Random Thoughts

Understanding Bundy Souls

I'm beginning to wonder if I ought to get a patent or something and write a whole series of articles called the 'Understanding' series. Maybe it'll even get printed and I'll be famous, and perhaps, a little rich, too. I hear scoffs. Well, what's the harm in dreaming?

Let me elaborate on the concept of BUNDY, first. I learnt from a newspaper article on SMS language, when I was still at school, that it stands for But-Unfortunately-Not-Dead-Yet. I liked it, and as is usual with anything I like, it registered itself in my memory. That was the inception; the application came later. Well, not that late; in fact, it was soon after. One of those ironies of fate ' you learn something that fascinates you, but have no use for it, and you're soon given an opportunity to use it ' for better or for worse ' usually the latter. So, it was only a short while after this that the turmoil of life came crashing and I was left to fend for myself in the Big, Bad World ' because it isn't something that can be taught, as people told me; you have to learn it yourself.

Fortunately for me, I met some kindred souls (friends for a lifetime, they are), but unfortunately, by the time this happened, I was already a BUNDY soul. Imagine my consternation, when I learnt that I was not alone ' my best friends around me were so, too! So we formed a BUNDY Club. Membership is by invitation only; it is a very exclusive club ' and, perhaps, the only one in the world where the proprietor (yours truly) wishes that its members would become disqualified and quit the club! I find myself on the brink of disqualification quite often. I'll leave as soon as I'm the last one left.

A clarification would be appropriate here: BUNDY Club members are not suicidal. We just like to think about Death in general, we like to plan our own deaths, we admire people who actually get around to committing suicide, we like to be self-deprecating, but we, never, ever, seriously contemplate suicide; it's just a pastime to think about. If you're seriously contemplating suicide, please, please visit a psychiatrist or something ' I'm sure things can't be that bad, right? And you have people who love you, need you, right? Make a table weighing the pros and cons of your situation; you'll feel better after that.

Anyway, the thing is, we just like to think that Death is a solution to everything ' it gives us the belief that there is a solution after all; just that you can't reach it. We won't mind dying, hypothetically ' I'm sure that if I learn right now that I'm dying of some deadly disease and have a month left, I'll be devastated, so will other BUNDY souls ' but we won't actively try to cause it, either. (Heard of Yuddhishthira's irony? We accept death as a truth of life, and yet we seek to live forever.) We just like to pretend that we're indifferent; you can even say that we wish to feel that we're not completely lily-livered by talking about dying in a cavalier fashion. (Who wouldn't want to be known as lion-hearted? Does anyone take pride in being whey-faced?) We feel happy when we think of ourselves as Dark and Evil. Well, most of us. (Dark Ones are so cool. Find me a BUNDY soul who doesn't adore Darth Vader and I'll buy you chocolate for having proven me wrong.) There are always oddballs ' yeah, the goody-two-shoes kind. Oh, and we're usually quite smart. That is part of the problem, actually. Brainy people have it tough. But that is a discussion for another time.

We are perfectly innocuous people ' a little like Moaning Myrtle, actually. (The book version, please ' she never really harassed Harry the way they've shown it in the Goblet of Fire movie.) Annoying at times, yes, but not dangerous ' neither to themselves nor to others. We idealize death, often personify him/her ' the opinion differs. Somehow, all ideas of Yamaraj aside, I've always envisioned death as a woman with long, dark hair, white, flowing dress, soft, lilting voice and an elaborate, burning candle in her hand. One of my poet friends thinks it's a tall, dark, handsome man with green eyes and no voice. Everyone is allowed to have their own image, of course.

