Robots with Feelings

Recently, I have been experiencing a multitude of drastic changes in this semblance of a life that I have. They probably aren’t as momentous as I treat them to be, but if there is one thing about the world that I know, it is this- what you don’t understand, you can make mean anything. And I make no claims of not being a member of this mindless human tradition (not even to establish the fashionable extents of my hipsterity).

So, because of an instinct inherent to my unfortunate species, I have been shamelessly hovering in the realms of the hypothetical, with my jetpack powered up to a hundred and my flutter velocity turned recklessly high, flying over probabilities and possibilities like a starved bumble bee in a flowering orchard.

What I have come to finally comprehend from all of these internal endeavours, though, is far bigger than these perplexing-but-normal, trivial-in-retrospect problems themselves. What I have discovered is far more fundamental to who I am as a person and far more necessary to how I choose to live henceforth. Unfortunately, we’ve got ourselves a situation here.

I think you know what is coming.

I have, like always, found myself in the middle of a mind-boggling identity crisis. Yet again I am here to offer you my confusion. Yet again I am here to potentially waste your time.

With that, my imaginary readers, I invite you to accompany me on a highly self-critical and ultimately pointless piece of writing where I give myself too much importance and adamantly define the world strictly in accordance with my prejudiced worldview.

Here goes nothing.

The Great Reckoning of Confused Identity is that I have developed an acute awareness of my ridiculously frigid and methodical way of dealing with emotions.

I have never been the type to moderate my convictions and if I feel anything at all about something, it is bound to be in superlatives- otherwise, I tend to spare nothing but an almost offensive indifference to the uninteresting object, a response I cannot disguise to save my life.

I reside permanently in the wonderful dimension of intense and invigorating exaggerations, but what is important to note here is that none of my reactions stem from a place of pure feeling. There is always an elaborate breakdown of everything I notice that my brain automatically undertakes with a vehement sort of computation. I see, I trope, I reference, I analyse, I understand. So when you ask me why I love or hate something, I am likely to give you precise reasons with exhaustive associations that explain which specific parts of the thing were critical to my conclusions and why exactly it was so.

You’d think with the way I think I’d be good at math, but that’s another story.

All this time, I have taken this mechanical reaction as something that is natural, ancillary and nothing worth bothering with as long as I continue to have a good time. Stupidly enough, I have never brought myself to consider how this part of me translates to personal problems and contributes to my gestalt personality. I have, thus, been outrageously ignorant and deliberately blind to my personal truths.

Until now.

With the bombardment of random issues that I had to deal with in a concentrated period of time, I finally began to notice my own peculiarities. I saw that every time I perceived the threat of overwhelming feeling, I switched to hard, rational computing mode. I suddenly looked at the problem with crippling objectivity and made a blueprint out of it, weighing out the pros and cons, evaluating how much I cared, prospecting the worst case scenarios and calculating the expected damage. I kept on pondering until I concluded on a realistic, coherent solution and decided on it resolutely, never allowing my feelings to overpower my thoughts and attributing great confidence to my strong, logical stance.

However, I eventually realized that these particular present issues were much more pronounced and important than most of the other ones I casually came to terms with in life because they kept attacking me when I least expected them to, bringing me down to a dull, depressive low and making me feel absurdly vulnerable.

You’d think this is the part where the robot grows a heart, feels the warmth of humanity and lets sentimentality wash over its soft, hidden interior.

But this, in fact, is where I started to scare myself. When I saw that there was no way to avoid experiencing these emotional ambushes, I started to acknowledge their patterns and repetitiveness, building up this strategically stoic outlook towards them. Over time, they just became recurrent hindrances that hit like mild nausea and then faded away in their own comfortable time. I actually began to mentally categorize them as strokes or pangs with a resigned “here it comes” attitude each time I suspected their nearness. I conveniently switched off until they passed because I was well aware that I’d be perfectly fine when they were gone. In this way, I braved the storm of emotional conflicts and survived, all in one piece, maybe even a little happier.

And this is also how I solved all my problems without actually authentically experiencing any of my own feelings.

Go figure.

It seems that I possess an insanely strong defence mechanism that can nullify all sentiments without ever sparing them serious, conscientious consideration. As far as I can think, this does not strike me as particularly unhealthy or repressive because it’s not that I refuse to address the existence of any feelings at all. I simply never give them too much attention.

But considering the existential struggles of all the protagonists I have read and watched, and detecting my own deviance from the natural way of coping with stress, I cannot help but wonder if I am, in actuality, a little too robotic for comfort.

And, more importantly,  if my ice cold rationality comes from a place of conscience or cowardice. An essential question arises about the source of this highly efficient defence of logic that I have come to live with.

Is it that I don’t feel like a traditional human, or that I’m too afraid to do so? What are the reasons that make me who I am? Do I need to thaw out pure feelings from the unexplored cores of my being or conveniently depend on my automated thought processing?

I really don’t know.

And I suspect, with a healthy dosage of irony, that once I have thought about this hard enough, I won’t care either.

Ah well. Full circle and all that.


6 thoughts on “Robots with Feelings

  1. Harun Nair says:

    Good stuff bro your writing is truly amaze. Though I feel (which doesn’t matter really coz we as a species are conditioned to express an opinion if we have one, whether it’s needed or not) you should keep a slight check on the self-deprecating humour bit. Slight. Objectively speaking (or trying to atleast), the reader may (or may not) get the vibe that you think low of yourself (read:loser),which, obviously, you’re anything but. So you could work on that maybe? Or you could give a flying hoot for all you care and continue living your life lol.


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