Habit of Vivacity
Men’s nature are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart. I spent one day with two people who could have well been mirror reflections of one another if it hadn’t been for this one habit – happiness.
He walked in after a meeting, threw his keys towards the table and then cursed the keys for sliding off to the floor. He sat inside the wheeled office chair, which disobediently rolled away from the table unleashing another set of loud curses. He held his face in his palm gave out a loud sigh and sat there still for a few minutes. I kept staring at his unusual behavior with surprise. “Welcome to our office, newbie. We have free weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, subscription of ‘I have a bad day’ show here along with the regular called ‘I’m a nice guy’. Learn to ignore”, a friendly colleague explained to put my shock to rest and walked away as if it really was a routine. I still gathered courage and asked, “What happened?” He stared back at me, said “Nothing. I’m going to murder that man” and went on to do his work grumpily.
He was perfect at his work, was a helpful colleague and an understanding friend. He was a charmingly happy man on his good days, living his dream job after finishing his dream education. Nothing in his life suggested sadness, except the ebbs and tides of any ordinary life. And right in front of my eyes he had transformed into an unstoppable grump-monster who now disliked the coffee, the air conditioning, the chair, his colleagues, his boss, his girlfriend and some man that he wanted dead. The list did not end there, but my interest in knowing his dislikes did. Hours after whatever the prompt to the unwanted show was, he still continued the public display of his crankiness throughout lunch. Although he was still not interested in distracting himself with the laughter all around the lunch table, he did take out time to tell us, “I need a holiday. I wish I were in Ladakh.” He just sat there quietly having his food; but by now, just looking at him was infecting me with his grumpiness.
“And in some matriarchal societies, typically in some tribes, the son-in-law has to marry the mother-in-law when her husband dies. So that nobody else can claim inheritance to their family wealth. Weird, isn’t it?” she said as she plucked my eye brows. For the first time, I was getting interested in what a person inflicting bodily pain on me had to say. Tanu, my beautician for the day, was a sociology enthusiast, a classical dance student, a part-time beautician and a buoyant soul. Nothing in her life suggested extraordinary happiness, except the ebbs and tides of any ordinary life. “These are the things I really enjoy, so I do them all. I also love cooking. Next time, I’ll cook something for you”, she smiled. Her shift had ended an hour ago; my appointment had made her stay back. And yet she wanted to cook for me.
Pleasant chats about her family, her friends, her single-hood and her career plans followed for a few minutes. Nothing was out of the ordinary, except her bright punch lines after each tale. “This woman before you, she couldn’t decide on a color for her nails. It took me another 20 minutes to cut her oily hair. And the woman before her, smelly feet! Professional hazards of beautician-job I guess”, she laughed at her own joke. “Hmm, South Africa perhaps. But then, why not all the other places too? I guess I’ll pick a place after I have seen it all,” she joked after I inquired about her dream vacation. I laughed aloud, and her exuberance kept me smiling silently.
Men’s nature are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart. Both are adorable people, helpful friends and earnest workers. Both are living their dream. Yet one spends his bad days by being bad, where as other jokes about it. One believes a place he has never been to will bring him happiness. While the other would bring happiness to whichever place she visits.