Bathos…

Bathos (noun): An abrupt, unintended transition in style from the exalted to the commonplace; also heaviness of heart. It’s a tricky but lovely word…

Monsoons in North India remind me of winters in Mumbai (disclaimer – it’s not like I’ve spent eons in North India, these are harried first impressions I know). First you wait. You wait and wait and wait and it never seems to be coming along. It get’s hotter and hotter and everyone keeps saying that it’s just around the corner now. And you keep reading in the papers and seeing on television how it’s apparently reached everywhere except when you happen to be situated.

Then it finally announces itself. That chilly nip in the air one morning out of the blue in the middle of December in Mumbai, or those overcast clouds on the faraway horizon – thanks to the complete lack of high-rises – in Chandigarh. And you’re excited, and satisfied and just pleased at the same time. Finally, you think, finally. But you’ve hyped it up so much, you think of it as a messiah that is going to save you. So it’s kinda difficult to live up to expectations. We compare what we get to what we imagined we would have. We have no way to objectively know what we would get and hence we imagine based on other substitutes, surrogates and placeholders which lead us away. And hence the dissonance you feel when it’s 34 degrees (feels like 42 degrees says the Accuweather app) less than a couple of hours after a drizzle that brought a smile to your face.

It’s like that feeling when your family bought a computer in the late 90’s, you’d seen one at so many people’s places and envied them for it, and now you finally have it! Or when you finally got that broadband internet connection in the middle of the last decade and did not have to bother too much about how much time you spend online anymore? (Not to mention you didn’t have to announce to the whole house that you were going to use the Internet thanks to that beeping modem every time you connected.) Or when the exams finally finally ended and you now had absolutely nothing to do for a good month or so? And then, a week later, even as you struggle with your inner voice to not admit it, you know it’s been anti-climatic, it’s only a big deal while you don’t have it.

But then we live our lives for those moments and decisions where there is no anti-climax, where we do reach that beautiful crescendo which we weren’t sure was a mirage or real. And that, those magical moments and experiences, are what puts the rest of our life into perspective and makes other anti climaxes worth it 🙂 For all talk of work-life balance, professional satisfaction is underrated indeed.

Edit: Thoda jyaada heavy ho gaya. And I suspect there might be a logical fallacy or inconsistency as well somewhere? But I loved writing this, unplanned and metaphorical. So it stays 😛

Advertisements