Knock-Knock Day,” in loving memory.

Rest In Peace!

Image Courtesy: metal-archives.com

Roses Are Red…

I have been tagged by RJ to write a love poem. But there’s a catch:

You get transformed to this 4th grade version of you, make the poem ultra cute and super sweet, filled with innocence and write about Love!

I rarely dabble with poetry and I am sure this one’s the most amateurish bit of poetry ever composed. In my defense, I am supposed to be in the 4th grade for doing this tag, so it’s ok. I can live with this humiliation.

This love poem is dedicated to one of the most beautiful woman I have known so far – my dear Ms. Charming, whose smiles light up my day and whose lovely laughter make me want to wake up each day.

Walking along the road of life
I start to think –
Why do I hurt like the stab of a knife
Why do I hate to blink?

Walking along the path to riches
I think I am lonely and sad
Missed chances and too many glitches
I think my luck is really bad.

There you were, waiting for me
You smiled at me and said “Hi”
I lost track of space and time, filled with glee
I never want to say “Bye”

I need your guidance to travel this road
I need your grace to keep me sane
I need you to share my load
I need your smile to light up the lane.

The road is long enough
For us to discover each other
The road is long enough
For us to love each other.

It may seem trivial
It may seem hollow
I assure you it’s not,
When I say I love you.

Apologies for abandoning the rhyme scheme in the last paragraph. I am not a poet! 😀