I am of the fairly staunch opinion that before starting a book, it is absolutely essential to read up a bit on the author. Not necessarily as a gesture of respect or appreciation (although that is commendable), but simply to acquaint yourself with the brain that conceived the work you are about to plunge in. There is a lot of drama and romanticism that I personally associate with the idea and you are free to guess and speculate, but that is not the point of this blog and hence I won’t remain any further on this tangent.
I don’t post pictures here, but this time I felt a ridiculous compulsion to do so for reasons that will soon be made clear. For now take a look at the picture. Soak in the B&W Instagram filter and the black square-fit. Contemplate the contrast and brightness settings.
Now observe the written content itself. On not-so-close scrutiny, it becomes clear that it is a description of the prodigious writer Ray Bradbury with a brief account of his accomplishments and popular works.
I urge you to read it.
Go on. Try.
If you did make an honest attempt to go through the paragraph (which undoubtedly failed), you probably noticed, with unforeseen, surging anger, that there are stickers carefully put on the content in a manner that makes it entirely impossible to read it. You also possibly felt a very sudden, powerful urge to use your nails to furiously scrape away those despicable hindrances. Since you can’t, considering this is on your computer screen, your temper predictably rose to dangerous levels and for that, I beg your pardon.
But this brings us to my point here – how apparently minor things have the power to completely disgruntle us otherwise sane, functioning humans. There is no plausible explanation I can come up with that justifies the placement of those price stickers (almost certainly by a secretly sadistic mind) and that infuriates me. Further, tearing them away isn’t the end of the unnerving ordeal. The glue and paper bits that get imbedded in my nails have to be dealt with as well.
I hate this process with all my heart. I hope I am not alone.
I mean, all of us have our own pet peeves. Little things we absolutely detest or get disproportionately disturbed by. For instance, I might keep my calm in the face of profoundly perplexing problems all day, but the unexpected breaking of a pencil’s tip as it accidentally falls on the floor can push me past my limits of tolerance and result in an utterly ugly nervous breakdown (It has happened). Dirty clothes on the floor, loud chewing noises, table tapping by the restless, an indecisive customer at the counter, a carelessly cleared black board. Small things that routinely inspire explosive reactions. When looked for with a pessimistic perspective, they are everywhere.
Especially in the land of paper clips and staplers, coffee breaks and business suits, people are so bored, irritability comes naturally to them. As I grow older, I find it easier to see that patience is more than just a virtue; it is a way of life. It’s what all those dramatically orange, white-beard sages are all about and what hopelessly adult minds stuck in traffic jams are deprived of.
We can have a beautiful, colourful world transform into an annoying headache of a place simply by acknowledging the blaring band music of a baarat passing by on the road. And that’s not just the frustrated workaholics and students trying to study for exams.
The beauty of certain things is that they are universally irritating. Think about it. Although the poor souls that live boxed in office cubicles tend to react worse, the laid back lot isn’t exactly meditating in peace either.
There is a lot that has been said about this planet, but there hasn’t been nearly enough emphasis on how irritating it is. So trivially annoying.