Wednesday, December 20, 2006

May The Force not be with you.

I am afflicted with a disease. Or should I call it a bane, an inconvenience? Nothing wrong with my health, thanks for the concern - but there is Something out there that conspires to keep me either too jobless or too busy, with never a balance.

I am not talking about my job. I never talk about it on my blog, not if I can help it. I am referring to my social life. Let me explain.

There are periods in my life when absolutely nothing happens. I go on with my usual activities, my weekends are as usual, and everything is just normal, just short of being boring. Then all of a sudden, on one particular weekend, people decide to have get-togethers and celebrations and parties, and everybody invites me to their event. And that leaves me juggling lunches and brunches and teas and dinners and apologizing to some of them and attending the others, and running around the city and making a mess of the whole thing. Now, why couldn't these people have spread out their events so that they could cover my non-eventful weekends, so that I could attend all the events in peace?

But no. It is almost as if some Unseen Force urges everybody I know to make sure that they arrange events such that Shruthi is caught in a dilemma.

Now, when two events clash, I have 4 options.
1) Attend event A.
2) Attend event B.
3) Attend both events one after another.
4) Attend neither event.

Options 1 and 2 are the most difficult, when it comes to decision-making. All other things being convenient, there are two aspects which aid (or hinder) the decision-making process when it comes to attending an event - Interest and Obligation. Now if an event is both interesting and obligatory for me to attend, there isn't anything much to decide. Just a carefully crafted apology to the other party will do the trick. But the difficulty arises when one is interesting and the other is obligatory. I usually weigh the pros and cons of each and end up going to the - obligatory one. Just once, I went with my heart and went to the interesting event and chucked the obligatory one. I regretted my decision immediately. I found that the interesting event wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be, and I was under a much greater obligation to attend the other event, than I thought I was. If both events are both Interesting and Obligatory, then Importance is the deciding factor. And I won't go into what I do if both are equally important. This could go on and on.

Option 3 is not too difficult if both events are taking place close to each other - I can pop in at both places for a while and get away with it. But if the events are at different corners of the city, I consider my sanity more important, Bangalore traffic being what it is. So this option is out.

Option 4 is silly - but I admit I have taken refuge in it more than once - if not anything else, it gave me a respite from putting my sparse brains to too much work.

Even an event that I arrange is not spared by this Supernatural Force. I happen to call a friend and suggest that we meet up as we haven't done so for a long time, and she agrees and everything is set for Friday at 7 PM. Then on Thursday, you can be sure that another friend will call me and say that she is leaving the city on Saturday and won't be back for two years, and the only time she has is Friday night and can I please meet her then. It pains me to cancel the first date, but it is pretty obvious which one is the more pressing engagement!

My personal plans are also routinely spoiled by this Unknown Agent. For example, when I get over my laziness and schedule a long-overdue visit to the beauty parlour, I can almost look at my phone and predict that someone will call me and say that s/he is in the vicinity and is dropping by to see me, if I am free. It is not like I am going to the doctor or anything - the beauty parlour can wait. So I agree, and convince myself that it is okay to look like Mowgli for one more week.

And reasons. I am a very bad liar, people say, so when I have to tell somebody that I cannot make it to their do, I usually tell the truth - that my presence is required elsewhere. And how do I do it without hurting them? I don't know. I sometimes even add, "Why couldn't you have arranged it last week when I was rotting at home with boredom and yawning till the edges of my mouth needed stitches?"

Oh please please don't stop calling me or inviting me or visiting me, assuming that you are putting me under unnecessary duress. I love meeting you and talking to you and spending time with you. Only please make sure that you are not influenced by The Force when you schedule your events!


Chitra said...

Tee hee....!! did tell me that you would meet me... [...;-)...]

Anonymous said...

Please do let me know when you're busy again, and I'll extend a warm invitation :P
It's certainly true that it never rains but pours. Hi-5! :))


Inder said...

option 4 - the lifesaver in dilemmas :)

Anonymous said...

