Dumb and Dumber !

I was a dumb kid. Correction – I am STILL a dumb.. Err.. Kid !!Image

I was always intrigued with life. Well, the feeling would go through states of bafflement, bewilderment and in some days, utter confusion! My brain seemed to continuously process information and look to find answers. This nearly-total lack of a mental filter can cause increased stress. Things find their way to my brain, things that don’t belong there, just as things don’t belong in my lungs, like dust.  Being inquisitive, I would ask lot of questions.. And would often be tagged as being dumb..

“Why do you ask so many dumb questions?” – my friends would say

“Stop it Ari.. Sometimes, you ask really dumb questions.. GO NOW!” – my teachers would say.

Every time I asked a question, my self belief took a beating. During those turbulent days, my pillar of strength was my mother. She always supported me. She said everyone goes through this PTT syndrome (no it’s not Push-To-Talk, it is Pre-Teen Trouble). As you grow older, you gain more KNOWLEDGE, and you will find the answers yourself.

I imagined that in the distant future, the fog around my brain would dissipate, the smoke would clear, and I will be able to begin the satisfying task of gathering pieces of understanding and storing them in my mind.  I was convinced that just like every item in the food store came with an expiry date, my dumb-ness also will have an expiry date? The day will arrive when I will finally have the power of “insight”, the gift of “knowledge”.

I patiently waited for the moment to come…Through my teens, my twenties, thirties..

I am still waiting.

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AA 8 : Black Listed!!

[All chapters of Awesome Anushka (AA) series – click here]

“What is it Shy Guy?” – Anushka asked.

I had decided that the discussion with Anushka cannot wait till end of school. My grey cells were anyway not working – and I needed to pick her brain. The Maths class was over, and the Geography class was about to start. Geography was a subject I never liked and Bansal sir-our Geo teacher spoke in such a montone that he made the boring subject sound even more boring. It seemed like the right time.

I decided to bunk the Geography class.

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Signs of fading eyesight? Or insanity? Or Old age?

I don’t think there is anything wrong with my eyesight. In fact, I think I have a highly trained eye – an eye that can easily spot the details and infer information from what I see at lightning speed. Yes – highly trained to ONLY things which are relevant and important to me! It is quite different from my wife. She seems to have this innate trait of “having eyes at the back of her head” – what else can explain scenarios like “The Roshogolla Rage“.

When I sit back and think – I wonder how (or why) my brain does not register these “seemingly obvious” things around me. If whatever I am looking at does not pertain to the immediate task I am involived in, or if its not relevant to an activity on MY interest – I just don’t see it!

Here’s an example of a conversation last weekend –

WIFE: We need to replace the bathroom tiles, its been so long, and the tiles have completely faded away.

ME: Hmm…

WIFE: Can you get them today? You know the place on BG road – just before it hits Hosur Road – there are lot of tile shops there…

ME: “Huh? Really..”

WIFE: What Huh… we go through that area almost every weekend. Right after the Dairy Circle crossing.

ME: I have no idea where your tile shop is… after Dairy Circle, we hit Hosur Road..

WIFE: Yes, yes.. We go to the Super Market right? Just next to it.

ME: I know we go to the SuperMarket. I don’t check out things around it…

WIFE: (extremely irritated) Ari… you have lived here for like “Ever since Adam was born”, and have been going to the Super Market since eternity. You telling me you never saw the tile shops next to it

ME: I never shopped for a tile in my life.

WIFE: (Shaked her head in disgust, and walks away)

Hmm.. Ari is still figuring out why his brain cells don’t register what seems to be “simple” things to wifey? Is this sign of insanity? Or Old age? Or both?

What do you think?

What are your favorite ways to procrastinate?

How fitting is this? I have this post sitting in my drafts for almost a month now. I have been happily procrastinating a blog about procrastination. Like most of us, I am also heavily prone to procrastination. Especially on tasks that I do not like to do…

While all of us procrastinate to various degrees in all spheres of life, I will limit the scope of this post to household chores and nags requests that keep coming – just when you think you can sit down for a nice little “no work and blank out your mind” zone.

The most common syndromes…

The DO IT LATER Bugger

This syndrome is observed when one is asked to do things that he / she does not like to do. The “I’ll do it later” basically means that “I have no intention of doing it”, and please look at other alternatives. Sadly, it takes some time for the partner to figure out the REAL meaning – and can cause stress till the time the partner gives up (hopefully)

AN examplehttps://arindamunplugged.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/timed-out/

PROS: If your partner has figured out the real meaning, and is fine with it – you are the champion! You can get away from most of the nags!

CONS: Very high on guilt quotient – Near danger levels, since you made the commitment of doing it (without specifying the timeframe). Someday, you will have to DO IT! Till then, guilt rises with every reminder!

The Negotiator

This is observed when you try to negotiate your way out of doing the task you are being requested to do. Your success depends on your negotiation skills and your assertiveness. If nothing else, it helps reduce the priority, and procrastinate it till the time the task really DEMANDS attention

Example:

Wife: Ari, the pipe in the back porch is leaking. Can you get that fixed today?

Ari: Too much work today.. I saw the leakage, it just a small one.. And it is not imperative to fix it now.

Wife: Come on, everyday the porch looks unclean because of it. Also, it may cause seepage in the walls.

Ari: Don’t worry about it.. The rate at which water is leaking, it will take many years before seepage happens.

Wife: [Gritting teeth] Will you fix it or not?

Ari: My analysis shows there is still time till it needs my attention… so, don’t worry about it!

Wife: [Waves hand over her head, and gives me the “What do I do with you” look!!

PROS: No commitment, no expectations. One of the best mode of procrastination

CONS: Can be perceived as argumentative and cause severe stress (depending on mood & situation). Ensure you have backup options. Under severe cases, sleeping on the sofa also a possibility!

The Silent Assasin

It also works best for procrastination – if you can carry it off that is! If you can ignore a request and feign complete ignorance about it, you can “get away” without feeling guilty (lots of it, in my case) of having committed something, and not delivering on your commitment. This is mostly observed when you are asked to do a task that is required, but at the same time, quite distasteful. For e.g: Cleaning the toilet! I mean, I understand all tasks are important – but hey – I don’t think anyone will be queuing up to clean the toilet!

Here’s how our conversation ensues –

Me watching TV.

WIFE: Ari…

Me still watching TV

WIFE: Sweetheart- bit louder..

No response…

WIFE: Ari…

ME: “huh?”

WIFE: I have been trying to talk to you for nearly 5 minutes

ME: Oh, really.. Oh.. Ok. I didn’t hear you, what is it?

WIFE: Can you clean the toilet?

ME: [No response, just look at her with this “I seem to have trouble understanding the instructions” and stare back at the TV.

This cycle continues few more times till either you revert to the above two modes of operation.

PROS: No commitment, if you can pull it off!

CONS: Wifey gets terribly upset and your guilt quotient crosses the “DANGER” levels, and you end up doing it!!

Maybe there are more ways, but let’s park that for later.

What are your favorite ways to procrastinate?

AA 7 : No More!!

[All previous chapters of Awesome Anushka (AA) series – click here]

“Stop saying it so many times Ari..” – Anushka said.

The same hands that I was holding and kissing about 16 hours 20 minutes and 10 seconds ago were holding the ice cream that I had bought for us during tiffin break the next day. I had already thanked her five times (or maybe more, I don’t remember) for coming to my home yesterday. I had not told her about the trouble at home – not yet! I had tried hard last night to think of a master plan – but the grey cells in my head refused to provide any help, as is so often the case! I am sure that if I do an IQ test on me, I would be the bottom percentile. But hey! Somehow, I had Anushka. And somehow, the rest of the things – grades, IQ, KK sir, Vikram, Sam.. No-one seemed to matter anymore. All I cared about was her – being with her!

Is this love? Is this infatuation? Is this lust? Is this craziness? Am I being stupid? I didn’t know. I didn’t care.

Her sweet voice interrupted my thoughts, again!

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AA6 : The BAD boy

[All previous posts of Awesome Anushka (AA series) – click here]

I opened the door, to find Her Highness – my mother standing there. She had returned early from work that day. Mom had come in and was in a state of shock to find her son with a (girl) friend. We came from a conservative family – so it was obvious that bringing (girl) friends at home was NOT encouraged. Especially, with no prior information to Her Highness!

There was an uncomfortable few minutes of conversation before mom went inside. I gestured to Anushka to leave quickly. She got the hint, and left.

Everything in my system told me something miserable was going to happen. I was right!

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MD 22 : Dude from Planet of the Apes

IN the early 1990s, my father moved to Delhi, the capital of India. I had spent most of my life till then in a small town – Sindri in the state of Bihar (now Jharkhand). I thought of this move as being both good and bad – good because I would now be exposed to the charming city life – that would hopefully provide opportunities for growth. The not so good part, was my own fear – that everyone in the city would just be much more smarter than me, and I would soon become the “stupid ass from small town”

From my childhood, I had pictured myself in situations where I don’t belong, situations where people around me know more than me, and my skill level is not good enough for me to be part of that group. Thinking about such situations would send a shiver down my spine, and wake me up in the nights as if I just had a nightmare. Somehow, deep down inside me, I felt that in Delhi, I ran the risk of being “made fun of” – of being utterly and completely humiliated!

I was right!

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