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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Child's play

Have you ever watched an infant play by itself? Or simply being chased by its mother while it walks with unsure feet to explore the world by itself?
There's something mesmerising ... distinctly attractive about the spontaneity of the child that captivates our attention, so much so that , for a moment we are unaware of the world around us. It is like a prayer to watch something so pure, so unadulterated.

When we grow up, we often lose that spontaneity. When we cry or laugh aloud we wonder if there's someone else watching us. We become too conscious of our outer world; so much so that the expressions of our inner selves get suppressed. They struggle to come out.
Personally, I prefer crying in the restrooms where I am alone. It is the thought of someone else sympathizing with me or having pity on me that makes me do it. I hate to show my vulnerabilty. But then.. if I'm vulnerable, why is it difficult for me to accept myself as I am?
Tears are not always a mark of weakness. Sometimes excess of joy flows down as tears. Reading a good book or watching a wonderful movie makes me cry. Now, "good" and "wonderful" are very vague terms and it can vary from individual to individual. What I mean by those is something that touches my inner self - merely grazes it or sometimes causes a torrent by stirring the emotions.

So when I cry to express such a multitude of emotions, why do I feel ashamed when I cry when I am hurt? Do I want to show that nothing can hurt me? Why do I want to feign strength that is not mine? And most importantly- who are ones I am scared to be myself with? My outer world? Who are they? My colleagues? My friends? My loved ones? There can be basically two sets of people who constitute my outer world. Set A: people who matter to me
Set B: people who don't

Now if a person is an element from Set A, he/she should love me enough to accept me as I am. If that is not the case, then I shouldn't hesitate to transfer him/her to Set B , without the slightest delay.
And if someone is from Set B, why should I be bothered what opinion he/she holds about me? What end will I achieve my trying to imagine what reaction my behavior has triggered in him/her?

20 comments:

sushant said...

oh you rised some heavy questions.. i think ppl of set b dnt matter so one shouldn't give adamn stay who you r and do what u feel like.. but i'd show some resistance taking that someone who's good wid you must accept that is characteristically your true self, or else s/he should be thrown to set b. may be we'd need a lot more sets than just a and b. life is complicated and i think to accept the complexity wud help to contain the complexity.

aashish_from_orkut said...

i really liked the idea of differentiating ppl into 2 groups.. and very true, if a person does not fall into A, he ought to be in B, who shudn't matter to u..
that leaves me wid a conclusion that v shud not hide our emotions, as also summarized by u at the end..

thanx for the enlightenment! :)
but i think i need to give more thot to it..

Aparna Kar said...

Life is very simple if u look at it the way I do .
I said 'basically' two categories. There can be subsets, there could be intersecting regions too (like a Venn diagram) , where it's difficult to decide where a certain person belongs to. But self-awareness and constant introspection could resolve such conflicts.

You might find it contradictory that I ask u to be self-aware and spontaneous at the same time.
But abandonment can come only from the true knowledge of the self.

I don't expect the people in my life who are in set A will accept everything I do or say. That would be unhealthy.

But they should accept me as I "am".. my limitations or my strengths..but most importantly my limitations.

For example: If I get scared by gory scenes, I don't expect my Dad orMom or brother to force me to watch a Tarantino's movie

They might try to cure of my irrational fear by trying moderately ..but if they take extreme measures, it would help no one...

They love me and they will understand that somewhere I have the right to get scared too...

Could I make myself clear?

Jai said...

I never knew that u write so nice....:)...hats off to you...

Aparna Kar said...

@Jai
Thanks..but stop bugging me about tht testimonial..:P
I'll write it when I feel like..just got back from a month long sabbatical... :)
thoda saas to lene do yaar

Aparna Kar said...

@aashish
Think about it and let me know.
But don't make spontaneity an excuse to not practise self-restraint.
Those are entirely different concepts, though aparrently the opposite poles... they don't exist in the same plane.

sangram said...

SETS :D haan ..good good... nice post ..lets make set A nd set B disjoint...mutually exclusive/ inclusive or how abt Russell's paradox ?

saurabh said...

Whew another heady post from aparna..

i agree with you though we do dwell over things.. they being petty or not .. depends on the importance we give to them and there in lies.. the point...
:)

arnab said...

good point. however, even though it's fair to assume A and B to be mutually exclusive (with maybe some elements sitting on the fence and switching memberships from time to time), assuming that they are exhaustive would be strange! in plain english, most people don't belong to either sets. now if you are a "normal" person, you would like A to be large (though maybe not too large) and B to be small. in the same vein you would like yourself to belong to set A of as many people as possible and in the set B of only a few people. when you are bumping into new people, it's reasonable to expect that you don't want to project an image which would make them withdraw from you. it's one thing to wear your heart on your sleeve, which is a quality i personally appreciate, but overdo it and you are perceived as unstable ;-) that's how we love spontaneity and appreciate restrain and poise at the same time.

oh, and tarantino is watchable!

Arindam said...

The first part/paragraph of your your post addresses a general issue i.e. the distinction that we make between us and others as we grow up - our ego, which is virtually absent in a baby or, to some extent in a child. Infact, a baby cannot distinguish between itself and its mother till it's two years old and then starts the growth of the ego. And this ego, as we grow older, also makes us feel lonely. And hence, we feel delighted when we look at the behavior of an infant - reminds us of what we've left behind. i would not like to dwell on the pros and cons of the ego; and would rather say that it's a product of our evolution - self preservation if you will!
But then, talking of the inner self, it is important to let it express itself freely and not be stifled by the ego. The growth of the self must not be hindered at any cost, and the ego must step aside. And we're neither weak nor strong - we're what we deeply believe in! So our thought patterns must be trained and nurtured accordingly. And in all these we hold supreme authority. There is a difference between what I feel and what I am - we must find that out. Maybe we're not so different from each other as we think ourselves to be because of our ego. Its just that we evolve our thought patterns in different ways and later on come to believe in that.
Finally, talking of sets, people in set A will accept you as you are and those in set B won't. Set A people can associate with you more than those in set B and vice-versa. And, love, i'd say, u love another when you accept the other as she/he is and work together to make each other grow.
All said and done, happiness is the true indicator of ones growth and evolution - do what you love and feel happy about. Remember "only I can stop me".

