Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Gold-plated problems

Someone I know was cribbing to me about how it had been two months since he ordered his new BMW and it was yet to arrive. Meanwhile he had to make do with driving his poor old Honda. I voiced my most-concerned-sounding "oh that is bad" and dint voice my "Vaat ye peter" (translates to "Now that you have advertised your very depressing situation, I need to head back home in my second-hand bicycle" - with due apologies from singara chennai's lord labakdaas language to all he whose parents named him 'Peter'). Petering around, he was; but it got me thinking about how most of our problems are "gold-plated" at one level or the other. These are problems we have because we are well-off enough to have them.

For the rest of this blog entry, I could give you a motivational talk about how to think positive and be grateful for one's second-hand bicycles problems. But I realize that in the time that I struggle and fish for words of inspiration to fill three sentences, Oprah would have dished out three talk shows on the topic and three volumes of "The 420 habits of highly problem-free people" would have been published.

So.. I choose to play light and list all those high-end peterings-of-the-problemings that I have said/heard. Join in, readers :)

1. "I am in this big fix as to which of my admit-offers I should accept - MIT, CMU or Stanford. "
(observer's inner voice: "Hmm.. so sad you dint get an admit offer from Aminjikarai Village Community College")
2. "Oh! Dont even ask my pathetic score - I missed a centum in Math by 1 point"
(observer's inner voice: "Shoot! And I was thinking I had a bad score when I've managed to pass the exam!")
3. Typical interview scenario.
Interviewer: "So, tell me - what would you say your one big weakness is?"
Interviewee: "I work too hard. I love my work so much that I dont take a second's break till I have completed the task at hand."
(observer's inner voice: "Sahi Jawaab! But sorry mister, but we only hire people who dont like to work at all.")
(Me: Cant blame the interviewee. What is the point of such questions in interviews anyways when all you can expect to hear is well-prepared, concealed boasting masquerading as self-denigration.)

Finally, a mindful moral of a mindless blog-entry, to make up for the motivational talk that I did not give: While the BMW story is not true anyway (I made it up to give me a head-start on the writing), the rest were not quoted as a mockery (despite the seeming spite in the "observer's inner voice"). My reason for picking on these instances is to provide an exaggeration to put forth my point: To someone else, our genuine problems could sound as as frivolous as those. If we could read into the lives of people around us, we would realize that most of our own problems are gold-plated on a comparative scale.