Monday, June 24, 2013

The Five Haunts: Five Things That Scare Me In Life

Posted by at 9:20 PM On to the Previous Post
This is an official entry written by me as a member of Team East under the category: Essay-2 in the ongoing Indian Bloggers' League 2.0  tournament. The topic was- Write an essay on 5 things that scare you in life. 
"Fear is the reason why we are here."

That rhymed.

As much as I love to make such instant quotes, today I am here to write about the five things that scare me the most:

1. Deadlines

To be frank, this the scariest entity that I have come across in my life. And it keeps coming back over and over again! True that, without a deadline, you cannot achieve targets on time and , you will have no sense of managing your day well, but what happens at the end of the day is: only because of deadlines, we run away from our commitments, and try to finish only the night before the exam, the day before the final presentation  and the moment before the final call.

That is exactly what scares me the most. Because I feel that a human mind is wired to work the most under pressure situations. But what many of us miss is the fact that to cope up with the impending pressure which will come only the day before the deadline, our brain- our lovely, scumbag brain, commands us to stop working on the other days. This is true for most of the population of the world- at least for engineers like me!

Therefore, my hatred for deadlines still stays strong. And my fear for the same stays even stronger.

2. Rituals

Yes I will start my discussion on this with marriages. As much as I love the union of two souls bound by the sacred means, I fear the rituals surrounding the same. Because when it comes to rituals, relatives often pull off things which usually make no sense. Why would they cook this before that? Why would they make us eat that before this? Why this cosmetic treatment right before the marriage? Why would they make the groom as well as the bride feel like a mongolian (the haldi ritual) right before the D-day? Seriously, rituals are scary. And as much as they used to be the means of nifty funny incidents for the guests of a ceremony, they become the reason for some of the most embarrassing experiences when a person is at the receiving end.

I have been subjected to a lot many rituals. No, the marriage part is yet to come but I was subjected to Annaprashan ceremony ( infant being force-fed rice for the first time in front of drooling cousins and stiffening elders) , the Thread ceremony ( the adolescent hipster look attained with a shaven head, a sacred thread around the shoulders and the body , pierced ears and saffron 'wraps'- the worst part of it was that the person subjected to this would not eat a single delicacy from the grand feast at night) and let me tell you, the rituals make me nauseous.

Apart from the cultural rituals, there are social rituals as well. You get into a decent college run by the Govt. and your mother makes it a point to follow the daily ritual of bragging in front of the neighbors. You get placed from campus with a decent package and your father makes it a point to follow the daily ritual of bragging the same in front of his colleagues. The worst part of these episodes- exaggeration. Yes, our parents tend to exaggerate things to such extents that at times it becomes difficult to even remember what they had claimed I was , the last time.

There are certain rituals that even we follow. The ritual to stay up late at night watching movies on your laptop, the ritual to update your  Facebook status at least once a day, the ritual to call your gf/bf  three (?) times a day, and the ritual to post tweets throughout the day.

Apart from the usual humiliating experience, the reason why rituals scare me the most is- what will happen if one day I am asked to come out of them all of a sudden?

3. Epiphanies

When God made humans, he himself wasn't sure what he had done. My belief is He was probably high when he created us humans- high up in the skies. I know that was a bad one. Anyway, when he ended up making the most perfect creation of his, he decided to put in an ability in them. That ability was- to think. And with thinking, comes a thought-process. With thought processes, comes an epiphany. And they always come unannounced. They'll come at such a point of time when you would be performing a crucial task- taking a decision, taking chances, taking a dump etc. And when epiphanies arrive, they just have to change to you. A while back you'd be thinking of taking a step to improve your performance appraisal, and the next moment you are gleefully drafting away your resignation letter. Most of the time , epiphanies give you a rush to do something unimaginable; but the moment you have done that, *poof* it goes away, leaving you wondering- 'What do I do now? Why didn't I think through to the end of this?' and that's why, I fear epiphanies a lot.  They have the power to turn our world upside down.

4. Algorithms

Algorithms are a logical outlining of a solution to a problem. This fear of mine is completely concerned with my studies, so I guess you, my dear reader, might yawn a bit on this one, so I'll keep this short. Well as much as easy and harmless algorithms appear to be, trust me, for a computer engineer , they are the reason we still bribe the Gods. A code is implemented based on an algorithm, so when after writing thousands of lines of code, you test it and see that the output is as messed up as the curry you cooked last night, you wonder what went wrong even after the algorithm seemed to give the correct output. Naturally, days pass until when you are about to smash your head on your computer screen, you realize that the second-last step in your algorithm is the root cause of all the troubles. Bloody Red-Bull!

5. Misunderstandings

A fight was going on over the phone call. She threatened she would hang up, but she wouldn't do that because she respects you; you continue with your rants because you think you are right and she is acting all wrong. This continues for the next twenty minutes until suddenly the call drops and when you try to dial it again, it won't get connected to her and you conclude that she did it on purpose. She on the other side thinks the same, and a cycle repeats.
At many points in life, we jump to conclusions. Before letting the other person finish, we conclude something that wasn't what he meant at the first place. As it so happens, misunderstandings crop up. They relish the destruction that they bring with them. Their roles are especially damaging in relationships- with your partner, your parents , your friends, and your siblings. I have seen many cases where mere misunderstandings resulted in permanent disconnect between two people. Safe to say that this is one of the most feared things by me in life.

To conclude, we all have different reasons to worry, different conclusions to draw and different means to forget and forgive. Facing our fears is important, not because beyond fears there's win (I just translated that hindi punchline to sound original), but indeed that would solve many problems in life.

On a happier note, if you take the first letter of each of the five fears in order as they are, then you will find what I love the most. Could you see what that is? *winks and plays Gifted Hands by Lynyrd Skynyrd in the background*

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