Word of the Week #177:

Disdain

There are certain things that I just don’t like, and when someone asks me why, I don’t always have a great answer.

And not just things… It can be people, places, songs, and really anything in the world. I might just not like them, and I could never even begin to tell you why.

On the other hand, there are times when I can literally make lists of reasons detailing why I dislike something.

This is one of those times.

I do not like the city of Pune, and I do have a list of reasons for my dislike.

No, I am not going to list all of them. Nobody has the time for that. Instead, I am going to talk about one reason why I dislike this city:

This city has the most obnoxious auto drivers ever.

Ask one if they would take you where you want to go. What do they say?

“*Ugh! Who the hell are you, asking me to work while I’m at my place of work?*”
Right. Exactly the response I wanted as I stepped onto this dusty, dirty street.

“Nah…”
That’s it. Nothing else. Take from it what you will.

“No, that’s not one my way.”
Wait, what? Did I accidentally walk into a particularly teeny-tiny bus? Or did you think I was asking for a lift?

“The meter is broken.”
Of course, it is. 

“I’ll charge twice as much as the fair price.”
Sure, why not? I do look like a desperate sucker, right?

It’s no wonder these guys are outraged at cab-hailing services.

“People taking the jobs we refuse to take at the fair price that we refuse to offer and provide a service better than we could ever contemplate? Why, that’s unconscionable. This is a personal attack!”

Of course, it is. 

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Word of the Week #176:

Duality

You know, I am quite weird.

However, there are times when I struggle to define the kind of weird I am.

For instance, I generally tend to ramble on about how I hate structures and restrictions. However, weirdly enough, the first thing I do when I start a project is splitting the entire thing into distinct, discrete sections and creating an extensive schedule.

In my life, I do often despise strict adherence to rules and conventions, especially ones that seem arbitrary and illogical. And yet, the job I chose for myself almost necessitates doing so, and additionally making sure others do so as well.

My documents tend to be immaculately formatted. You will not find a single space where there shouldn’t be one. But visit my bedroom, and you shall see the true extent of chaotic madness.

There will be days when I’m supposed to work, when I have to work, but I would just not step out of the bed. Then, there will be days when I am supposed to take some time off and rest, but I instead end up working for 9–10 hours anyway—as I did just today.

Some people know me as the most optimistic person they have ever known, while others find me to be quite cynical.

There are times when I am extremely sensitive and receptive, but also times where my blasé attitude towards things that others consider major can be seen as rather galling.

A lot of the stuff that I do is extremely—sometimes excessively—logical and premeditated, and at other times, I will just decide to change the entire course of my life based on one moment of whimsy and that will be it.

It is weird, right?

The few people who know me well enough would know about these random inconsistencies. And the very few who know me too well might know these aren’t as random as they seem.

And if you knew me as well as I do, you might even think that this is not inconsistent at all. This is, in its very core, true balance.

This is what brings order to a chaotic universe.

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”

—William Shakespeare, Hamlet

 

Word of the Week #168:

Dilemma

Generally, I pride myself on two qualities which may seem rather paradoxical:

  1. My ability to plan and prepare such that I never have to get things done at the last moment.
  2. My ability, whenever required, to always get things done at the last moment.

However, there are instances when I happen to disregard the former and rely on the latter, and while I do get the job done, it comes at a cost.

Today, I could have written a post earlier in the afternoon and had it scheduled to be posted around midnight. Instead, I chose to spend my time doing something that, for the life of me, I cannot recall.

I can get it done at any time I want, right? I am good at this.

And now, with less than half an hour to midnight, I am typing away on a touchscreen device just hours after having dislocated my left thumb.

Yes, it hurts.

No, I won’t go to the doctor.

Now, shall I conclude that I am struggling to get things done because I chose to wing it and should never do that again, or should I always chose to wing it because I can always get things done regardless how much I am struggling?

Either way, considering I started 28 minutes before my deadline and finished with 14 minutes to go, I think this is a good choice to have.

