March 19, 2009


I get this strange feeling of uneasiness whenever I see my boss working. It starts somewhere around my neck, which automatically tightens, before moving down into my left arm, which begins to scratch aforementioned neck. Another strand moves upwards to my eyebrows, arcing them upwards, which triggers a complex series of facial muscle reflexes that stretches my mouth into the vague contours of a grin. 

All of which results in a wonderful display of buffoonery that my boss is undoubtedly hard-pressed to explain. His response to my semi-permanent state of grinning embarrassment is usually denial, or the imposition of more errands to perform. Preferably away from the office. 

The reason for this uneasiness, I think, is the remarkable amount of self-assuredness he seems to have in everything he does. It scares me.

It’s like he’s permanently in the Zone: shifting between explaining the behaviour of Buffaloes in heat and the vagaries of the Directorate of Foreign Trade with inexplicable ease (I kid you not). Every word he reads seems to be imbued with a sense of purpose and meaning, like somehow everything everything around you fits into place perfectly, and even the most random puzzle pieces you pick up go exactly where you want them to. 

I, on the other hand, am content with the rare display of articulation, or the summoning of (rarer) creativity from increasingly dry reserves. It seems to take very little to get me out of my standard-state malaise, but very little to plunge me back into it too.  I seem to be able to think clearly only in twitter-length messages, with larger pictures either completely incomprehensible or scarily ominous.


There’s somehow the comfort of the often bizarre memories I’ve retained from the last few months:

like roaming around Delhi with a bunch of Gond artists, helping them buy T-shirts.
Or discussing the ‘Republic of ManUcia’ and its inevitable demise.
Or singing Himesh Reshammiya in karaoke, and getting an A rating on the effort.
Or wondering if your designation at work is ‘All-purpose Errand Boy’ or ‘Apprentice Pedant.’

Or finding out that one of the subjects of the documentary you’re helping shoot runs an international child adoption racket.
Or listening to a song called ‘If We Can Land a Man on the Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart.’ And liking it. 
Or finding yourself in a financial quandary so dire you had to choose between Toothpaste and lunch.

(All of this is true)

 I’ve also been a bit of a social embarrassment recently. I may have tried a tad too hard to make something work, which didn’t, and its a little difficult having to realize (and admit) that its sort-of hit you square in the heart of a rather troubling flaw in your character – the stupid tendency to assign alarming portions of your emotional normalcy to trivialities. 


Wins have also happened. I think I’m close to finally reaching some level of comfort with my finances, and I’m surrounded by plenty of great books to read in the coming month. The Nintendo DS is seeing its best release period yet, I get to dig up some awesome old manuscripts as part of work, and the Battlestar Galactica finale is tomorrow!

So, yeah. A social, grinning, and partly-successful embarrassment. 

I think I can live with that.


8 Responses to “Embarrassments”

  1. You know, there was something very charming about this post, really 🙂 Maybe because it was just honest, no frills.

    What great books would those be?


  2. Z said

    I must introduce you to my friend, Sgt. Piracy. He helps me save money.

  3. sottai said

    G: Thanks muchly. =)

    Oh, lots. Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle i’ve managed to get my hands on…also that other Peter F Hamilton series I’ve been meaning to read (Z, you’ll remember this: Pandora’s Star?). Lots of reading on Caste and Indian History, as part of work…this lovely little book called ‘Reinventing Revolution’ by Gail Omvedt. Then, lots of Tezuka manga, the new Saramago, and, if I feel upto it, some Slavoj Zizek and Baudrillard titles as well. Hooray!

    Z: You cant really pirate the room rent, or the mobile bill.

  4. pffermintpatti said

    Beulah-lol!And lots of books,fully rich boys you is,man!

    “the stupid tendency to assign alarming portions of your emotional normalcy to trivialities.” – *vigorous head nodding.*

  5. abishtu said

    the pictures remind me of scott pilgrim. it isn’t. is it?

    • sottai said

      It is.

      Almost all post-related pictures on this blog are, excepting the odd obscure videogame.

  6. abishtu said

    thought it looked familiar. should’ve read a few more posts, it would’ve been obvious.

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