Anyway, I suppose you'd like to know if you're a BUNDY person or not. It really is very simple ' but then, I've learnt the hard way that what appears simple to me may not appear the same to others. It can be quite embarrassing. So, to satisfy your curiosity (no, no, I'm not going to quote the overused proverb referring to feline curiosity here, so rest assured ' even though it might be apt), I have devised a test (oh, I love doing personality tests, even if some of them are absolute rubbish and I'm sure quite a lot of people do ' it's fun knowing stuff about yourself ' even if it's completely ludicrous at times ' recently, I did two 'What animal are you?' tests on two different websites simultaneously; gave similar answers ' got 'caterpillar' in one and 'dog' in the other) to determine if you're a BUNDY soul or not. There are five answers to all the questions given below:

a) Always
b) Often
c) Sometimes
d) Rarely
e) Never

Now, what you have to do is to pick one of the above as your answer to each question, and mark yourself thus:

a) Always ' 5 points
b) Often ' 4 points
c) Sometimes ' 3 points
d) Rarely ' 2 points
e) Never ' 1 point

Let the game begin (yeah, yeah, Jumanji'I can say, 'The game's afoot', if I want, too ' I'm sure Holmes won't mind):

  • Do you feel oppressed, suppressed or depressed?
  • Do you feel the world would not care a damn if you die?
  • Are you pessimistic?
  • Do you feel worthless/useless/redundant?
  • Do you fantasize about committing suicide? (Note: emphasis on fantasize; if you've ever attempted it, seriously or otherwise, give yourself 10 points here and get medical help, for heaven's sake.)
  • Do you consider dying as a method just to spite someone or to get out of a situation you don't like?
  • Do you scoff at people who say 'Life is beautiful'?
  • When people say 'Life is not fair. Deal with it.', do you feel like saying, 'Life is not worth living either. Why don't I just curl up and die?'?
  • Do you find yourself wallowing in self-pity/guilt?
  • Do you believe that Someone Up There has sworn a vendetta on you?
  • Do you think that suicide is the final act of courage/an admirable act and feel ashamed that you don't even have the guts to do it?
  • Do you agree with Buddha's first principle, 'Jeevan mein dukh hi dukh hai.'? (It sounds much more dramatic in Hindi. The literal translation is: life is full of miseries.)
  • Do you love melodrama, especially those full of angst?
  • If you were to make a balance-sheet of your thoughts at any given point of time, would it be more Dark than Light?
  • Do you refer to yourself as an escapist?
  • Do you like to think of 'Death' and afterlife?
  • Do you say 'I wish I were dead' and mean it, too?
  • Do you have terrible mood swings?
  • Do you feel lost and confused?
  • Do you indulge in self-destructive activities (include even the most trivial thing you do, consciously or otherwise ' be it something like smoking or forgoing a meal)?

And now, for the results, which you've been waiting excitedly for:

a) 80 and above: You're in dire need of therapy, my friend; you're not a BUNDY soul, you're in deeper. You're either extremely depressed or frustrated, and quite possibly, suicidal. Seriously, you ought to go to a Psychiatrist. And try to be in company all the time; solitude is dangerous for you.

b) 60 to 79: You are an ideal BUNDY soul. If you're interested in replacing my place in the Club, you're most welcome. Try and limit your negative thoughts, though ' indulge in something productive. It's not really something to be proud of, is it?

c) 40 to 59: Be careful; you're approaching it. In other words, you're perfectly normal ' for the time being, at least. Unless you aspire to join the Club, focus on the positive. And don't tell me I have no locus standi to say this to you. Been there, done that. Take heed, amigos.
d) Below 39: Congratulations! You're in love with life most of the time, at least, so revel in that pleasure. Don't let them get you down! Be happy, and make others happy, too! The world needs more people like you. Sorely.

If your result is not what you wanted/expected, don't worry too much; I'm an amateur after all, and there is quite a margin for error. I'm only sure of the 60 to 79 slot, because those are the kindred souls I'm concerned about. I'm currently doing 60, therefore, am a borderline case ' nearly disqualified. I'd be glad to hand over my mantle to a suitable person'be warned, though, it is not a happy one. Of course, you don't really have to do anything; it's just a nominal title. I got it merely because I thought up the whole Club idea. (There you go, I've confessed the truth ' there never was any element of glamour involved in it. *Sigh* It would be cool, wouldn't it, if I said the idea was the result of a massive paradigm shift or something? Alas! It is not to be!)


More by :  Jayantika Ganguly

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