Word of the Week #167:

Dredge

You know, life is like a cake.

Now, now, stay with me. I’m going somewhere with this.

You see, first, you spend a lot of time getting the ingredients ready. You might have a lot of specific ideas about the ingredients you want to choose but, in the end, you have to take what you get and work with it.

Then you work the ingredients such that they are ready to rise and grow.

Then you put everything in the right conditions, and you hope everything goes well.

Lastly, you add icing and sprinkles and, well, whatever you think you want to make this cake perfect.

Now, I would say that the icing represents the romantic relationships in your life: Some cannot imagine a cake without the icing, while others couldn’t care for it one bit.

I believe I understand cakes well enough to tell a good cake from a bad one, no matter how well you try to hide it under the most flattering of frostings. 

Nonetheless, I won’t imply that I prefer cakes without frosting.

Just, it should be a good cake and a good icing, and the two should match.

Now, when do things go bad? When you try to add icing to raw batter. While the results may be edible, it is not what you wanted, right?

So this is generally sound advice: Don’t add icing to your half-baked life. It is a recipe for disaster.

Word of the Week #166:

Paragon

“This is my everything.”

“That is my entire world.”

We have all heard such lines being used in popular art, right?

The concept is quite common in books and movies and songs. But does it really exist? And if it does, is it really a good thing.

If you cease to function without something, or someone, is that really healthy?

I think we have been conditioned to want things that we do not need, and, often enough, even things that are positively bad for us.

What do you need in a relationship? A fairytale romance? No, that is what you want, not what you need. What you is trust, mutual respect, stability, all that boring stuff that doesn’t quite jump off a page.

How often have we seen people give up on something beautiful, or at least promising, just because it was less than ideal?

How often are we seeing young couples getting divorced less than two years into marriage?

How often are we seeing new recruits quit their jobs within months?

Of course, I’m not one to stop someone from quitting something that is not good for you; indeed, the sooner you do it, the better.

Nor am I one to ask someone not to pursue what they want, or seek to change anything they seem necessary to make their lives better.

Knowing the difference between what you want and what you need is, according to me, something each one of us needs to learn.

I, for one, have always needed to pursue my craziest of wants, irrespective of practicalitities and feasibilities.

I am but a crazy guy, and I would rather die of passion than of boredom.

Honestly, sometimes I think I might be just one bout of extreme boredom away from being a comic book villain.

Wait… What was I talking about?

Eh… Nothing really matters… To me…

Word of the Week #165:

Trepidation

We all fear different things, right?

Actually, I fear a lot of things.

Most of it is normal, you know. Snakes, worms, and other creepy crawly things, heights, lightning, strange people, getting trapped under an oppressive theocratic regime… You know, normal.

However, I do have one fear that might seem rather unusual, though I find it quite rational. I am afraid I will start writing in American English.

It may seem unlikely, even unreasonable, but hear me out.

Over the past few months, I have been working on a lot of projects that required American English, and while I did not enjoy doing it, I managed to trudge through it anyway.

Now, for those who do not see what difference it makes, allow me to offer a sample.

British: “That is my ex,” he said, pointing towards the woman with ‘crazy eyes’.
American: “That is my ex,” he said, pointing toward the woman with “crazy eyes.”

That IS a big difference.

American English is dumb. Ergo, I will start being dumb.

Gah! If that didn’t scare me, I don’t know what would.

Word of the Week #160:

Remunerative

I think I have spoken a lot about how excruciating editing can be, right?

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
― Tiffany Madison

This is what I mentioned way back

Well, these are the problems that arise when you are editing your own work. Editing words that someone else wrote is an entirely different scenario.

It almost feels like walking into a field full of weeds, a machete in each hand, and just swinging with gay abandon!

Like, getting paid to find fault in someone else’s work. That’s the dream, right?

And if there aren’t too many faults? Why, that is just a walk through a field. Nobody minds that, right? Especially if you are getting paid for it.

So, remember: Writing as a passion is great. Much admirable. But as a profession, editing is far more fruitful.