My Mic Drop Monologue!!!

Ever since I was a little kid, I faced a lot of hostility at the hands of a lot of people, be it my own mother, the bullies at school, my abusers, bullies at college or several other nameless individuals. But I rarely retaliated. I internalized the whole experience and made myself impervious to hurtful things. And I did that with the help of defense mechanisms. Now these defense mechanisms vary in size, shape and nature. Let me dive into a few of them today, to give you a beginners' tour into the dark twisted alleys of my mind.

A colleague recently told me that my boss was taunting me about something during an official con-call. And I had completely missed it. You see, that's not me being naive, it's my mind filtering out negativity. This started out when I was younger. After my parents went through a pretty long and scandalous divorce, being from a small town in a relatively backward state in the country, my folks and I had a lot of people randomly saying derogatory stuff to us, either about us or the divorce. I was pretty used to being called "maacheund" which is what you call those pups and kitten that are abandoned by their mothers, and it's considered offensive when used for a child. And I had trained myself in such a way that such words never bothered me. 

In another example, my grandmother had this habit of murmuring under her breath. I was an unconscious nervous tick where she'd keep ranting about people under her breath, not realizing that she was quite audible. A few times, when I was younger, I'd felt offended at something she said about me, but my grandfather had asked to phase out her murmurs because those were really not meant for me to listen. Consequently, today if a few people are talking in the room I am in, I won't hear you unless you call on me by name. That's how good I've becoming at drowning out noises.

The same habit actually helped me in the future where I grew to never pay heed to what "people say". The last two words are in quotes because it refers to this common Hindi saying "Log kya kahenge" which translates to "What will people say?" I have never cared for people's opinion of me. I have done what I wanted to do, with utter disregard for how people felt about my actions. I often say that I don't care about right and wrong. And while that's true to some extent, the fact still remains that I do have a conscience that guides my actions. (Yet I have done a lot of things which have hurt people, led to problems and I guess that's testament to the fact that I'm a human being.)

Now that I have explored a few concepts of my character, let me explore another - irony. So while I have never really cared about random people, what I never realized was that it has always been important for me to be perceived positively by people I care for. While it sounds like a pretty normal thing, let me give you a weird example from an incident that happened several years ago in my life. I had been dating this girl for a few years, but we had been drifting apart because we were living in two different cities. As often happens in long distance relationships, there were a lot of trust issues and I had given up on the relationship because in my head, I knew that it was doomed. But instead of talking it out with her, I just moved on. Later when she realized that I had "moved on", she was furious, and understandably so. Now, such was my need to be perceived as a "righteous" guy that I tried to justify something which really was, for the lack of a better term, a "douche" move.

Now if you are a discerning reader, you might have noticed that I introduced some pretty contradicting ideas about myself in the last few paragraphs. That's because that's what I'm like. Inconsistent. I am a sum of several fluctuating ideas and values. It does give me an identity crisis every now and then, but in lucid moments like this, I can actually acknowledge my inconsistency, eccentricities and be forgiving about it. And if you're mildly unscrupulous like I am, you need to forgive yourself the constant indiscretions. 

I have done some clearly bad stuff in my life and most of the times, I did it because I thought the person I was doing it to, was doing worse to me behind my back, which was, again more often than not, the case. But a few times, I have done morally questionable stuff, just because I believed that I was a morally questionable guy. The funny part is that some of these extremely evil acts were driven from a place of strangely calm resolution. It was almost like I was one of those sinister movie villains who take pride in their villainy. And while I acknowledge that I did bad, I am never apologetic about it.

On the other hand, there have been times where I've been blamed with malicious intent in cases where my heart was in the right place. And it was usually by people I'd historically treated very well. And I often wonder why their misunderstanding bothered me so much whereas in other cases, people's wrath didn't. And then it struck me - I was bothered when someone's opinion of me differed from my opinion of myself. For example, if I have done things for you selflessly and you call me selfish, I'll feel bad about it. And if I have betrayed you knowingly, anything you say won't affect me. And here's the funny part - even in this, I am flawed.

Because we are all individuals with our own free will and perception. And trying to change someone else's opinion is next to impossible and more often than not, not even worth it. So, I try not to be bothered by the harsh things some ungrateful people say to me. Because in their minds, they make me the villain, because that helps them sleep better at night.


Any of you still trying to find the moral of this article? Well here it is - there's no good, there's no bad, there's just YOU. The universe does revolve around you, and it always will - in your mind. It's the same for everyone. 


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