Shruthi forgot to tell u y'day..The last thing I read before signing out for the day was this post of u'rs..N was wondering if u would turn up or not ;) Looked too fishy n too much of a perfectly timed post to me ;) Well, glad that I could finally get to see you anyways :)

Shruthi said...

Chitra, yup, you can be sure that it will work out only when we do finally meet ;)

Ano, aahhaaa this is one thing I hadn't bargained for ;)

Inder, you too? :O

Diya, heh heh, maybe I chose this one over the other! ;) It was good to meet you!

Anonymous said...

Toss a coin for Option A or B...if u want to enjoy the event to the fullest..cos attending both the events is like having one leg her and other there..:-D

Anonymous said...


I have had such occassions tooo, i have opted option 3 few times (becoz it saved me from cooking at home those days :D) in other cases i have chosen option A or option B

No wonder it happenz only in Indya...

Anonymous said...

Professor, excellent thought of writing such things. I really appreciate that effort you put in to explain with details of such small but important/interesting things. I can relate to each & every event(except beauty parlour one).. It happens with everybody not just with you..
When I have nothing to do & I am sure I have no job to do then I plan out to call & visit people .. that is when the other person has to cancel the obligatory planned event.
amele ninna meet maadiddu sakkat khushi aaytu.. Look forward to meet you quite often, do call up & drop in .. Indiranagar gottalla.. :-) No obligation prof.. :-)

Anonymous said...

its 'ninne meet maadiddu' ..

Anonymous said...

Shruthi my darling, can I book myself some time with you for next year? I'll be in Bangalore in July 2007 and I HAVE to see you or I might just pull out my tonsils with my bare hands. Yeah, nasty.

If you figure out who I am, lemme know *wink*. Here's a hint..."sudhi bisar gayee aaj apne DULHAN ki" tee-hee.

ps: i heart your blog...i never comment on here, but i honest to god loveitloveitloveitloveit.

Anonymous said...

Variation of old Murphy ;-)

Bhupi said...

i will check u rcalendar before i plan anything :) :)

rash_mi said...

Hi Shruthi,

Hope you will not have any such banes in the coming the new year :).
Wishing you good luck & prosperity too in the new year.


Anonymous said...

Hehehe :D.

When there is a conflict between 1 and 2, I make sure I merge 1 & 2 together. Of course that doesnt happen always, but lets see I have been invited to an obligatory dinner at a friend's place, and yet another friend wants to meet me - I am more likely to call my first ppl, tell them I am brining a guest with me, and there - both events are taken care off.

I know thats wrong, but eh?

Great stuff here


Viky said...

Mmmuahahahaha!!! Devilish laughter results, with a strange sense of "ninge hange agbeku"...

BTW, why are you in a statistico-analytical mood - first you analyse the type of marriages, now you analyse the situations - what with a), b) et al...

Evil mind wonders as to what you are up to....hmph?

Anonymous said...

idu bahala thumba chgennagi bandide
on this I want to share something related inviting people it is better you list and ensure you invite all your near and dear for the functions in a planned way. never postpone this and miss calling/inviting people who are very next to you.
when you go to invite whereever it is better don't return without leaving the card and message. if you think that I will come again there is every chance that you miss it so I keep telling people better leave your card and a message so that they will know that you were there. matte meet madidare sari illa ondu phone madi
personal invitation to be restricted
to few relatives and elderly people all rest you must do it using the communication facilities phone/email etc., depending on the time and people.
socialise adashtu attend madvadu ollyadu.ondu invite madidavarige sathosha agutte matte nimage bahala hale parichayadavaru siguva sadayate bahala irutte invite madvadu yesthu important ashte bandavarannu vicharisikollvadu idannu tappade madbeku kelavu janarige idannu vahisabeku for ex relatives ge obbaru office janakke avara parichya iruva snehitaru/colleagu etc.etc.

