Everybody has a perception or a definition of what being cool is all about. Or what kind of talk makes one sound intellectual. What kind of taste in music, food and books, makes one sound so very in, and happening. But at the same time, it isn’t necessary that you match your own definition, or opinion. In fact, in my case, I more often than not, am a complete mismatch to what my perception of ‘being in’ is all about.
Like for example, answer the question ‘what kind of music do you like?’ A cool/in/happening person in my opinion would say something like ‘well, it’s actually a mix of things, I like rock, but am not too much into heavy metal and all. It actually depends, a little bit of country, jazz, anything that suits the mood. My favorite band? Undoubtedly Pink Floyd!’ But when I need to answer the same question, honestly the answer has to be more like ‘Hindi music, Bollywood rocks! I don’t like Himesh Reshammiya anymore but there was a point of time when I played Aashiq Banaya Aapne over and over again on the system. Also, I find songs like ‘Signal, pyar ka signal’ ultra fun to listen to. Ya, I know English music, but the ratio is like 100:1. And no, I don’t really understand Pink Floyd.’ See what I mean? Not cool, so not cool, and so very not happening!
Then there are books. I claim to read a lot, and I do in fact. And yeah, I have a master’s degree in business administration too, so I have to be someone who reads books that make one think. Freakonomics, Maximum city, The world is flat and the truckloads of recommended management books. That is so perfect. This MBA degree holder, into financial planning has to be a regular economic times, business world fan. That’s how it should be, and that’s how it works! But I sincerely don’t remember the last time I read economic times (ok, I do, it was last week, when The Dude showed me some nice stuff written about my company). Or when I flipped last through a business world. And I certainly haven’t read any of the intellectual recommended books which improve the knowledge base. Infact, I think I haven’t read a non-fiction book for years now! But I still call myself an avid reader. This July 21st I intend to queue outside Odyssey and get my hands on a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! I so can’t wait. And yeah, I need to ask The Dude to drive me down to book bazaar, so that I can pick up the last few months of Cosmos and Elles. So there, I do read!
I cannot miss out on the television part. Give the dude the remote, and he like a true finance guy switches to CNBC TV18 and can watch the stocks move up and down, people buy and sell for hours. Before the markets open, he will listen to the pre – analysis, and once they are closed he will listen to the summary for the day’s performance. Give me the remote, and I select ‘Entertainment’ from the very useful Tata sky guide and jump to Star World to watch Re-runs of Friends, or Sienfeld, The OC, Grey’s Anatomy. If that’s not available, I move on to the ever dependable MTV, V and the Bollywood music again. Or I go to Sony TV and watch highlights from Indian Idol, and pray that Chang is not voted out.
That is not all. I am in general what they call corny. I watch mush flicks over and over again, and get fully emotional and cry for the same scenes as I do each time. Even though it is clichéd, I think it’s awesome when someone gets you a birthday cake as a surprise. I think it is romantic to get flowers on Valentines Day or have a song dedicated for you at the restaurant you are eating at. All of it clichéd, corny, but so very me. And all of it things quite a few have joked about, saying ‘That’s so childish, and so very corny!!’. There has been more than one occasion when I have joined the ‘cool’ people and laughed at all these things just to sound like them, grown up, and above all this. But at the end of it doesn’t really work.
So, as I am surrounded by the happening lot most of the times in most of the places, I still cant help but feel like dancing every time ‘Sajnaji Vari Vari’ is played, or pick a Ken Follet over a ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle riding’ at Crosswords. My eyes refuse to watch Udayan Mukherjee give the stock updates, and die to flip over and listen to Chandler Bing’s sarcasm instead. And I still hope that there is a bunch of flowers waiting for me at home when I get back J