Cynical (adj) – Believing the worst of human nature and motives; having a sneering disbelief in the selflessness of others.
It’s a cynical world we live in. You cannot walk two paces on the street without doubting the motive of someone who is doing something. You cannot listen to a conversation without wondering whether half of it is a lie or whether the other person is simply showing off. You travel to a far away country and begin comparisons… you get the drift, right?
Here, I will attempt to classify modern cynics into different categories, mostly on the basis of the people I have encountered and who continue to amaze me.
The ‘young people are upto no good’ types
They bemoan the lack of morality, ethics, commitment, responsibility, punctuality, diligence, all in one breath… because according to them, ‘young-people-can-do-nothing’ right. Constant refrain? “They spend all their time on Facebook and Twitter… and have nothing else to do?” And maybe as an afterthought, also add, “They don’t respect elders anymore.” A recent case in point? A neighbourhood beach cleaning effort by youngsters was called a ‘photo-op’? Want more? Visit some certain-100-plus-year-old-newspaper reading, retired elders for treasures like these… You’ll be impressed!
The ‘spirituality is a shoddy business’ types
You can go about minding your own business about your faith, belief or your sense of spirituality. But others will not let you do so. They will have nasty things to say about it, ridicule you and without knowing anything on the subject will go on to become guest lecturers in an instant. There are also those types for whom ‘tolerance’ is well, what?
The ‘because you are a new mum you know nothing’ types
These are the kinds who consider it their birthright to educate new mums on when to feed, how to feed, how to change your baby’s diaper and has tons of advice on how all the tips that come out of parenting books and from your paediatrician are all new-fangled notions. And they psych you into believing that your ‘baby is not getting enough milk’. And the cake? ‘Your baby has no hair because you wore tight skirts during your pregnancy!” Anything to beat that, folks?
The NRI arm-chair cynic or the ‘country is going to the dogs’ types
They are a special breed altogether. For them, the India of their world exists through countless TV channels. This means, they can spout their opinion according to each change in frame. Everything about India is wrong, the politicians, the social workers, the RBI, the Bombay Stock Exchange, even exciting Independence Day celebrations. Every single person is corrupt out there… and yes, we are shaken, angry and sick about the way ‘our country is heading’. And that’s why our children learn French, Italian and Spanish and not speak a word of what’s called the mother tongue. And we send them to foreign universities, because you know, well, the Indian education system is archaic and my son/daughter cannot cope… And what do you secretly wish for… that the Indian rupee remains weak…
The ‘my phone is definitely better than yours’ types
This kind of cynicism exists mostly between the Android and iOS users who believe that their smartphones will probably be the reason why the world will not end this year or some such crap. The kind of disdain each type of user exhibits for the other will warrant a peace-keeping force of its own. No. No… not the ‘May the force be with you kinds’.
Hindi, Malayalam (insert any Indian language of choice here except English) movies are crap types
These are the types who will go ‘Rajnikanth who?’ and call Aamir Khan’s ‘Three Idiots’, ‘an exercise in futility’. And all the while go ga-ga over Tom Cruise’s unbelievable scaling of the world’s tallest hotel as‘What action, what stunts, what energy?… what energy??” Well, need I say more?
… to be continued as and when more encounters with the kind take place.
Note: Please take this post with the sense of humour it deserves. I cannot claim to have a ‘positive halo’ over my head always nor do I have positive wings to keep me up above the cynics. I am cynical at times, but have realized, over a period of time, that the best way towards positivity is to act ignorant or dumb, develop a thick hide, or better still, investing in a pair of good headphones would do the trick… nicely.