May 7, 2013

Don't be that guy

Going by Flawsophy’s Via Negativa principle, there are two ways to become a better person. There is the MAXIMIZE GOOD way i.e. you are inspired by people of great courage, integrity, perseverance, wit, charisma, compassion, empathy, humility, kindness, magnanimity and want to be like that. Or you can simply MINIMIZE BAD by trying to ‘not be an asshole’.

Our mythology, popular culture and even self-help books are full of MAXIMIZE GOOD stories of inspiration, determination and the triumph of human spirit but (unfortunately) there isn't much emphasis on the MINIMIZE BAD approach.

Most of the challenges we encounter in the course of our mundane lives are domestic in nature where the stakes are not big enough to force us to “Rise to the occasion” and be a “hero” in the traditional sense. These domestic encounters however leave a lot of scope for people to act like assholes and get away with it and they do it way too often.

I believe that the world will be a better place if everyone consciously avoids being ‘that guy’ who does ‘that thing’.

Don’t be that guy: The Lift Caller

I was in a Schindler’s Lift the other day with six strangers and this fully grown man walked in talking on the phone. It wasn't an apologetic hushed “Okay… okay… I’ll call you later. Byebye” phone call. He was talking on the phone like a boss giving a full-fledged Knowledge Transfer session on the tax saving investment plans he has purchased in his 8 year old son’s name.

Everyone says Indians have no respect for other people’s privacy but they’re all wrong. We are yet to respect our own privacy! Respecting other people's privacy comes much later. I mean look at this guy. He walks in, stands right in between six awkward strangers and has a personal conversation like he was strolling in a coconut grove in Amalapuram.

It didn't end there. Once he was inside the elevator the phone’s reception got worse. A normal person under this circumstance would think, “Oh, I am in a metal box that is dangling in midair in the corner of a tall, large building. I should probably hang up and call back later when I am not surrounded by these creepy elevator people” but not this guy! This guy believes in freedom of speech in its purest form – noise.

Don’t be that guy: Obsessive Compulsive (Missed Call) Disorder

Don’t be the guy who gives 80 missed calls in the 90 minute span when his girlfriend is away from her phone. If she’s not answering the phone, she is probably busy with something, or having dinner, or sleeping, or watching a movie, or reading something, or just doesn’t feel like being on the phone right now. Women have a life outside their relationships too, you know?

As a general rule, do not give more than two back to back missed calls unless large numbers of people are dying in a short span of time (like an earthquake or a Zombie apocalypse).

And girls, stop counting the number of missed calls as a measure for how much he misses you. That is pathetic. If a guy is spending an hour of his free time giving 40 missed calls, it clearly means that he has no hobbies, no interests, no imagination or thoughts of his own. Why do you even like him?

Don’t be that guy: The Street Parkers

When it comes to parenting, parents really suck

I do not wish to contend C2's statement. I would just like to add that society sucks too because there are some things which even parents cannot control.

This gentleman in our colony for instance has two cars but only one car parking spot, so he parks his second car on the street. (It is amusing how people buy cars without figuring out where to park them). Now that he has parked his car on the footpath, it becomes his marked territory. He also gets furious at anyone who doesn't treat that space with the reverence and respect he thinks it deserves.

Thanks to gentlemen like these, there is an endless line of parked cars on every footpath on every street in every colony of every city because of which kids cannot play cricket because “the ball might break something”, cannot burst crackers because “it is too dangerous”. Edu penkulaata (Pitthu/Satoliya), Guti Billa (Gilli-danda) and a hundred other street games are not even in the vocabulary of the next generation because "if something happens to any of the cars, whose father will pay?"

What used to be a nimble, lively, and defining aspect of childhoods in our culture is now a parking lot – a cheap parking lot.

And then these car parkers meet up in social gatherings and reminisce in nostalgia, “When I was a kid, I used to play on the street all the time. In fact during summer vacations, we used spend more time on the street than inside the house… this generation kids toh… they spend all the time in front of the computer and Xbox only baba.”

More to come:


  1. I was teaching Vaishnav how to play edu penkulata. Suddenly I realized it might cause trouble to teach him hitting others with the ball :) in a country where street games are not well known. Had to change that rule to touching the opposition team with ball in hand :)

  2. haha nice...

    Bangalore lo ne oppukovatledu ee madhya, inka America lo aithe rendu moodu court caselu gelavaali edu penkulaata aadaali ante ;)

  3. typo man...I was in a Schindler’s Lift the other day*

  4. Hilarious.. you are awesome man! Keep them coming

  5. Totally agree with you! These people who talk in public places like they are talking on a 1980 model landline phone are to be locked in a room with a phone with no mic. . Let them scream all they want in there!

  6. Wooowww lift one totally hilarious :D couldn't stop laughing as i was reading it. Am into your follwers rite now :)


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