Monday, August 18, 2008

Losing my POV

I've always been one hell of an opinionated person. If not anything else, but a Point of View is something I had on anything and everything, all the time. One just had to ask "So, what d'you think about...?" to get me started.

And sometime down the lane, while participating in one organised debate session during my high school days, I realised I could also own a point of view which is directly reversible to my original POV on that, and talk for it so convincingly to win the debate as well as make the rest of the folks believe that nothing could be more right than that.

Anyways, the point now is that, I'm losing my POV. Though not totally, but it's definitely hit the worry mark. Mebbe it's all a part of growing up (or old? :/ )

3 months back, I've been through one mess of a whirlwind time, where I was missing myself soo soo badly. You know, times when you end up doing a lot of otherwise dumb things. That's when I felt that my brain's out on a vacation.. or mebbe my mind went too numb to be sensible or sensitive enough.
I realise, Complacency can be quite dangerously destructive at times. One tends to be not too alert and start taking things in a laid back attitude and end up playing oneself into otherwise avoidable troubles and mistakes. And when I look back at the whole thing, I wonder what was the rationale in making that choice at the first place! The regret is all that is left to overcome, but then I console myself that it's human to err, as long as I don't make a habit of it.
I need to remind myself of a quote which good friend Bubbles shared with me once: 'When you don't stick to a plan of your own, you tend to end up being a part of someone else's plan'.

And then 3 weeks back, there was this series of bomb blasts in Bangalore, the very same evening when we were slated to travel to Kochi to meet up with a bunch of old buddies who were back in India after long. I amazed myself at my state of apathy. I usually feel strongly about such thoughtless acts of inflicting terror, but this time around, all I managed to react was 'Ok, ONLY one death. Thank God, those were low intensity ones.' It's more as though I've learned to accept it as a natural calamity which is bound to happen from time to time. Something over which we have absolutely no control. Though a couple of them went off within half a km radius from my workplace. And 5 of them within a 3km radius. Jammed mobile phone networks, frantic calls made from the landline phones at every cubicle, people clicking the refresh button on the rediff news page while the number of blasts went up, concerned e-mails which replaced sms es, e-mails from office security on the safeness quotient of stepping out, groups of 4 or 5 at cubes discussing the political side of it all wondering if BJP's coming to power in Karnataka was worrying the terrorists enough to act crazy, nervous jokes on how Bangalore has also joined the bandwagon of other usually terror target prone metros..
I was definitely worried that day, and that was just because I wasn't too sure whether my travel plans will have to be called off.
That was it.

Once at Kochi, Bubbles and her Dad came to pick us up, and on the way, Uncle was talking about the sense of apathy among the new breed of news channels. He was quoting a newsreader who seemed to have said "ONLY one death".
I gulped.

The very next day, we were to leave for Trivandrum. How could one go to someplace as near to home as Kochi and still not hit home? Besides I wanted to be at home to celebrate my birthday with family, go break some coconuts at the Pazhavangadi Ganapathi Kovil and go to the Vettucaud Church.

At about 5:30 pm, the ever so hospitable host, Dimple took us to the railway station, and was almost about to see us off when Bubbles called up with great urgency to order us to jump out of the train ASAP.
'Why?' I ask.
'There's gonna be bomb blasts in Kerala at 7 pm today. It's all over on TV!'
'Oh!' I say. 'I'll pass on the phone to Hema. Tell her that.'

Off we got from the train and headed back to D&B's place, after picking up the tickets for the next morning's train to Trivandrum. Switched on the TV and sat glued to it, waiting for 7 o' clock. Nothing happened, thankfully. But I again amazed myself at how numbly I was taking it all. As though I'm rescheduling my plans taking into account the possibility of a heavy rain or something like that.

And then, back at Bangalore, the other weekend, we could hear sound effects of fireworks next door (read: domestic violence). It's another one of those episodes which those folks indulge in, once a while. (ok, read it as their usual weekend chore). An upwardly mobile young working couple with a 4 year old son. A meek man, an always gruffy woman and a real pesky kid. That's how I see them. Not quite your friendly neighbour.. (well that's more or less a myth in the Apartment culture anyways, thankfully. 'Thankfully', because friendly neighbours are usually 'nosy' too, by default, which is not too welcome.)

This time, the fireworks was a li'l more than usual, more in tune with Thrissur pooram. The kind that would traumatize the neighbors too. I dunno how many of us would have experienced something like that. You hear the decibels raise and you don't quite need a very fertile imagination to sense that the man must be banging his wife's head on the wall. Running around, throwing things. A hell lot of screaming. more hitting. more screaming. followed by even more hitting. Hema found it very revolting and wanted to call up the Landlord's brother who lives across the road. I stood there numb, dumbstruck. I also found myself silently praying that the lady would stop screaming, so that the man might stop hitting her. (I again surprised myself very negatively there!) And then there was silence. deafening silence. We thought one of them must have definitely killed the other. And then the mind started racing... thinking of weird possibilities. Will the police come? Should we knock the door? Will that be uncalled for interference? And then, to our relief, the elderly lady downstairs came up to check on them. Both of them apparently, were alive.
Very insensitively, I ask Hema to shut the door close.

