ALL TALK and no walk

Some people are like radios, they’re heard, abundantly heard and that pretty much describes them.

Their words are sweet and many. Full of love and devoid of any intention to put into practice their sworn adherence to compassion. Upon serendipitous and visible discovery (of the people, not the radio), they appropriate words reserved for siblings and loudly mourn the shortage of the listener’s company in their world of small talk. Even though, this shortage of company was carefully planned and executed by intention-challenged radio-person.  At least, the intentionally challenged radio-people are not gender biased thus necessitating the term radio-person.

Beware!

Occasionally the epidemic of such voluble and idle love affect unsuspecting members of the general populace dethroning their well meaning intentions from authority. Calamity strikes when a poor afflicted member meets a depressed member. The careful balance of civil grace is thrown off as one member loudly affects and the other one quietly defects from an agonizingly meaningless interaction. There’re conversations where the diseased rue their lack of time in a manner that would confound neurosurgeons, astrophysicists and Mozart alike. And that, in an age where technology has produced copious means for instant communication regardless of physical distance. The depressed proceeds to silently voice ungracious truth steeped in sarcasm and makes an equally ungracious exit. The tragic end of what could have been a fruitful social interaction. This tragedy is exponentially enhanced when fruitless interaction is among the Sunday crowd.

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Alarmingly, no one is immune to this illness. Not the intellectually gifted, socially gifted, physically, capitally, ecumenically or comically gifted- no not even the spiritually gifted. There is no immunisation, however, there is a cure. Those who remain alert and strengthen their sympathetic nature against the dark forces of apathy directly overcome an attack from this dreaded malady. Decisively activating the claims of compassion with feasible and tangible aid develops walking-talkers. Refraining from empty verbal declarations of affinity depletes ‘all-talk’ and compelling well-meaning intentions to actualise in the physical world prevents ‘no-walk’.

Let’s go forth and WALK the TALK!Image result for practice what you preach images

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Gainful Unemployment

No, this is not about get-rich-quick schemes that can be plotted from the safety of your home and executed in the anonymity of the world wide web. Nor is there an expensive initiation package to be bought which in turn will grow into the beanstalk leading to a rainbow that reaches a unicorn waiting to share colourful candy with you- or whatever else pyramid schemes are all about. In fact, this is NOT about financial gains, not directly at least.

When that dreaded word ‘unemployment’ becomes a striking reality, the ‘striking’ nature of it becomes even more painfully so. Suddenly stricken in such an unceremonious fashion, the hapless mind mourns. More mourning for the striking and less so for the fashion. Unless the hapless mind is not given to pecuniary disadvantages, in which case, the fashion might well be mourned. In this state of mourning the blighted soul might take to abstruse endeavours such as discovering the adventures of adjectives in the world of speech. Adjectives are the Hemingways of words. They lend an undeniably charismatic character to their cousins, the nouns. The link to Hemingway being the charisma and not the cousins. Treasure hunting parts of speech leads to the discovery of…well the treasure of writing. An unfunded, precarious and cathartic expedition to the well guarded secrets of the haplessly unemployed mind. This treasure of cathartic writing can augment the mind, unemployed or not, with creative fortunes.

Another fortune that unemployment graciously grants is Time! The haplessly stricken mind lands softly on a floating cloud of time that floats in sync with many other clouds of time. Suddenly time becomes an interminable entity. Initially it may seem like this oblivion of time is shrouding all 5 or 6 senses, as the case may be. However, after the unemployed mind has held its senses in abeyance for an unaccounted number of very long hours, it rebounds with previously unknown vigour.

Said vigour may lend itself to the pursuit of arts, fitness, languages, culinary skills, holistic well-being or any number of faculties alien to the erstwhile employed self. The abundance of time then disposes the mask of humdrum and exposes the blessing that it really is. This blessing combined with the provident absence of nauseatingly imprudent bosses invigorates the formerly numbed mind towards stimulating projects. The welcome void left by other ludicrous associates that threatened one’s sanity with their abundant imbecility further piques the stimulation and vigour for constructive efforts. Purged from the factory of obtuseness that disguised itself as the workplace, now former workplace, the comically depressed mind is released to soar above the stifling stupidity.

Empathy for other unemployed minds is another rightful inheritance of this transitional period. When well-invested, this inheritance gives fulfillment that rises beyond all other creative enterprises.

Invigorated, purged and commiserated, the unemployed mind advances itself through this journey to a higher plane with willful resolution that can and will result in many meaningful gains.

When being on time doesn’t matter!

When it’s the wrong day!

Especially when it’s a cold, wintry day and the time for being ‘on time’ is a cruel joke conspired by known dimensions and temperature, to place you on that space-time graph where the parameter is the coldest. When you’re the bluest dot on that graph and a pretty pink dot of a receptionist tells you that the appointment is the following day, being ‘on time’ becomes as useless as a chocolate teapot. Unless, the tea was in the same spot as you on the space-time graph in which case, it would be tea-slurpy and would render itself useless on a cold wintry morning but I digress. There was no time for tea this morning as that would have conflicted with being ‘on time’. Hindsight reveals tea would have been the right choice and I have continued to digress.

