I took some personality assessment quizzes some days back, all of which told me that I am aggressive and that I intimidate people. I'm shocked and hurt. Me? Intimidating? A gentle, kind, and loving soul such as I?? Quite impossible. Yet, they suggest that I do indeedy do! So anyway, just to prove them wrong, I decided to pay attention to details when I'm with my friends and make little notes and then compare how we deal with things/people so I can at least tell myself "See I'm not any more aggressive than the next person." Or maybe if I found out I was, I could at least work towards mending myself.
And when I started paying attention, I noticed things. There are two instances of note that stand out in my mind:
The first one happened last week. One fine morning Orpi and I were riding on a rickshaw to go grocery shopping when two guys on a bike started following us. Not useful info, but interesting to know - us two girls after climbing out of bed had only brushed teeth and washed faces before climbing in the rickshaw. We both wore old ripped t-shirts and equally unappealing slacks. In fact, I was still wearing what I was wearing in bed. We were that sloppy.
As for our two guys on the bike - they were not handsome, or remotely attractive, but it was obvious that they were men who paid a lot of attention to outward appearances from the way their jeans and their shirts were all embroidered to death with the all the colors of the rainbow, and then some.
Also sported other tell-tale signs - repulsively beauty-salon-straightened hair, fake designer sunglasses, and local gym powered baby biceps. You know - the works. Well except for the shoes. But we all know that that's the norm in our beloved country. Shoes don't matter. Ugly shoes, broken shoes, oversized shoes, undersized shoes, dirty shoes, smelly shoes - they all go as long as your clothes have something shiny attached to them.
Anyway, these two men followed us for about a good 10 minutes before they finally threw a piece of paper at us. Do not forget that we ignored them completely, and this act of throwing paper was done despite us showing absolutely no interest. The paper landed on Orpi's lap, and I knew immediately what it was going to be. Orpi however was quite flummoxed.
I told her if she opened the piece of paper, she would find a very undesired, unwanted, and unasked for phone number scribbled on it. Well, she unfolded the piece of paper - revealing the phone number as predicted (and at the same time my great wisdom). A phone number on lined paper with a pencil. How classic! Anyway, there were several things that I found quite perplexing -
1. Note that all of these happened at around 10 in the morning. That's grossly early in the city on a Saturday morning. I understand a bit of flirting at certain times of the day, but at 10 AM?!
2. Do these men carry pieces of paper and a pencil with them at all times? Or do they have many readymade pieces of paper with their numbers already written and they take several out with them each time they leave the house? Like the way you ensure you have sufficient cash in your wallet before leaving the house...
3. If so, how many charitable contributions do you figure they make on an average day? And has any of these contributions ever resulted in the desired phone call?
4. If so, who are these women who actually call them? And who are their doctors?
5. Us at our sloppiest best and sleep in our puffy eyes. Them with them slick overly straight hair and shaved chests and 'Versase' emblazoned shirts - why were we not simply overlooked? Why were we so graciously bestowed with their phone number? Should we flatter ourselves? Did they find us pretty? Sexy? Attractive? Girlfriend material? Wife material? Sex-slave material?
(I can answer this. Ladies, if this ever happens to you, don't get ideas in your heads. It doesn't mean you've turned into a great beauty suddenly. Chances are you look quite as normal/bad as you looked the last time you looked at yourself or even worse, taking the heat, the dust and grime, the wind in your hair, and the general pollution into consideration. What these men are doing is being smart. They are simply increasing their odds and consequently their chances of winning by showering every girl they see with their little gift.)
The stunned Orpi turned me to me and asked "What should I do? Should I just throw it out?" I told her to do the only thing I would have done if it was my hand that was holding the paper. "Put your hands outside where they can see it and tear it up in front of them."
I can't help it. I didn't and still don't know any better way of handling the situation. It wasn't aggressiveness.
The second incident happened last Thursday. I was with the good Macavity walking down a busy road - full of honking vehicles stuck in a traffic jam when some horrible person threw water at us! It hit us on our backs, drenching us from the neck down. I'm a pretty good sport at things like these during Holi, but it was not Holi or any sort of festival that involves throwing water on people. When we turned round to look, we just saw the endless sea of vehicles with many bored looking drivers and passengers.
I can't explain the kind of rage that engulfs you when something like this happens to you. It's a murderous anger, it's anger that makes wives kill husbands and kids kill classmates. But I'm scared shit of jails :P, and I didn't have a weapon. So all I did was stand and look around, trying to find who the culprit was, looking into the faces of everyone around me trying to detect some sign of guilt. And when I couldn't find any, I did the next best thing I could do. I swore.
"I wish that fucker would die right NOW!"
I normally don't use words like 'fucker' but I was so mad it just came on its own, as smooth and natural as words (:P) like 'Goo' slide up an infant's throat. Then the good, always-in-control Macavity piped in "I don't want them to die, but yeah, I do wish something unpleasant happens to them."
I found it cute. Yet almost ridiculous. I like expletives now and then. They express things so frigging well. Sorry :D! And it was not like I really wanted them to die. I wanted them to die in my speech - that's about all. If that makes any sense. That's like killing someone in a book. Pretty harmless and legal. It's better than throwing water on innocent women walking down the road.
Anyway, if these things make me an aggressive bitch, so be it. I think we can be cute and pink with dogs and babies and mums and a few other loved ones. As for the rest, a little aggression won't harm anyone and will also keep us safe in this very beautiful world with its very beautiful human beings.