The very next day, while paying the house-rent, I mentioned the event to the landlord's very-shy-to-talk caretaker brother. (He usually prefers answering in mono-syllables only. At times, a couple of words, when he's feeling very outgoing.) That day, he was cheerful, hence said 'Problem vacated' with a very happy smile. On further inquiry, I learned that the Lady of the house has vacated, lodged an FIR and filed for a divorce.
I think, 'Good for her!' That's it.

Terrorism and Domestic violence are issues which would have got me fuming any other day. Now I wonder if I'm just losing my POV or that I've turned plain insensitive and passive about things around me.

Mebbe Anubha is right. It could be just my current health predicament and the general low tide I'm going through. I should be alright soon!

On another thought, is our society getting conditioned to being more apathetic, day by day?
Have we started shrugging off anything that doesn't directly affect our lives?
Are we getting too engrossed in fighting our own humble battles for survival (read self-absorbed)?
Or are we just getting too used to saying 'I don't care', a tad too often?


  1. I know what you mean. I was talking to a cousin that day to check if he was alright and he said what a shame it was for the terrorists, they could get "only" one. I was so enraged that he was almost laughing at the matter, when that one person must have meant the whole world to someone else. As it did, when her husband too joined her. We are so used to hearing about death, it has come down to looking for numbers now to urge a cause of worry. Only if we could imagine what it would be like if that one person was someone we knew... what a whole world of difference that would make...

  2. Oh and I thought i was the only one doing some india ka darshan

    on a serious note...its sad - the Only one life thing...shows how much we value life nowdays!!!

    infact, the way ppl move on with evrythn aftr such incidents is in one way disturbing, its like the loss of life is not a concern anymore....our life - is it really tht cheap n worthless tht the fear of it being in danger is not an issue anymore???

  3. Yes... All of us too much involved in self obsorbing world. Unfortunately many of us belive thats the way to go.

    Also we dnt have to be so pessimistic, lets hope for the best. Cheerup girl

  4. hello..nice blog.i really liked the feel of ur blog.

    Hope to share lings with u.

  5. Hey Usha, Its been ages I havent heard from u at all. Are u feeling better now. Good to see ur blog atleast i know u are out and about. Actually when i heard about the blasts i felt the same way. I did think abt calling you and then I was like no way it was not smething huge. Pathetic i know and this is the time i am supposed to be more emotional. I hope u get better soon and i get to chat with u soon. Take care. Deepa

  6. bombs they say...
    they are calm.. and your point of view was well written...
    hop down again to my blog. thanks for coming a month back...

  7. @chris: could be that it's all becoming so frequent that we kinda start looking at it like some number game that these guys play.. becoming 'insensitive' may not be the case, rather sometimes we end up trying to crack a joke or something in a nervous attempt to lighten the air.. dunno.

    @div: 'our life - is it really tht cheap n worthless tht the fear of it being in danger is not an issue anymore???'
    -you said it. we've started taking our lives way too lightly and passively, i guess.

    @cm-chap: well mebbe that IS the way to be, in today's world. We have our own deadlines to meet, bills to pay, vacations to go to (which has also become a 'have to' thing these days to keep up with the trend, though they were meant to be for leisure) that we can't afford to prod over such issues anymore.

  8. @prajyot: hey, thanks for stopping by to comment. Will surely drop by at your blog sometime. :)

    @deepa: Deeepz!! :) Im so glad to find you here! yeah, its been some weeks since we got to chat, right? Blame it all on the crappy connection at home, n even otherwise, I've cut down on my online time of late since I'm at home. spending more time with my books. I'm doing better otherwise, dear. will catch up with you sometime soon... You do take goodie good care of yourself and the li'l 'un too! :)

    @chriz: yeah, actually after typing it all down, I felt mebbe I haven't totally lost my Point of View afterall! :)
    Will definitely get back to your blog once I get back to my regular track.

  9. Very true, and your last para sums it all up. No one accepts it but all of us have indeed becocme insensitive and apathetic to any thing that does not direcly affect us.

    The famed Mumbai Spirit is one example. People go about thier lives after every bomb attack and The mumbai spirit is used to cover the fact that actually people just dont care !!!

  10. hey hybrid, same pinch :-)
    Losing your POV is like losing your identity. Maybe we get to hear so many things that the reaction neurons stop working for sometime..
    So to get you back on track you have been tagged

  11. @santosh: exactly.. the Mumbai spirit is such a facade, if you ask me too!
    but then, we are all stuck in such facades in our everyday lives.

    @cris: oye! that sounds cool.. perfect recipe for overcoming blogger's block, w/o bothering my laziness level much.. teehee.. I'm taking it up, girl! :)

    @seema: yeah exactly.. n i kinda started feeling a li'l scared n insecure about losing the 'identity' part..
    you are very very true when u say that about the reaction neurons.. coz there's been soo much happening at personal, professional fronts that i feel my mind kinda squatted down on the floor and threw up its hands in despair! aagh.. what an imagination.. guess the imagination department has been trying it's best for making up for the mind's absense! hmmph.. guess Im losing it! never mind! :D

    hey!! so hybrid partner, you too tagged me with the same one! how thoughtful of you guys, I say! :) dankies..

  12. Where are you dear? You make your absence too loud!

  13. @ div, chris: i've been missed? :) me too's been missing reading your blogs.. lemme go check them out quick! :)

    @chaggoholic: glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by! :)