Jack Frost is not a depressed mind’s best friend. In fact, Jack Frost is not the best friend of most minds. It’s particularly harsh on the cheer-challenged mind when Mr. Frost decides to celebrate his birthday in April.

April!!!

It’s tulip time already and the poor things only last about a week or so. They need all the April they can get, which is why April mornings simply have no right to be cold and wintry. However, this morning’s challenge is greater than frost, and April and the short lifespan of tulips- all put together.

This morning falls on the same plane of time as when the management decided to implement incomprehensibly unnecessary repairs to the labyrinth they call an underground parking. The dark hours of this yet undeveloped day hold the challenge of decoding the new ‘exit’ instructions from this labyrinth. Only the existence of a bookie in some sinister back office gauging our panic-stricken souls, narrowly missing on-coming traffic can justify such cryptic instructions.

All decoded and exited, wondering how many were betting against me, Mr. Frost greets me coldly with a spine-chilling howl. Slipping and sliding down the hill and screeching up the hill, the dangerous drive carries on with a growing distrust of those expensive winter tires. In all circumstances where being ‘on time’ matters greatly, there seems to exist a wrestling match between distance and time. The tranquilizing snow and the agitating traffic all siding with distance as the sun decides to take a sick day. The crawling cabbie up ahead has a definite grudge against time, especially against my time.

It’s a nail-biting match and Time wins! Having suffered frost, begrudged April, mourned over tulips, escaped the labyrinth and defeated precarious distances, time wins. At one point, kindness unconventionally inserted itself into oncoming traffic which in turn halted to let me pass. Or was that all part of the cosmic conspiracy?

Having won this match for time, the blue dot skates across the glacial parking lot and enters a tropical conservatory of pink dots. This is when a pitiless and pretty pink dot points out the trivial detail of the date. The melancholy mind manages to voice a pertinent ‘Oh’ and exits the scene to fight all the afore mentioned evils again.

Homeward destination miraculously achieved, depressed mind and it’s owner intact, at least there is the refreshment of hot tea.

 

Comically depressed

 

There are those who are depressed. The depressed come in different varieties. Clinically depressed, situationally depressed, atypically depressed, severely depressed, chronically depressed etc. And then there are the comically depressed. It’s not a joke and there is nothing comical about depression. However, when life deals you a barrage of solid punches that land painfully on your self and every last bit of control is ripped out of one’s clenched fists, what is there left to do but let go. At this point, it’s no longer a question of choice. In fact, at this point there are no more questions.

Now there is the wait. It’s either a short wait that feels long or a long wait that feels longer. Into this lengthy waiting room of long faces enter companions. Now they come in different varieties as well. Here is where the comicality of it all develops.

What’s happenin’? So what else is happenin’?

There’s the eternally upbeat, happy, perky, oh-so-annoying companion who walks in wearing that sunny smile and what-a-perfect-world attitude that you just want to smack right out of them. Along with their annoying chirpiness, they bring a world of unthoughtful small talk that seems to stream out of a mouthful of perfect teeth with unbelievable lack of concern. The lack of concern belonging to the person, not the teeth. The script of this cheap comedy of a conversation is mind-numbingly clueless. Newly entered, unnaturally happy companion learns the speaker is depressed. So companion repeats the original question of ‘what’s happening?’ with ‘oh, so what else is happening?’. On hearing this, the depressed mulls over whether depression is case enough for the defending attorney to get the accused out of battery and assault charges. However, none of the words screaming to get out of her mind actually find a voice. Being a Christian, the depressed decides against a physical course of action and keeps looking mournfully out of the window. At some gracious point in time, happy companion, perky companion takes annoying self to a set of co-ordinates far away from the presence of the depressed.

Console me, you’re hurting!

Enter the epitome of care and concern. That friend who is devastated at the very thought of your sorrow. Sad companion discovers your story and is doubly devastated. Now depressed mind feels guilty over making this epitome of care and concern sad. Therefore, depressed gets busy trying to comfort sad companion. Role reversal having taken place successfully, pretend audience is intrigued at the sudden twist in story. Eventually the companion is bearably comforted and sent out to further the cause of consolation elsewhere in this broken world.

Others

This term of depression is filled with interesting companions. From smiley to grumpy. From hold-me to get-a-life. There are even those with JF syndrome (Job’s friends syndrome). There are too many to give each one a paragraph. Whether the depressed mind feels comfort or pain in their presence, most of them mean well. Although, in some cases, their well-meaning-ness would perhaps be more useful in a far away land- that’s an LOL statement, not to be taken seriously.

The important thing is, there are many well-meaning, albeit interesting

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keep walking

companions and this is only a temporary state of mind. Sometimes, this temporary state of mind makes many sequels, however it can be ended. There is, thankfully, an end to this depression and it ends with a strong and meaningful smile. Meanwhile, the journey brings perseverance and perseverance builds character and character gives hope.

Ah! Hope, the path to that strong and meaningful smile. Hang in there, interesting companions and all. It’s only for a while.