I grew up being indoctrinated on this. From school textbooks to morals of stories and even random gyan dropping by the grandparents, everywhere I went, this is what I heard.
Today, I question that. Ok, so I questioned it a long time back, but today I think I want to write about it.
Even as I type this, I’m witness to a society meeting happening in my living room – the only neutral place in this set of apartments. 15 minutes into the meeting, the decibel level went beyond the legal limit allowed in a gentleman’s house. And in the one and a half hours that followed, not only did the yelling increase, the language worsened. At one point I was afraid these 45 plus men were going to resort to physical violence. If not broken bones, a couple of slaps definitely. The youngest member of the society is maybe 32 years old. He kept being slammed by the building bully as a “balak”, a child. The oldest member, an octogenarian, periodically reminded people that all the stress would kill him sooner than his time. The bully’s ally used his lung capacity to the fullest obviously thought that the best strategy would be to out-shout everyone. And the aunties who came along just sat there nodding whenever their husbands spoke.
And the conclusion? Nothing. Why? Isn’t it obvious? Everyone here is an adult. They’re all experienced. They all have grey hair (even if it is under Godrej hair dye). And they all think they’re grownups. So who will listen to whom? They’re all convinced that what they know is best. Of course, it is also obvious that a lot of them are operating from insecurity and stupidity – making them more obnoxious, annoying and dangerous than anyone else in the room, simply because not only do they not understand anything, but they also don’t shut up.
So here I am. Keeping a tight check on my tongue and my tendency to say the right things at the wrong time (or the wrong things at the wrong time). Otherwise I would love to tell the fat uncle to get off the pure silk, hand-embroidered cushion he was sitting on, shut his trap, pay his dues and remember that being the size of two men doesn’t give him two votes.
Or the right to drink two glasses of the mango shake I served.