That's just Mumbo Jumbo

Monday, January 06, 2020

Sunday morning is a morning I wait for, as every Sunday my family and I head out for some yummy masala dose and filter coffee followed by a round of vegetables & grocery shopping.

One Sunday as we sat down at our regular restaurant, I noticed a large happy family sitting at a table parallel to ours. The distance between the tables was hardly two feet, something very commonly seen in a typical darshini (restaurant) in Bangalore. These were a group of happy-looking kids, mostly young adults. They looked like a family of cousins who had gathered for a breakfast brunch. Orders were flying from their table while they were relishing piping hot south Indian breakfast. I had a feeling of warmth in my heart as I watched them, remembering my crazy picnics and outings with my cousins.

Our order reached the table, and we dived into the much-celebrated crispy yummy butter masala dose. Though we were having our own conversation, I could clearly overhear the kids next to us too.  They were an excited bunch having a good time, and were certainly not bashful about it.

One of the teenagers sitting at the end of the table, wanted something so she signalled the waiter. When he approached, she asked in Kannada "Anna (Elder brother) can you get me a spoon please". As the waiter turned to get one, I heard loud giggles from the table.  Few from the group began teasing the girl that she had called the waiter "Anna," and in a flash, I saw the girl's face turn dark. She kept eating her food, but something had changed her mood.  As we were paying the bill and getting ready to leave, I saw the girl signalling the same waiter again, this time she looked at him and said, "Tissue please." Her voice sounded a bit strong, and that caught my ears. Something seemed different about that girl this time.

Was this a big deal, maybe not. However, from how I saw it was there was a young girl who believed in being a certain way, and she altered that in a second as she was laughed at. In that moment I had a flash and said to myself “Hey I have been there, this happens with me as well!”

As we drove back, I recalled several instances where I have been blinded by popular opinion or changed my behaviour in a moment after being the object of harmless fun and laughter without checking in with my ability to think for myself.

When I reflected on this with my mentor I realised people and situations will continuously influence my thinking and behaviour and I need to know how it is impacting. I soon began to recognise that it is just their perspective, an opinion, not a fact.

So, I decided that anything that others said and seemed to strike a connect, or made sense I would stay with it, think about it. And about the rest? To the rest I will say in my minds ear “That’s just mumbo jumbo!!!”

I understood while it is good to see others perspective it is also important for me to know my perspective. Know what I am experiencing, what I believe in, what I value and who I want to be.

And as I am sharing my experiences though my writing, I am getting more convinced of the importance of consciously knowing ourselves, having a relationship with ourselves first. Else we begin to drop what we value in life, cover up our minds, our ability to think for ourselves, and keep looking at life through borrowed glasses, performing to the tunes of mumbo jumbo 😊

More smiles to you!

Manjiri