Tag Archives: psychology

Pause.

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As he laid back in his chair, heat exuding from his ears, he looked up at the fan. It wasn’t moving. The surface of the fan gleamed due to the light. He was having trouble breathing. He could feel his ears turning red. He rubbed his chest. The silence in his cabin was pounding at him. There was no one outside on the office floor. They’d all left for home. He could have gone home too. But to whom? And when had he last gone home for someone? Wasn’t it always because he needed food and sleep?

His wife had left him yesterday. The woman he’d been married to for 20 long years, who’d brought up two of his children, who’d never asked for a single holiday in all of those years, who’d been an idol of docile and submissive, left him. And he’d seen no change in her. Just like that, she left. How long had she been packing? How had he missed the change in her? When did his work take over his life? His kids had called him so many times since morning. He didn’t know what to say to them. He still hadn’t managed to call her even once. He felt too ashamed to. Instead, here he sat, staring at the fan, wondering if the sacrifice was worth it.

Graciously Yours!

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Some Salsa Spice!

One of my fascinations has always been ballroom dancing! Though not strictly ballroom, salsa is what my feet dabble in these days.

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Salsa, believe me, teaches you life lessons! And so much about interpersonal relationships. No, no! Don’t laugh. I’m serious. Read on.

 1. Twirl the girl!

So salsa, like most other ballroom dances, requires the men to take lead. So, my dance partner, gets to take me forward, backward, left, right, all at his own will. Boot up, men! You get the girl and also get to make her dance and spin at your own will. Does your girlfriend or girl friend allow you that otherwise? 😉

Also, you find it’s not so easy taking command of the ship, don’t you? So value those who do. 🙂 Irrespective of their genes.

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2. Actions speak louder than words!

Now that you get to twirl and spin the girl at your own free will, how do you tell her what your will is? You can’t tell her, ‘shush, left now’, ‘no, no, anti-clockwise twirl’, ‘go, right, right, not left’ in the middle of the song. Who’ll count the beats, feel the tune and dance freely then?

So what do you do? You gently direct her, lead her with that hand of yours on her shoulder, and not say aloud! It requires practice, patience and response. Also gives you a life lesson!

3. You make mistakes and you accept them!

You will miss counts, step on your partner’s feet (sometimes on your own feet too!), become clumsy after doing very graceful turns – all of that’ll happen, whether you’re in the first beginner’s class or almost completing your advanced classes. But with the music still playing, what do you do after committing a mistake? Accept it, apologise and move on! Improvise.

4. Helps avoid the mirroring psychology.

Wikipedia says,  Mirroring is the behaviour in which one person subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another. Mirroring often occurs in social situations, particularly in the company of close friends or family.”

Note, mirroring happens subconsciously. You don’t realize when it’s taken over and you are slowly blending into the crowd and losing your uniqueness.

But when you’re dancing with your partner and you start mirroring them, i.e. you start looking too graceful as a man, or too macho as a woman, you consciously start tearing yourself from mirroring. You start holding out your own self, accepting yourself as you are and hopefully even loving it.

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5. Feminism, much?!

Yes, salsa requires the men to lead and women to follow. Isn’t that what the whole world is screaming about? Or at least half of it. But. Everything in life isn’t about feminism. Sometimes it’s okay to let the men lead not because they’re men, but because the dance requires it and women are inherently more graceful at spinning and twirling than men are. It’s okay to let go and trust your partner. And even if he does fail you, help him get up and succeed together!

Also, I am not a feminist. More, a humanist.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Keep dancing!

The House That Wasn’t. Part 0

Continued from

5 years, 2 months and 19 days ago – 7:30 PM.

Pankaj was trying to close shop as fast as possible. The skies were overcast. He’d decided to leave this town too. He wasn’t sure how safe it was for Tara now. The residents were getting suspicious. Tara was his daughter. He’d lost her mother to a witch hunt three years ago. He was afraid of Tara’s fate too. She was nine but her thoughts hadn’t progressed accordingly. Just like her mother’s. The ‘doctors’ said she was mad. He didn’t believe them. But he didn’t tell anyone about his daughter either.

He made the last sale of the day and hurriedly cycled down to his place. He couldn’t figure out why he was a nervous wreck. He felt something ominous would happen. He shut the door behind him.

Tara’s voice was drifting from the floor above. She often spoke to her toys. “Tara, I am home,” he called out.

She didn’t answer. He walked into the bedroom, onto her toys strewn all over the place.

He could see his daughter hiding behind the bedpost. Walking towards her, he kept asking, “Where is Tara today?” She giggled. He happened to glance outside the window to see a group of people walking towards his house.

Picking her up gently, tickling her so she didn’t protest, he explained to her slowly, “Daddy and you will play a little game now. I’ll hide you and you will keep quiet for five minutes. Okay?”

The bell rang.

“Did Tara understand?” he asked hurriedly.

“Yes, Daddy,” she answered softly.

The bell rang again.

Hoping she had actually understood, he put her down behind the bed again.

Now they were banging on the door.

He hurried down.

There were some kids hiding behind the men. Questions rained down on him. “What have you done to the house? The children say they hear voices from the house. The house throws stones at us, they say. Our children are afraid to come to this part of the town.”

“No, there’s no one in here except me. I am sure your kids must be mistaken!” He sounded confident but didn’t look the least.

Just then, he faintly heard Tara’s voice. He hoped the others hadn’t! To douse it out, he began, “Now if you’re done, excuse me, I have to make my dinner.”

But they had. “Wait. What’s that?” He prayed, she would remember he’d asked her to be quiet! But as fate would have it, she spoke again. This time louder. It spooked out the men. The children ran away to a distance.