Shruthi said...

Thenraj, wish it was that easy to decide! :O

Usha, Ah, food, that is one reason to go to at least one place and not miss out on anything!

Veena, thank you! And the beauty parlour event was just an example, it could even be that I have planned to clean the house when somebody decides to drop over - anything! :) Ok will remember the invitation!

Mrs. Jack Bauer, there can be only one person in this world who can write a comment as crazy as this one :D - the DULHAN! ;)
Ok ok got the message, June 2007 is blocked for you - nothing can be more important than preventing you from conducting anaesthesia-less tonsil removal on yourself! That sets me thinking --- do I vaguely remember that you have already had your tonsils removed? ;)
And thank you dear for your compliments.. I am sooo flattered ;)

N, yup, absolutely!

Shruthi said...

Bhupi, wish my calendar was so inflexible! ;)

Rashmi, thanks a ton! And wish you a very happy new year too!

Supremus, actually that's a fantastic idea. I have done it once and it worked beautifully :) Thanks!

Viky, how rude! (as Stephanie in Full House would say). And my innocent mind wonders what possible doubts and thoughts could have come up in your evil mind - these are simple, heartfelt posts - nothing so profound! :O

Praneshachar, correct aagi heliddira!

Anonymous said...

Lucky you. In my cases it is 'diagonally different'. Two people would want to meet up, I weigh my options and make time for both. End up waiting and eating kadlekai (ground nuts), while neither of them turn up nor bother to inform about the cancelled meeting.
People ask me to meet up at a given spot, and after an hour I try to clarify from them about the venue and time, only to know that they have finished their meeting at some other place and left for the day.
Just 2 minutes before the supposed meeting I get an invite to attend it in the far corner of the city. I,unable to turn down the good hearted invite, go there only to find they departed some time ago.
If I calculate the time I have spent waiting for people either in some corners of road or in bus-stops(favorite), or at my home it self (best option unless I cancelled one over another..I can continue my productive work until they turn up, if they do...), I almost dread at the mention of get-together or meeting.

Viky said...

Still, consecutive posts with in-depth classification and analysis...*warning bells chime with gay abandon*

Shruthi said...

RK, forgive me, but I couldn't help laughing :) That is indeed very unfortunate! Does this happen even now, in the age of cellphones? ;)

Viky, ok, even if it is strange, what could possibly be wrong? ;?

Unknown said...

dont analyse abt such things this deep! it hurts you more! If possible merge both the events as supremus said, but if they cant be, just opt for one and go ahead! Dont think more!

Shruthi said...

Sandesh, the whole thing was written in a light vein :)

Anonymous said...

Option 5) Go to both events at the same time.
This is how: you hire a professional Shruthi impersonator.
Of course, it starts getting complicated because (a) your impersonator needs to know everything and everyone *you* do, and (b) *you* need to learn everything the impersonator learns.
So you need to organise a preliminary briefing, and a debriefing.

Anonymous said...

Speaking more seriously, saying 'No' is a good skill to have, and to build on. I certainly wish I was better at saying No than saying Yeah, OK.....

Anonymous said...

I did not invite you anywhere! forget abt inviting anyone, i wont be in town most weekends...sent u a mail, gave u a reply at all !! did not know u had stopped responding to them too :-)

btw caught up with blogs after a real long time...Abt TPK's 'Kolike Ranga' ...legend says TPK was in a pub when someone sang it and offered money as a bet if someone sings exactly as him...TPK took it up and sang and again threw a bet saying he can translate it then and there and sing it and wont the bet again !!
Oh well, u know me!

Shruthi said...

Mikeachim, that's such a wonderful idea! Now, of course to find an impersonator!
You are so right... saying "No" is an art! Hope you learnt it, and quick! :)

Anon, ok, we got that miscommunication cleared up :) Interesting, about TPK - thanks!

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