Aparna Kar said...

@arnab
S.N. Tried "Hostel"..?
I felt sick..

My apologies, I should have been more specific in stead of using the generic term

Aparna Kar said...

@sangram
if A and B are disjoint sets then it's an ideal situation, coz it's very difficult to make their intersection zero.
People change, their perception + behavior towards u change. It's a function of time.
And u will often find,at some time t= n, people from set B are trying to invade the limited space u have for set A

You can achieve tht state when are very clear about what you want from life and you can distinctly categorize ppl into A or B

And about S={A | A does not belong to A}, I think u can explain better...mind trying?

aashish_from_orkut said...

wow.. this is turning out to be complex.. i had almost written a whole comment but had to erase it.. m not sure wat to write..

gimme some time..

for now, all i can say is that i still support the idea of 2 'disjoint' sets.. i dont c them intersecting anywhere, may be for a short duration but certainly not on a long run..

mrinalya said...

The sets A and B makes sense and if everyone in each of those sets recognize and dont try to invade space, it makes life for everyone so much easier. However I am not sure if I can agree that I should not suppress my emotions from set B. If they dont matter to me, my emotion (especially like that of cryting out of hurt) will not bother them in any way. My emotion is going empty. My emotion has the need to be met with something bigger than indifference. If that is what I will get from set B, then I would rather suppress it. What say?

Preethi said...

Thinking abt it a little further if I have cared enough to categorize them into a Set - setB, they are a little different than the set (A U B)' :-) who are really the ones that dont matter at all!!

arun said...

"Dont explain...Your real friends dont need it, your enemy is anyway not going to believe you"...is this ok?

Aparna Kar said...

@preethi
Tht's what Arnab said- there's no reason to believe they are exhaustive.
But strange things do happen.
A complete stranger who probably didn't exist for u 2 years back
( residing somewhere in (AUB)' )suddenly seems to be one of the most important elements in set A now.

The axioms that define the elements of the sets may change with time, experience, maturity...
Because an axiom is not necessarily a self-evident truth, but rather a formal logical expression used in a deduction to yield further results.

Furthermore, the nature of the elements itself is dynamic, they just don't sit cozily and feel happy.. they are constantly providing u some sort of stimulus to try and make u reconsider ur decisions... so that it's convenient for them.

Here again, I'll quote Arnab who says "you would like yourself to belong to set A of as many people as possible and in the set B of only a few people. "..well it's true for most people.
But I have discovered that streamlining your efforts helps you achieve your end easily.
Have the least possible cardinal number for Set A and be "devoted" ( a concept I have rediscovered the meaning of )
It pays in the long run..trust me!
It's something as deep as a discussion about "Happiness vs Gratification"

An alternate situation could be : someone who was the MOST important element of Set A some time ago did something or did NOT do something which made u chuck him to Set B without any particular qualm about it.
Now this element X wants to be back , at least, in Set A, even if not in its former glory. Would U do it?
That's up to u...

But if u r like me, u wouldn't even think of it.. coz it's not worth it...

arnab said...

@aparna
"Here again, I'll quote Arnab who says "you would like yourself to belong to set A of as many people as possible and in the set B of only a few people. "..well it's true for most people.
But I have discovered that streamlining your efforts helps you achieve your end easily.
Have the least possible cardinal number for Set A and be "devoted" ( a concept I have rediscovered the meaning of )
It pays in the long run..trust me!"


absolutely true. but that wasn't what i was talking about. it was about how you would like yourself to be perceived by others. i guess it's fair to assume that people want to be liked and cared for by as many people as possible, though he/she may not care for all of those people. in other words you do not necessarily belong to setA of all those in your setA, and vice versa.

and my point was that unbridled spontaneity is curbed by the desire to project a certain socially accepted decorum, which itself stems from the desire to be perceived as likable by a large group of people.

and the argument that "he/she should love me enough to accept me as I am" gets played out a lot more than it should. what if they love you but cannot accept everything about you? i guess most of us realize that and we take care that our loved ones empathize with us, but at the same time doesn't end up considering us a nag :-)

what i am trying to say is that there is no clear line between spontaneity and delirium and it is normal to err on the side of being reserved. and it has nothing to do with one not being oneself if they don't show all their emotions.

candid diary said...

We realize the philosophy but are unable to come out of our emotion.

A<…………> B : D)

CosmiC said...

Hmmm... Well, am not here to deduce or present a yet another elaborately discussed theory on sets(probably for always being weak in the subject of numbers :P). But, ur post indeed brings a new dimension of thots...
Well, i wud disagree with your notion of not holding back(or suppressing as u call it) ur emotions/feelings infront of anyone and everyone... Life works in a mysterious way...sometimes holding back eases the pain more than being an innocent(as in unwise innocent) and crying it all aloud. Coming back to ur analogy with the innocence of an infant, i wud juzz like to say tht being an adult doesnt really mean a rape of innocence but rather can be a comprehensive projection of innocence with maturity.
By not crying in public(and doing so in the solitude of restrooms) doesnt always mean tht u r feigning a false strength...look at it this way>>>u r only tryin to get stronger...a vital ingredient of growing up!!

Hope this makes some sense, Aparna :P None-the-less, thts a wonderful thing to ramble about... ;)