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The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

My quest for the eternal lightness

“Monetarists claim that the upward trend in interest rates from 1950s to the 1970s was caused by a serious policy error”, the teacher declared before he went on to expound on the LM and IS curves that sent my head spinning imminently. I thought Economics itself was the biggest error the world has ever committed.

She turned to me and asked: You think you’ll be good in bed?

I flushed.

But that was certainly a more engaging question than me attempting to understand interest rates and inflation. After all, I was sure neither Monetarists nor Keynesians could get to a short term/ long term equilibrium at a given point of ri and explain the formulation of a Crush Theory, of course, the ceteris paribus assumption holds, nevertheless. Do I think I’ll be good in bed? What do you expect a guy to say to that anyway??!!

I still do not know the answer to her query till this day. She won’t either.

I’d like to think of myself as a person who could hold a conversation without hijacking it. I didn’t need assurance when we walked in the park one day. She asked some serious questions to which I gave calculated answers. Answers I have come to regret today. She spoke, but despite that, there were so much more to find out years later. The truth was, everytime we spoke, I was ‘hijacked’. Of course, at the park, like the birds there, we loved the undeterring space, and the cheery mood, casually inspiring one into new songs.

Instead of focusing on the examples of Integration by Partial Fraction worked out on the chalkboard, I was jerked by her “How would you feel if I’d say I like you?” She has a way of breaking into surprising questions like this one. I was glad she asked, though it was purely hypothetical, not any more real than the polynomial functions used by the teacher. Yet, unlike Math, it was all inexpressible in numbers, equations, values and worth. It was just…well, it just was.

Years on and I still fumble, expecting the unexpected queries, thus making myself look foolish sometimes, saying the stupidest things. But there’s something about appearing foolish and stupid. You are not in control and you don’t seem to be able to engage all the defense mechanisms that life has taught you. They just won’t work. You will be left naked and vulnerable. And what baffles you most – it happens over and over again and you keep coming back for more.

I went to the park today and walked for a while, still feeling liberated. As I closed my eyes and listened, it struck me that something was compellingly different. I gazed upwards and looked beyond the canopy. Nothing there. No cheerful songs. Because the birds don’t come here anymore.


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