A long time ago, I had read somewhere that ‘ethics’ were a luxury of people whose basic needs were already met. Pretty cynical huh?
I always thought of myself as a principled and ethical person, who would not bend rules just to satisfy some greed. Recently, I was decribed by someone as ‘internally good’. (The same person, however also called me ‘andar se kameena’ many times. Some others have said of me, ‘Dil saaf hai bechare ka.’
To all this, I say,”The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.”
I try to be nice, and a few years ago, one would probably have seen me falling over myself tow in some elusive approval through others. My self-worth has, since then, been patched well and escalated to a lakshanamaana delusion of grandeur that goes with being the scion of a Tambram family.
I went through the same old brainwashing as a child about how one is useless if kanaku was not one’s forte.
Growing up, I heard all the protectionist parental arguments about how arranged marriages are practical, and how parents know all. I was given examples of failed love marriages where the story is an embarrassment to all involved and an entertainment to all within earshot. I never bought the parental ‘because I said so’ rationale and challenged it at every step. This usually resulted in lots of scoldings and slaps. I always believed in the beauty of love, and fished out data about happy couples who were the product of love marriages and found out, soon after, that the percentages of bad marriages were pretty much the same either way.
Food: A lot of people I know like to call themselves foodies. I thought I was one too for a long time. I still think so, but after having understood the true meaning of loving food. Earlier, I ate and ate (and I am not alone in this) to fill a personality void, as a sort of mental anesthesia from the loneliness. The problem with that was that I ate all the wrong food: KFC, gyro, etc., which were no culinary feats, but just fatty food which numbed me completely. Certain changes over the past year gave me the direction that my non-academic life needed. I use food in the opposite way now. I eat out less often, but more from the non-chain, quaint, rustic places where the food quality is good. That being said, my palate has refined over time. I literally get nauseous when the door to Burger King opens as I pass by it.
Reading: My reading evolved just like every normal child. I was into Sherlock Holmes and the classics (Dickens, Bronte, etc) from an early age. I was knee-deep in Enid Blyton for a few years. Upon a sister’s insistence, I read some Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys stuff, but did not appreciate them much. Archer, Ludlum, Forsyth, Hailey and the like followed.
Rowling then came, and cemented her place in my top 5. I don’t care what anyone says about the Potter series being kids’ books, even the most hardened naysayers grudgingly admit that Rowling ‘kanna pinnanu ezhudaraal.’ Now that Harry is living happily ever after, I keep re-reading Ayn Rand and Dawkins and Hitchens.
Some of my favorite quotes:
1. “Tradition is the illusion of permanence” – Woody Allen
2. “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.” – Thomas Jefferson
3. “Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là” (I had no need of that hypothesis) – Pierre-Simon Laplace, when asked by Napoleon why he did not mention God in his book on astronomy. This one is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to a fine blogger as it is a demonstration of Occam’s razor wielded by Laplace.
4.”The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.” – William Somerset Maugham