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In all my years that I have troubled mother Earth, I have managed to stay afloat in most, without crash-landing on anyone and thereby crushing them with my heaviness.
Some years have been with the able support of the near and dear who often steered me with their all-encompassing tough love – that is chiding me and guiding me at the same time.
Some of my years have been mostly shooting in the dark and finding my way. I fell but managed to survive and reach those small-destinations albeit bruised. With these average success rates, I have developed a sense of self-belief hoping to conquer most of life’s challenges.
But I tell you, still, nothing prepares one to handle those Well-Meaning-Dosts, who with all their good intentions manage to make us question our own existential parameters! ‘Being Nosey’ is their claim to fame!
What was I thinking really while I sported that swag RADly, when I couldn’t manage the tiniest detail of looking after my abode to their ‘I-will-not-tolerate-your-less-than-perfection’ standards? Or didn’t manage to raise my progeny to their exacting ideals? I cannot even begin to recount the writing advice or weight-gain-thrashings!
You would understand my predicament if ( and only if) you have been privy to that understandingly soft but, dripping with ‘You-poor-bloody-sloth’ smile that barely reaches to the corners of the lips of the aforesaid well-wisher who is currently playing the role of a coroner, bisecting your’s esteem with periodic tch-tch!
What would one do? Grin and bear it or grit teeth and bare it all. A no hold’s barred account of how all the forces of nature had been conspiring so far preventing you to achieve your full potential.
Or give it back with full ammo!
WTF – With Thundering Fury – But then one has to take into consideration, the loss of a fraand who could be counted upon, in times of crises like Pujas, Dosa doughs and more.
I have hit upon a winning formula, that has worked for me so far. Change immediately the conversation to NaMo, #370, Ayodhya, Metro free rides, roads-in-rainy-times, and that Brahmastra? pollution and climate change. Please be warned that talking about financial planning is a damper. Because eventually, everything is decided by Mister!
I tell you, the amount of FANaAmrit or Vitriol (depending upon which side of the spectrum you are) that flows is enough to flood the Thar desert!
After this missive that soft lands, I innocuously ask about the well-wisher’s family while I am on the lookout for an escape route.
If I am in a more deliciously vengeful mood, I touch upon the thorny issues (everyone has a secret! Trust me! Don’t ask mine though, ain’t telling you!) which the well-wisher would smartly feign complete ignorance of.
By then, you are safely off. Don’t try the last bit though, in case you don’t mind your good-bank deposits dwindling and bad-bank deposits soaring.
Surely, we gotta keep that forces-to-be on our side!
Because ultimately Karma is a bitch! Always bites you in the back.
Image is a still from the movie Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Anupama Jain is the author of 'When Padma Bani Paula', a breezy novel about second
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