Saturday, October 27, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
I have been reading about the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking. Here gregariousness is revered and is often a survival requisite in careers and building relationships. A talker triumphs over a listener. Everyone is always 'preparing a face to meet the faces it meets'. This pressure to sell oneself, the preference of personality over character, can be overwhelming for the introverts who want a little quiet and solitude in their lives, and yet don't want to lose out opportunities to the hyperthymic extroverts.
One remains unaware of this anxiety in early childhood. I used to spend hours holed up in a nook reading my favorite comics, watched Sunday cartoons, sketched trees and rivers, while the rest of the children in the neighbourhood broke windows with cricket balls. My participation in their games was quite enthusiastic, but when night fell I also needed to chase fireflies in our garden, oblivious to amused stares. Adolescence brings awareness of preferences for spending time alone or not being able to break in to conversations with ease. Introverts have a small group of friends and engages in one-on-one conversations rather than be part of a rowdy, large bunch of friends at school/college. They prefer to blend into the crowd, cringing at any unwanted spotlight. It isn't 'social anxiety' or 'inferiority complex' or 'depression' as many helpful souls had termed it in an attempt to diagnose quietness. Introverts can be chatty, but only with people they are comfortable with. They don't start blabbering in front of complete strangers in order to emphasize friendliness. None but my closest friends understand why I let calls go unanswered sometimes or spend nights in with a book and revel in some much needed solitude. It's not a rude avoidance of any social contact, introverts just need their own space to recharge and dive in to do the things they love.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Dark, rainy afternoons. Feet under blanket. Austen. The Bronte sisters. Dickens. Hardy, Thomas not Ollie. Brooding, plain-looking men with intelligent eyes and mocking smiles. Women with proud tilt of a slender, white neck, and mouths that were not rosebuds meant for saying just yes or no. Lots of grey, weather and attire. Untamed shrubbery. Parsonage and vicars. Panting, star-crossed lovers. Unabashedly emotive conversations; each sentence a squeal of love or sorrow. Rich men, poor women; poor men, rich women; endearingly predictive equations. Dissatisfied wives. Eloquent discourse on love and religion. Cruel, authoritarian relatives with a favoritism towards middle-aged aunts. Moors. Long walks in the garden. Courting as opposed to dating. Dressing for dinner. Intense gazes. A lot of swooning. Chimneys. Law books. Hansom cabs. Maids in waiting. Delicate laces and fans. Stubborn people. Opinionated people. Difficult childhood. London. Paris. Voyages. Sisters, similar. Women who want to write. Whirling petticoats. The trials of the fallen rich striving to manage with the bare necessities of at least two maids, one as a constant companion and ro brush one's hair at bedtime, and the other to help with the mundane household chores, along with the undeniable requirement of a cook and if residing in the countryside, a gardener. One can have four personal employees to cater to comfortable living, and still be poor.