A Calmer You, by Sonal Kalra: Kya lagta hai... kaun aayega?
Have you, too, developed high blood pressure mulling over this question?Updated: May 04, 2019, 15:52 IST
Interesting stuff happened a few days back. Chai pe charcha with a supremely witty and insightful young man, Abhishek Asthana aka the very popular @GabbbarSingh, had us cracking up over behavioural quirks all around, as election results inch closer. ‘Kya lagta hai, kaun aayega?’ is now the baap of conversation starters — with friends or even strangers. Less than five minutes after poking fun at all those who have nothing better to do than ask this question, I shamelessly asked Abhishek how many seats does he think BJP will get. And jumped straight into the speculation rink. And boy, it is a never-ending arena. You can debate on and on, and still end up no wiser. It leaves you drained, and in that deficient state of brain activity, I decided to look at the various kinds of fatigues we are getting exposed to, these days. Which variety is killing you?
Speculation Fatigue: All through the day, dimaag mein raita hi phaila hua hai in trying to speculate who will form the government. I ask, and get asked this question at least ten times a day. Kaun aayega? The answer is not known to me, and not even to several of you who are right now itching to reply ‘aayega toh Modi hi’ (high-five!), because, well, the best of experts have often failed to understand how the mind of an Indian voter works. No one really knows what’s in store. And you know what, besides not knowing the answer, a lot of us do not even have a useful insight to offer in reply to this question, or are simply not willing to indulge in a discussion on the matter. Now that just a few days are left before we’d find out the answer anyway, save yourself, and those around you from the speculation fatigue. Koi zyada dukhi kare, toh you can always resort to silly humour and poor-joke the person into submission, out of sheer irritation. An example is to give a completely random and meaningless answer to the ‘kya lagta hai kaun aayega’ question. Take a deep breath, look the person in the eye, and say ‘dekho mujhe lagta hai’ – deep breath – ‘aa toh koi bhi sakta hai. But the deeper question is’ – deep breath - ‘Wo aana chahega ya nahi’. At this point, the totally confused and disgusted person in front of you might dare to ask ‘wo matlab kaun?’ Just say ‘koi bhi’. PS: Leave the scene quickly before they get re-enforcement.
Outrage Fatigue: Yun toh I feel we have an unlimited capacity to get offended in India and express outrage over anything but these days even getting angry is turning out to be tiring. You switch on the primetime debate on any news channel, watch it for five minutes, and the 70% water that forms your body would reach the boiling point.
Everyone.Is.So.Outraged. I am not sure if it is a recent phenomenon but I noticed that the news anchors have started getting up from their chairs and menacingly roam around the newsroom, in a very I-will-wring-your-neck-if-you-are-not-outraged-enough way. Outrage fatigue doesn’t really have a solution except if you decide to, well, not get angry. Say what?
Taking a Stand fatigue: You may have come across a recent ‘viral’ video of a woman chiding a bunch of girls over the length of their dresses, and subsequently getting accosted at a mall by the girls who demanded an apology. ‘What’s your stand on this?’ a colleague asked me. I replied, “there’s no way anyone can defend the woman – she was completely out of line. But, I also found the aggressive heckling by the girls disturbing at some level.” See, you are not taking a stand, the colleague shrugged. I felt guilty but stressed. The fact that we need to raise our voice to have an empowered, progressive, non-judgmental society is a given. But sometimes, due to lack of complete knowledge of a situation or simply a confusion of thoughts, it’s not possible to take a clear stand on just about every issue. I feel there’s just too much pressure around us to take sides, and that pressure sometimes makes people unduly defensive and defiant. Maybe we could try being a little less aggressive, and a little more calm. What? Not possible till May 23? Well, okay then. Chalo aao Twitter pe. Bring your helmet.
Sonal Kalra has found the perfect silly-answer to ‘Kaun aayega?’ How about ‘Don Ayega.’ It rhymes. Okay, I apologise. Get over the fatigue, and mail at sonal.kalra@ hindustantimes.com or facebook.com/sonalkalraofficial. Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra