Recently, neuroscientists found out that listening to the song ‘Weightless‘ can reduce stress and anxiety by upto 65%. If you ask me, eliminating relatives from your life would fetch much better results. If you are a student in India, you already know what a pest relatives are. If you’re are an American, imagine a guy who drops in at your house uninvited, asks for free tea, emotionally harasses your kids and sermonises you the nuances of parenting. Basically, a relative is an intellectually dwarf runt whose grey hair is the only marker of his age. He pretends to be wise, but he is exactly what Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines as ‘Moron’.
So yesterday, a relative visited my house. He was potato-shaped, his face as if someone pushed the nozzle of a bicycle pump through his nostril and pumped for two hours every morning. He wore sneakers with formal pants and a jacket. If he were any weirder, he’d have featured on National Geographic shows. I had never seen that guy before. Even from a distance, he radiated a negativity that could roast all hopes black.
My mother introduced him to me.
“My son. “She said, proudly.
“Oh. What are you studying? “was what he asked.
“History Honors. “I said, preparing myself for a viva. But he didn’t look like someone who could have the intellect to understand history.
“What do you like in history? ”
“Ancient history. The one that deals with Australopithecines and early homos. “I threw the jargons intentionally.
He nodded and asked me what I wanted to do in life. I have been answering this question since I was in std. IV, and yet, every time somebody asks the same, fresh beads of sweat roll down my forehead.
There’s no single purpose of my life. I want to do so many things and be so many people that a decade will fly before I’m finished telling you my answer.
Anyway, he had zero interest in my dreams. What he wanted to know was how much I was hoping to earn post graduation. He wanted to know my future bank balance, because that would solely describe all my merits. It’s astonishing how different people view things differently.
“UPSCE. “My mother spoke for me.
“That’s good. Start coaching from now. The earliest you enter in the battlefield the higher are your probabilities of coming out as a winner. ”
“Umm…I’m enjoying college right now. I like the textbooks. I love reading. Preparations are mechanical in nature, and I’ve just stopped being a machine. ”
“Oh! You’re a kid. You don’t know anything. You’re in Delhi, your parents have invested so much in you, all that for a simple graduation? You could have done that in Purnea! ”
Did he just compare DU to Purnea!? Alright! I have grown up in this city and it is a piece of my soul, but it’s not better than DU in terms of education.
“I don’t think so. Purnea and DU can’t be compared. ”
“You don’t know anything. Just because you are in Delhi, don’t underestimate the institutions of Purnea. ”
“I’m not underestimating Purnea. I’m saying it’s a ridiculous comparison. DU represents India at international platforms. They have well qualified teachers, not the ones who’ve bought PHDs from corrupt distance education institutes. ”
This got him. Maybe he too had a PHD.
“You are so much a kid. You don’t know anything at all. Listen to me. ”
I would have countered all his points and forced him to fall flat on his face but my mother gave me a look that said – don’t argue, he’s older than you.
That was the end of it. I never stopped him. I just nodded for the next forty five minutes as he elaborated his multi-pronged strategy that would make me crack UPSCE in the first attempt. He then gulped the tea and wished me all the best in future.
As he left, I shut my eyes and pictured him walking on the road, blabbering his multi-pronged strategy to the air around him. An eight wheeled truck comes roaring by and flattens his existence.
I felt Weightless, and happy.