Life Lessons

31 Jan

Do you know what time it is? Tag time. This one comes courtesy Harini and it’s about life lessons learned. I’d like to think I learn my lessons, don’t you? Coz the alternative is that I’m a dumbass. Hold the emails. :mrgreen:

01. Parents are people too. I don’t know if any one of you have seen a parent cry but I can still remember the deeply unsettling feeling in the pit of my stomach the first time I saw my mom break down. Her sister had just succumbed to a long illness and she sat on the bed in the pale sunlight of a winter Sunday and sobbed her heart out. I couldn’t have been more than seven but it was old enough to understand that my mom wasn’t merely my “mom”, she was a human being with feelings and relationships of her own. It sounds incredibly simple when I put it like that, but think back to all the times you’ve treated/dismissed one or both your parents as authority figures rather than people with legitimate fears, feelings and failings. I guarantee you, we’ve all been there.

02. Admit a failing. Some people say this is an Indian quirk, the reluctance to admit ignorance or failure of some sort. That makes sense to me on one level because throughout one’s childhood, the punishment meted out to failure and ignorance, no matter how innocent, is vicious. You’re castigated in public, called names, held up to ridicule and made an outcast. Or perhaps it’s just my experience that the world is generally unforgiving to folks who betray for even an instant that they’re not perfect beings. But the thing is – if you’re not willing to say, “I don’t know what this means, could you explain this to me please?” then you’re never going to learn what it is. Asking questions is good.

03. Apologize. I don’t remember what I did, but when I was three, my favorite aunt wouldn’t speak to me until I apologized to her. I didn’t even understand what the word “sorry” meant but I knew it required a certain humility. It was the hardest thing I’d done up to that point (spoiled princess that I am) but I did it. “Sorry” is not a dirty word. But you have to mean it. It’s almost become punctuation these days, the way “thank you” has. Try meaning it the next time you use it or simply refrain. It’s incredible how self-aware it can make you.

04. Manners are important. This sounds like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised to see how many people think manners are circumstantial. If you spend any time on the internet especially you’re likely to come across folks who might be the nicest people on the planet offline but hook them up to the internet and you get an instant douchebag.

05. Listen to music. It’s good for the soul.

06. Karma is real. And it’s coming to bite you on your ass. It doesn’t matter which religion you follow or don’t follow. As a human being you know what’s a nice way to behave and what is not. And when you do something that isn’t right, you take that knowledge with you and eventually it tells on you. The wicked might flourish like palm trees but sooner or later someone is going to set up a smoky chimney right next door and choke you with soot. This is true.

07. People outgrow their friends. It happens. Sometimes it doesn’t and I hope this doesn’t happen to you because it sucks either way – whether you feel like you really have nothing much in common anymore with a friend who was once the center of your universe or whether your friend feels that way about you. In either scenario you lose out. But it happens. It’s sad when it does but it’s a fact of life.

08. Litterbugs aren’t nice to know. If you treat your city like a garbage dump, what’s your life like?

Okay, that’s all I got. Pretty good for a twenty-something I think. This is an open tag – go ahead, take it up and teach me something.


Posted by on January 31, 2008 in Life, Personal, Video


15 responses to “Life Lessons

  1. rads

    January 31, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    This is one heck of a tag. I’d have taken it up if not for my already wide open blogs and tags Ive been forcing on my readers already. There’s only so much introspection one can do. That aside, Ive learnt some extremely valuable lessons over the past year. Helps write them down 🙂

    Manners are soo important. Amen to that!
    Ive seen people flip in a heartbeat, esp online. Wont. Take. Crap.

  2. Tanay

    February 1, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Amrita, I agree to each and every point that you have raised. Ah ha its an open tag, can I go ahead with my list, is the number restricted to 8.

  3. amit

    February 1, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Don’t know about the rest but I certainly empathize with point 07. It indeed sucks.

  4. Amrita

    February 1, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Rads – oh come on, take it up, do 🙂 I don’t take crap myself but I don’t understand the point in people wading in and being obnoxious right off the bat for no reason. It’s like nobody ever taught em to converse.

    Tanay – go right ahead and choose a number. I just stopped at 8 coz I couldn’t think of something that Harini hadn’t covered already.

    Amit – 😦 I know.

  5. harini calamur

    February 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    great set of learnings….
    i so agree with 5 . right now i am listening to a lovely dhrupad… and all seems wonderful….
    7 is so true…. sad but true….

  6. Beth

    February 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    On Friday while enjoying being snowed in I dug up favorite CDs from grad school and gave them a listen – so wonderful to have memories wooshing back – and just to dance in my chair, too!

    These are all right on. Special props to #4 – what IS it about anonymous typing that unleashes people’s worst sides?

  7. Aqua

    February 5, 2008 at 6:35 am

    “People outgrow their friends”… sad but true. nice post Amritha (as always!)

  8. Aqua

    February 5, 2008 at 6:37 am

    oops living in South India is getting to me. Amrita,.. not Amritha! soweee!

  9. Amrita

    February 5, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Harini – thanks for tagging me 🙂

    Beth – I’m all about dancing in my chair! Or couch rather 😀 I dont know what it is about being anonymous but it seriously needs to stop!

    Aqua – well at least you didn’t call me Amrutha so thats all right :mrgreen:

  10. Saaki

    February 6, 2008 at 8:52 am


    Your about me section was particularly helpful thank you…. 😀
    i know its rude but twenty something…. exactly bole to..???

    I’m sorry for being blatantly rude.

    Havent forgotten all my manners and i’ve apologized after admitting a mistake too…. 😀

  11. Saaki

    February 6, 2008 at 8:54 am

    All in good humour…hope you wont ban me or do a retaliatory post or something.. 😉

  12. cafm

    February 7, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Nice post 🙂

    but people outgrowing friends? does that really happen?

    call me corny but for me friends from different stages in my life take me back to that time….much like a time machine….and it helps me capture that stage in a magic box for eternity 🙂

  13. Amrita

    February 8, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Saaki – first Gagan, now you, why do people think I’m so scary? 😀 Twenty-something means more than twenty, less than 30 😛

    cafm – you’re really lucky if you’ve been able to maintain your equations just as they are. I still am best friends with my friends from school but things do change. I think i’ve been luckier than most in that we havent grown apart so much that we have nothing in common any more but we’re definitely different people than we used to be, I think.

  14. saaki

    February 9, 2008 at 9:36 am

    @ Amrita-

    LOl…..thanks for educating me….. 😀
    so much for my question… 🙂

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