“That’s nothing. Just the skies perhaps.” He tried shutting the door, but they were quicker. They barged in. Two men pinned him to the door.

“There’s nothing to fear. Please leave me alone,” he pleaded. He looked at the children standing a few feet away. They looked frightened – of the house or the brutality, he wouldn’t know.

The men split up to search the house. Some took out knives, some had hand-held pistols. Hearing all the commotion downstairs, Tara peeked out of the room. The little child thought they were playing hide and seek with her! She ran to another room laughing!

The laughter spooked them. The men rushed upstairs, each scared but none admitting. The peals of thunder and flashes of lightning were not helping!

“If only Tara would sit quietly in one place,” Pankaj thought. But as soon as she saw a pair of feet coming up the stairs, she braced herself to scare her father. Giggling, blissfully unaware of the danger looming on her and her father, she jumped out of her hiding place, peals of her joyous laughter pulsating through the house! She wanted to scare the man whose feet she’d seen, but death scared her instead.

Screams were followed by thunders outside and cocked guns inside! One of those bullets hit the child and it was the last time laughter was heard in that house.

Until… 5 years, 2 months and 19 days later when…

“She had stopped laughing but the house hadn’t.

Fear crept in her eyes too.”

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Graciously Yours!

Indian Men and Rejection.

“Indian men cannot handle rejection. The only time when they are not rejected is when they are born.” – Daniel Fernandes.

Acid attacks, revengefully plotted murders, stalking, and also cyber stalking – all acts known to be associated with rebuttal of rejection. India doesn’t seem to have too many reported cases of stalking because we probably ignore it until it is too late. Or because mental health is still a concept we choose to ignore and not understand. Show us the physical bruises though and we’re ready to kill.

Wikipedia states, “Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them. The word stalking is used, with some differing meanings, in psychology and psychiatry and also in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense.”

With the boom in social media, cyber stalking is on the rise – possibly because it is energy efficient with high rates of effectiveness and efficiency in producing results of harassment. Cyber stalking results in your moves being tracked online, your privacy invaded often to the extent that you feel threatened and unfortunately inspite of the multiple security features and privacy measures these apps boast of, the stalker mostly always finds a way out. Yes, cyber stalking does not involve physical violence but the emotional harassment and mental agony it causes to the victim is worth taking notice. Not to mention an increase in the distrust towards people in general.

How would you feel if you woke up in the morning to see countless, unending texts on your phone from a number? How would it feel to see your comments on people’s pictures being liked by your stalker? How would you feel if your public blog had traces of your stalker’s presence on every blog post – a like, a comment, a share? How would you feel to be showered with unwanted presents? I, for one, feel uncomfortable, uneasy, queasy, disgusted and sorry for the pathetic attempts of my stalker at trying to establish a relationship with me where none can exist.

For long, I kept mum. My friends told me to ignore. I decided to turn a blind eye to these antics. I thought they would fade and die out. We all did. But that simply fueled my stalker’s already raving fantasies of me. Not a day passes when I am not afraid of the grave danger which may lie ahead for me if my stalker doesn’t stop soon. My stalker’s psychology is something I have been unable to fathom. What seemed to me an innocent friendship, for him was the pinnacle of love. (And I’m not even exaggerating.) So all the while, when I was treating him like just another guy I know and talk to, he was probably in his mind leering at me, scanning every opportunity to be with me and waiting for the right moment to leech on to my back. Several attempts to ask him to back off boomeranged into him thinking I will accept him sooner or later. I now know how to block someone on all social media accounts I have! No wonder people have trust issues! Because people like my stalker really exist. To add fuel to the fire, my stalker has a blog (links of which he’s sent to me several times) which seems dedicated to his memories of me and his undying (unsolicited and unwanted) love for me along with all possible personal details about my looks, likes, dislikes, interests without any permission from me. What could be a bigger invasion of my privacy?

Lesson learnt : Every love story has two sides. Never believe it is a love story until you’ve heard both sides. There’s a thin line between love and obsession. And there’s a thinner line between obsession and stalking.

Advice to him : My soul is mine and yours is yours. If you think I reside in your soul or vice versa, think of how foolish you’re sounding. You might love me but that doesn’t make me obliged in any manner to love you back. Nor does that give you permission to mentally harass me and my loved ones. Oh and another thing – stop treating death like a joke, otherwise life’s going to make a joke out of you some day.

A not so fun fact :

In “A Study of Stalkers” Mullen et al. (2000) identified five types of stalkers:

  • Rejected stalkers – pursue their victims in order to reverse, correct, or avenge a rejection (e.g. divorce, separation, termination).
  • Resentful stalkers – pursue a vendetta because of a sense of grievance against the victims – motivated mainly by the desire to frighten and distress the victim.
  • Intimacy seekers – seek to establish an intimate, loving relationship with their victim. Such stalkers often believe that the victim is a long-sought-after soul mate, and they were ‘meant’ to be together.
  • Incompetent suitors – despite poor social or courting skills, have a fixation, or in some cases, a sense of entitlement to an intimate relationship with those who have attracted their amorous interest. Their victims are most often already in a dating relationship with someone else.
  • Predatory stalkers – spy on the victim in order to prepare and plan an attack – often sexual – on the victim

Graciously Yours!

AdiC.

P.S. : To my stalker, if you’re reading this, (and I know you are because, hello, isn’t that what you do?) you should know, I’d rather live in rejection than give up my self respect for someone.

P.P.S. : To others being stalked, whether male or female, please ensure that people around you know you are being stalked. It isn’t your fault. Speak out rather than letting the rage boil inside.