Didn’t Shakespeare write about most men and women of this world? I wonder if there is anything left to say about the various characters on the world‘s stage. Aren’t films being produced and the writers coming out with new stories at the drop of a dime? Despite everything, strange people keep coming up. Or we must be looking at people differently now, from our changing perspectives.
On diverse occasions I met with many people. Since my father left, I started differentiating people. He used to fill my whole psyche, what with his strange avatars which used to change by the day. The myriad roles he played could not have been foreseen by Shakespeare and Homer put together. On the converse, I might have appeared to him even more grotesque, may god rest his soul.
When we come across different persons in our lives, it is quite natural some would strike a bit odd. Even we may wonder how such people could exist. They may be good or bad, and that is another point. Boss is one character who always looks stranger than fiction—blame role play here. God forbid he or she acts the same way at home.
Soon a stranger in a loved one arrives in the life. Till the very moment of betrothal, he or she used to be an alter ego, in the park, cinema or sleep. This newlywed would all of a sudden appear a bit odd again, the way he or she moves with the family and friends of the dear one, or dresses about.
Thankfully in our dear country, we accept a variety of oddities in persons, who are not exactly from Wodehouse. Our tolerance levels are legendary, thanks to our epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Nothing will be odd to us; since there might be some godliness in every avatar of the humans. Even in the poorest of the poor we see Narayana. Our Vasudhaika Kutumbam is an inclusive phenomenon.
In our nation, if one violates the queue, it should not look any bit odd, only an opportunity for the others to follow suit. If one dresses differently at an occasion, the same is okay. If someone asks a personal question, it is a godsend invitation to get to know the other side of the story. People with such traits are a legion across the length and breadth of Bharat. Be it bribe taking/ giving, borrowing any reading material without asking even, intruding on other’s time and space, freeloading-- not speaking of overloading everywhere, the list is inexhaustible. Some of these traits happen to belong to yours truly, himself a native in the name of fraternity. Forgive and forget is also our national trait that makes all wrongs as right.
All said, in the midst of us we have a wonderful set of people who can be hardly found elsewhere in the world. We have such family that sticks with us through thick and thin. Maybe quarrelsome at times, they come to rescue too often. Their time and effort can be availed freely, only one has to ask. It is besides the point rescue from them unasked. We have also another set of life coaches in our uncles, aunts, grandparents, and the extended families. They guide us all our life without a fee. They even invite us to their homes to give something to eat and drink, besides counsel.
Finally, I venture to say that only the rich and well-bred sections might say they come across several odd persons in their daily life. But the common man takes in everybody easily. Perceptions differ from person to person. This is because they are rooted in the region, language-- including accent, culture, class, education, vocation, color, sex, age, upbringing and exposure; which cannot be helped easily. But one has to overcome these to call oneself really cultured.
All one has to do is simply try to be in the others shoes for a second at least on every day. Prejudging is an instinctive trait that hurts others badly. Going all the way and looking from the other person’s perspective helps one realize that he or she is not exactly from Mars.