I am either right or should die

We are either for or against. The problem is, half the time half the world is charting a course somewhere in the middle

shantanu

Shantanu Datta | June 7, 2014



Indians love the either/or formula. We swear by it; are ready to die for it. The extremes to which we are ready to travel to hold on to our belief is the interesting thing here.

For instance, we either swear by the either/or theory or we veer so far off it to actually seem either either or or or both are not words found in either dictionary or in our daily lives but are actually nano-particles that came from Mars.

Examples? Of course.

We Indians – especially the 'educated' (that is to say with or without degrees), ‘animated’ (that is to say in or outside 9-pm studio debates) and argumentative (that is to say, well, argumentative) –either like cricket or are ready to slap-murder mosquitoes out in the park but sit with someone in a room where the telly is showing cricket. We either love even the shape of the bottle and the font in which Rooh Afza is written, let alone the taste, or we hate it so much that we are ready to vote in a dictator who would ban it. We either think Alphonso is the best mango ever plucked out by man (or woman) off a tree or we think it’s so overrated that it should be spelt with h, y, p and e.

We either think Sunny Leone is the best when it comes to pouting and emoting in the whole wide world – and often outside it – or we think she should stay outside the periphery of the globe.

Okay, now, before you think I do not either mean a thing I say or mean nothing of the things I say here, let me also say we are either with the muffler or venomously against it. We either find coughing cute and syrupy or see traces of bronchial cancer spreading with every cough. We find activism either supremely sacrificial and heroic or extremely theatrical and comic. We can either follow blindly and mock everyone else ‘astray’ or be shocked at the blind faith and mock followers being led ‘astray’. We are either used to being followed by followers wearing sycophantic pants or prefer to remain seated, lest there are followers – in pants regular or otherwise.

We are either for or against. The problem is, half the time half the world is charting a course somewhere in the middle of it. The problem, the way I see it, is not political. It is socio-psychological – that is how we are; take it or leave it. Most of us do not get frustrated; we implode. We do not go our own way; we crack, split, splutter and break up. Before we break down. When all we need is a good neck-wringing shakedown.

Now, dear reader, put in either a political undertone or an overtone. Just do not question me in a normal, regular way. I am an Indian.

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