Everytime I have to write my personal bio (as opposed to professional) I mention that I am generally very particular about who I choose to be friends with and am fiercely loyal in maintaining those relationships. As a consequence, there are about a handful of friendships starting at various points from middle-school onwards to the present day that have survived through times . Given a choice I would have made a badge of honour with all the names and put it up for everyone to see. However, like any other precious personal belonging, these are not meant for sundry ears and eyes.
On the other hand, I find it extremely difficult to hide my loathing for some people. There are people I don’t react to in any noticeable manner and are the easiest to deal with. These people may even find me friendly and it would be a mutual feeling in most cases. But some folks simply bring out the devil in me. Diplomacy is hard for me to practise with a straight face and to suppress the urge to be rude is harder. The only reaction I have is to ignore them completely and never let them wander into my perimeter of vision or sound. And over the years, (without any intention) I have sort of chalked out a general profile of these people and it sometimes bewilders me how I instantly take a dislike the moment a person puts him/herself down one strike on any of these counts.
The first of these are the people who lack basic social skills when interacting amongst a group. They try to wriggle in amongst a group of people already familiar with each other and push themselves forward with a cattle prod to plant themselves somewhere close to the middle. In the process, they’ll indulge in nudge-nudge wink-wink 1-1 secretive “insider jokes” that they think would help them gain acceptance. Or worse, just plain interrupt whatever conversations were underway and stop everything in the process.
Next are the attention hungry individuals, who would swoon and sway and generally create situations where people would have to run out in their underpants to attend to them. Or atleast, thats what are the reactions that are expected from the general population within a radius of considerable distance.
Overtly rowdy people. These people often lack the basic respect for things/people around them. They may be destructive in some way of other – like plucking flowers from gardens (thats a big deal for me), or display their lack of involvement in civil soceity by littering, pick up fights with attendants at restaurants, payment queues, parking lots, rickshaw/cab drivers whoever they consider are in a “less dignified occupation” than they are. (I particularly dislike it when address them as ‘Tu’ instead of ‘Aap’). Foul language is a given in most cases. There are also the likes of an inconsiderate room-mate who may be practising the lifestyle of a regal-offspring from a past life.
Dishonest and ill-behaved grownups i.e. people who are sort of in a position to influence the behavioural patterns of children. My guess is that most of us have encountered these people at various public places like trains, cinema halls, restaurants, or even at work. The children unfortunately are trapped in a situation when they were dropped into this quagmire not of their choosing and will grow up with imprints of the older generation, completly unaware of alternatives that they could have otherwise taken.
The crème de la crème in this series are what we in Bengali call ‘Nyaka’ (ন্যাকা) – the serpentine version of the human species, if one could use a measurement of voice/body modulations. Close synonyms would be ‘nautankibaaz’ or ‘drama-regal’ or perhaps ‘Kareena Kapoor in Kabhi Khusi Kabhi Gaam’, but its still not the real thing. A description may be required in this case. So a nyaka would have a massively drawlish voice, steeped in pathos of the kind when a ear-ring of choice is not available in the colour of preference. These are also the people who find pleasure in draping themselves like bedspreads over the people in their physical proximity. Pampered out of orbit either by others or by themselves. Overall, you may get the feeling of an arms flailing, slow shrieking ice sculpture willingly melting yet proclaiming otherwise and collecting in a tray at the floor when you meet these people. What I find unbearable about this lot, is the visible dumbing down of their capabilties and spinal column. And I have seen such behaviour permeate through various IQ levels. No prizes for guessing who makes it to the top.
I remember a friend from school wrote in her personal bio something to the tune of: If I like you, I’ll be nice to you. If I don’t like you, I’ll still be nice to you but you’d know that I don’t like you. In my case, the last line changes to, “Sorry, I won’t share breathing space with you”. Period.
P.S. Smug stupidity has not been included in this list, because due to its widespread practise it is the new normal,