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The Default State

Aside: blank pages are rather intimidating. They can hamper your writing spree majorly. Where on the other hand, putting down a few lines and then writing can be much easier.
Also aside: it is interesting to see that the deepest and most base voices, which can barely be hushed and reverberate around every corner usually belong to men who are equally thin, if not small. Seems like nature’s way to balance out some forces.

Some conversations become standards in life. At every point of life infact. These are socially acceptable answers perfected after the first two times, to questions asked indiscriminately in every social/ official situation. These range from questions to which no one can possibly have a logical and correct answer. Rather, the correct answer is generic, and well, makes the question void, if not the questionee.

Do you remember the instances as a kid when your Family asked you:
Family: So, did you meet your aunt?
You: Yes, we spoke for a while
Family: So, what did you talk about?
You: Oh, a lot of things
Family: Like?
You: Umm, usual …err…things?
At this point you are at a loss to explain or actually remember that talk points. Typically, it was usually a casual conversation where you talked about ‘how are you’ for 5 mins, weather for the next 5, and probably the colour of the room for the next 20. You spent social time with the person, drawing from your reservoir of typical responses, and filled time, as a courtesy. You did the Duty.

These are the casual conversations that im talking of. They last you all life long, in one way or the other. Time fillers, they are socially acceptable questions, and answers.

As a child you will be asked how your studies are going on soon after being asked which class you’re in, and a child soon learns that it is not correct to say ‘I have no idea for I don’t study’ to his/her elders. To keep peace and manage to get away from the claustrophobic milieu of adults, s/he will respond with a non-committal ‘Fine!’ followed by a request to go and ‘study’ in his/her room if not anything else.

Nothing wrong there. It was incumbent upon the adult (a friend of the parents) to ask that question, for politeness sake, and for lack of other information. They couldn’t possibly talk to the child about nuclear bombing of Hiroshima on first meeting! As for the child, it was drilled into him/ her by prior experience that to avoid such questions and similar uncomfortable situations (for him and the adult) it is best to answer safely.

Similarly, as an adult you develop and modify your repertoire. It can range from set answers for your friends on politics, weather, work, and Life in General, to answers at work. How else do you respond to questions like ‘how was the weekend?’, ‘What plans for the weekend?’, ‘So, hows the job going?’, weather and so on.

The answers for both groups of people will vary. For instance, while you will say 'Works Terrible' to your non-official acquaintances, 'Works good, interesting' etc will be the adjectives used for any official purpose, even if you just put in your resignation letter.

These are answers that probably hold you stunned the first time round, and soon you realize what’s expected by the reaction to your answer. And That, then becomes your Standard. Repeated countless number of times, it is like one of the defaults on any machine. It is necessary to fill in gaps, make conversation, and yet not divulge personal views or details. That is the time that defaults come into play.
Sometimes you may customize the defaults. You can customize them to actually fit the person. A hello to a colleague will be of a different type, even if repeated constantly day after day after day. However, you will not use the same hello with someone else. This shows how much that person has transcended over your Normal Default state to Customised Default state.

Human beings are like that. Whether we like to or not, there are certain set patterns we like to follow/ trace. It does make it simpler to work and save energy that way. It is simply not possible to conjure up a new response every morning to How are you, for instance.

But where it ends, is the question. What the limit is, and where, to use or stop using defaults is the main question. Sometimes we might find ourselves creating Defaults and living our lives only on them, forgetting genuine heartfelt politically incorrect mind stimulating, unbridled conversation and feelings.
A ‘Merry Christmas!’ spoken as rote or Default can only elicit a similar response, doing nothing Merry for your system. However, a genuine smile to one person can make the Christmas Season seem a whole lot brighter.

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About Me


Regurgitations of my mind. Specific, Vague, Memorable, Forgettable, Thoughtless, In-depth.

More variegated than your dreams or colours off a crystal. More than I can pen down. What I can, you can read.


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