For some reason, I have been toying with the idea of expressing my thoughts on this ailment. But, as they say there is always a time and place to let the thoughts flow. To say, this ailment bothers me would be an understatement. After all, I am not the severely affected one. So, why should it bother me? Yet, it does. I am made of flesh and blood to feel the wave of repulsion, after all. And, repulsion from what? …..an ailment that spares no one, an endemic that affects the body and mind, a termite that destroys the voice that questions from within. – The illness of appeasing.
The illness of appeasing is far desired to be left uncured than to be destroyed.
A year back, I had visited an event somewhere away from my place. A VVIP was arriving and so, the arrangements were exemplary. Rangolis with fine colours and, vibrant white and yellow marigolds sprawled across the entire porch. It was a beautiful sight. And no wonder, people making them had put every ounce of devotion into it. I could see the last minute directions too when, one of the hosts felt that a particular addition could be made in the designs near the entrance. It was definitely a scene of a queen bee instructing the worker bees to prepare for the hive. If I could give that compliment in the real world too, I thought.
Queen bees lead a regiment of worker bees to make a living. Although I have already committed a cardinal sin of even drawing an analogy between the queen bee and the hostess, I couldn’t help comparing the worker bees with the group of people who were engaged in the beautification, which was neither their job nor their hobby. Let’s say these people helped with good will. Or, let me add – it was a forcefully induced goodwill that usually comes closest to following instructions. The VVIP arrived. The event took off well. And, once the event was over, the photographs were taken. A deluge of compliments poured in from the guests. The hosts were happy. The guests were impressed. The food was good. The clicks were well timed and perfect. And, everyone went back home, happy. No, not everyone. I wasn’t happy. The huge patterns of rangolis with beautiful peacocks and earthen lamps would be cleaned off post the event. All good things have to end, right? All that hard work by a group of people for a host who wanted to appease a guest would simply be wiped out. I was repulsed. And, it was not the first time I saw the manifestation of this illness. It won’t be the last time either.
This also explains why I feel sore at the very thought of attending glamorous weddings, extravagant parties and, exclusive meets that demand too much of man power for a decor that shall be razed to the ground once the event is over. Simplicity is not everyone’s forte in character, just like the uncommonness of common sense.
That said, as long it is done as a job that is paid for and, people are earning a living out of it, I cannot diss it completely. But, I will continue to harbor untold concerns about the profligacy that people look for when they host such events.
Why make people happy?
I have never understood the need to appease a person who is revered. He could be anyone, right from the ‘Bade papa’ at home to the VVIP politicians, Godmen and all those who lead a clout. If the person is truly revered, there is no need to appease him. But then, we have all fallen for that trap. That one person has to be made happy and, has to be made feel good. Else what? I don’t know.
And, the trap gets laid right from home. It is a very tricky situation. As much as one doesn’t want it, the centripetal force releasing from the vortex that has rooted itself from years of social conditioning, continues to pull you in. After all, to be in the middle of the pack is any day a better option to survive than walking like a scorned tiger. Man is a social animal, they say. He cannot be an island. Now, that is cliche.
I faced a very similar trap in the previous station for a different reason though. My son was a preschooler those days. And, a home with a preschooler cannot be a museum. It is more often than not, a Mowgly’s Jungle that is often visited by Pete’s dragon, Fee-Fye-Fo-Fum from Jack’s world and sometimes, also by three bears from Goldilock’s encounter. To keep my sanity from disintegrating was a daunting task. And, needless to say, men can only help as much as they can. Women have complex minds that sometimes spew lava in the form of frustrated mothers, nagging wives and, disillusioned women who stare in horror at the rehashed décor of their homes that suddenly look the insides of a birdhouse as compared to the palatial decors around. Today, while I type this post I can say with brutal honesty that I have sailed past those turbulent phases wherein, the hubby’s desire to have a home sans clutter and my own inability to meet that expectation made me feel out of place in this world. It was in those days I learned to question – “Why? Why should I keep a home in a way that must only make people happy but not me?”
Housekeeping is like politics. Everyone has a say in it but no one wants to be a part of it.
Here, I would also like to add – Housekeeping is an absolutely thankless job and, continues to remain so until you have clearly outsourced your home keeping business effectively.
I understood it early. My husband resigned to the depth of this statement later. And, the son reaffirms the statement every single day, as he chooses to create his Jurassic world countless times, in every room. And, I have no qualms admitting that my true self sustains in utter chaos, much to the annoyance of my parents and my husband who are all afflicted with the opposite of it.
But, we did find a solution. It took me a long while to help the men in my family understand that, the desire for a good home should spring from within and not from an intent to gain appreciation from the world. The idea is to appease the self first. And now, Sundays are days when hubby and son take charge and do their bit in furniture dusting and removing cobwebs. No job in the world is exclusively designed for a woman, except breast feeding.
My perception of the illness
After all these years, have my thoughts towards appeasing changed? No. I still detest the idea to impress someone with the thought that it would make them happy. Because I am a selfish female, I always end up asking myself – “Am I happy doing it?” And yet, I have done my bit for people not because I wanted to gain trust and confidence around but, to try every experience that felt new. There have also been times when I have refused politely. Not because, I could not do it, but because I did not want to do it. And, I am not guilty of it either. But such instances, I can almost count them on my finger tips. Maybe, there will come a day when my refusals outnumber my give-ins and, I finally can choose where and when I want to help.
Do I sound rude? Oh yes, I am. Helping, is one thing. When that help becomes a tool to appease, it enters a rife mode. And trust me, the line that sets apart one from the other is as thin as a hairline. It is very much there but often, misses the eye! What is worse, the intention to help soon transforms into a self imposed moral obligation and, soon becomes a burden that one is neither able to unload, nor carry. Quite a predicament, right?
No more advice on ‘judgmental(s)’
Every action of ours is connected with how we respond to the little things out there in the world. A woman who believes she is a doormat should not expect to be treated like a queen by a man. A man who believes he is spiritual enough to alter people’s thoughts with his words, should be humble enough to accept that there is a chunk of people in the world who may not concur with his views and yet, believe in God. Not realizing this fact leads to all major wrongs happening to humans. Because, while they are supposed to disconnect with the world to connect with themselves, they end up doing just the opposite – Disconnecting from self to connect with the world.
This is primarily why I have stopped expecting people around to be non judgmental. No, it is not possible. Such negatives define us humans, right? Common, let’s face it. The moment we go vocal with our self righteous streak shining bright with statements like – “You have no right to judge”, we have already turned into one. And, you know the funny thing – At the end of the day, it don’t matter how the world judges you. It just don’t matter at all. People need new meat everyday. You, my friend are not going to remain fresh in their memories forever unless, you have disconnected with them to connect with yourself!
So, what matters after all?
What really matters is how you accept yourself with no malice, with all pluses and minuses intact.
What matters is the pat on the back that your mirror reflection gives – “So what if you had a very bad day? You have come this far. And, you will go far ahead too.”
What matters is the confidence the face on the other side of the mirror gives you while you brush your teeth in the morning – “You is important”
And, that is all that matters.
All. That. Matters.