When people ask me why I don’t comment on their blogs more frequently, I usually claim to be terribly busy. What would the world of excuses be without the phrases work pressures and deadlines, na? But the truth of the matter is, I am one very jobless person. So when I’m not harassing someone or thinking of a new PJ, I check out the blogs of the nice people who have left recent comments on my blog. And thus I stumbled upon a blog about Women Bloggers by Sharanya. She writes about three female bloggers (eM, Primalsoup and moi) and does a personality analysis of us based on our blogs, giving full credit to her wet jeans for this brilliant dissection. Seriously, you should head over to her blog and read about it yourself. Here’s a relevant excerpt —
If the Blog personality of Walk in the Clouds is a reflection of who she is, then I would guess that Megha is a very politically correct person, is a bit of an enigma, is friendly with all but has only very few friends, has a sense of righteousness, is a Hindi film junkie (okay that is not personality cue, but little bit of cheating is allowed!), is I think a Guy’s girl (the kind of girl whom men can see as a platonic friend, in case you are wondering; and who probably makes women insecure) she is a loyal friend, will be a good confidante, is very independent, and is much calm.
Hee hee! Calm, she says. If only she knew. Of course, I am most flattered to be featured along with two blogs that I like to read. Total road-roller ran over me types flattered. But on a more serious note, I am happy that she enjoyed what I wrote and wasted time analyzing it so whatever I say in reaction to it are just some random observations. Please to not mind, Sharanya.
So I find myself facing a bit of a conundrum here. <cue song — kya karen kya na karen ye kaisi mushkil hai> The way I see it, I have the following options —
- I could commend her on her keen sense of perception and stellar analytical skills and laud her on how she hit the nail on the head about me. Of course that would mean I am agreeing with her on her analysis, thereby admitting I am all those things she says I am, thus lessening the very enigma she paints me to be. In addition, I also look vain and narcissistic. Yes of course, I *am* vain, but I shouldn’t use her analysis to make that obvious. I have my blog for that already.
- I could show generous gobs of modesty and coyly giggle, wave my hand articulately in mid-air and go ‘Me? *blush* Awww, no no .. you are too kind ..‘ and resort to other such humbug. This of course is most apparently pretentious and fake and thus will conflict with the sense of righteousness that she has so sweetly attributed to me. Plus I am an extra, and extras don’t giggle. Divas do that.
- I could take on a tone of indignation, demanding if she knows me in real life. I could ask her to show me links that indicate each of the personality traits she has credited me with and prove the accuracy of her analysis. Or I could flat out deny everything she says. Rant about how people are quick to stereotype you. But all this would give the impression of being unfriendly, which goes against her analysis.
- I could give her a righteous speech about how dangerous presumptions are. I could even throw in a ‘I have all my life been a prisoner of people’s presumptions .. I long to be free‘. It’ll sound rather fancy poetic types and make a good impression on her perhaps. Maybe the next time she writes my personality analysis she’ll add ‘articulate‘ and ‘free-spirited artist‘ to her list.
- I could graciously say thank you for reading through my archives. I could sum up her analysis of me as ‘fascinating‘. I find that word works better ‘cos people lately have wisened up to the fact that the word ‘interesting‘ translates to ‘I have nothing better to say‘. I could express a detached curiosity as to how she came to the conclusions she did, but not pursue the question too much. I could cleverly avoid agreeing or disagreeing with her, thus keeping the enigma intact. I could smile a Mona Lisa type smile and remain unaffected, deepening the mystery some more.
So I started to think — We easily form impressions of people based on just a few points of data we have about them. We do it all the time. I am just as guilty of it, so no higher moral ground here. But it is just as easy to give an impression as it is to form one. Especially so in the blog world. In each of the five examples, my reaction can lead to a different image of me. And by simply spending a few minutes tailoring the response I write, I can change the image that I form in people’s minds. At least my blog image. A reiteration of the truth in the Einstein quote at the top of this blog — a persistent illusion can indeed become a reality sometimes.
This also follows closely on the heels of what I was saying in my earlier post about blogging for an audience versus just blogging. A lot of what we write is reactive, consciously or subconsciously. Reminds me of the Mark Twain quote I read today — Sane and intelligent human beings are like all other human beings, and carefully, cautiously and diligently conceal their private real opinions from the world and give out fictitious ones in their stead for general consumption. Not to be left too far behind Twain in seeming wise, I leave with the following visual for you to ruminate over —
Worn down by the travails of life, the Hindi film heroine stands in the courtroom. She listens to the prosecutor telling the courtroom about the person she is. Cringing at the image he is painting of her .. it sounds alien. This is not her .. not the person she used to be. She listens and listens .. and when she can listen no more, she cries out — Nahiin, judge saahab, nahiin! Main aise pehle se nahiin thhi! Waqt aur haalaton ki zanzeeron ne mujhe aisa banne par majboor kiya! (Loose translation — No, judge dude, no. I was not like this before. The chains of time and circumstances have tied my hands and I alas, am no Houdini.) That heroine, cast in a role-of-a-lifetime, is of course, Shilpa Shetty. I know what you’re thinking, but nopes. Even Hindi film courtrooms have a dress code.