I rarely use this blog to rant about things. I generally manage to avoid such posts except under extreme circumstances. The idea is to use the blog to share useful, nice and profound things that I discover and, of course, ideas - flash in the pan - that occur to me, provided they are worthwhile. But there are certain experiences that deserve to be ranted about. Especially if one is quite bewildered and can't get over it easily. This is one such post. Writing, as I must have mentioned before, is anyway cathartic. So, I am going to do this. Please don't read the rest of this blog post in case you're not the kind who is interested in human psychology and behaviour! ;-)
A regular reader of this blog who generally asks fundamental questions has always received my appreciation for his inquisitive nature and also my responses - however silly, ignorant or mortalish they might have been (what else can you expect from an ordinary mortal like me in response to questions like "Does God decide man's fate or does man decide his own fate?" etc). To set the context, in fact, there was one such discussion that happened on this blog some time back wherein I could only suppose certain things based on my mortal experiences but I finally decided to cut off the discussion because I was not able to give him the answer he expected and nor was I able to convince him about the reasons for my own perceptions. To my credit, he seemed stubborn and prejudiced and anyway you can't expect a debate on God/Fate/Free Will to come to an easy or quick conclusion.
This person decided to follow me on Twitter recently and bombarded me with one too many questions this afternoon but I decided to respond to them despite the fact that I was unwell and had to also balance it with some work. I did not have the heart to cut off the discussion despite the fact that I suspected we would only go around in circles given that he came into the discussion already convinced about something. As the conversation progressed, it became clearer to me that the queries or the arguments were just superficial and he either wanted a radical answer that he would not be able to cross-question or he wanted me to concede ignorance and then gloat over it (he makes "profound" statements like "I am the winner and the loser" if someone tells him they do not know the answer). If this wasn't clear before, let it be known now that I am human. I have no insight into how the Universe functions for me to give him a radical answer with proof that he will not be able to deny. I can only have a normal human conversation wherein I express my thoughts and experiences and try to reason around them or maybe sometimes use my intuition. And yes, I get angry too - when I have to face unreasonable and insensitive blokes.
More than everything else, all his arguments were shocking to me which was probably where the problem began. He said he did not believe in reading books and only believed in real-life experiences - now that is a highly provocative statement for a book-lover like me. Who said books don't talk about real-life experiences? Who said you can't learn from others' experiences and learnings via books? He finally conceded that he did not have the patience to read books! Then why say he does not "believe" in reading books, in the first place? Sample some more: He wants a Guru who knows everything under the sun and tells me he cannot call anyone who does not know everything a Guru! What can I do if his definition of Guru is different from that of the world? Am I supposed to be the martyr bridge between him and the rest of the world? He imagines that I am a preacher (God knows who told him that) and I should have a handle on my temper while he himself is apparently a "dreamer" and deserves to be lazy (like not wanting to read books and expecting people to drop all their work and health and answer all his confounded queries forever!) Oh....I could go on but I think I should try to keep this post short - ok, as short as possible ;-) - for your benefit. [Remember....the idea is to not present a fact file or a case in the court or to even defend myself but for this post to act as a mechanism to get my frustration out of my system! :-)]
Coming back to the story, after a lot of meaningless messages on Twitter he moved to email and started asking me more questions despite my telling him that I did not have any more time to answer his queries for the time being and that he must approach someone local or look up guides via Google for certain questions like how to use Twitter. Honestly speaking, I guess I had quite lost my patience by this time and was in no mood or state of health to explain things via mail to a person who anyway seemed to understand very little beyond what he already believed in and needed to be spoon-fed everything.
The last straw on the camel's back was this final email exchange. His 23287382973th question (ok....it was more like the 30th question) was "How to increase blog traffic?" as he wants to make a living writing a blog or something. I gave him an honest - and, actually, the only answer - I know. "Write extremely well" and the traffic will naturally increase. I also told him that I myself care a damn for blog traffic because I blog/write to share and learn. I finished it off by telling him that he could also tweet his blog posts in case he wants more people to look at them. I have heard of some more techniques to increase blog traffic but I have NEVER paid attention to them because that does not interest me in the least. I do not blog for the traffic. I told him as much in as many words. What does he do? Come back with the same question and insist that I answer it in a different manner since I am from the software industry! I actually did not get annoyed even after this! I simply went back to him and told him to search Google for "how to increase blog traffic" as a) I now knew him to be lazy and suspected that he would have not tried this approach in order to avoid the hard work of sifting through the results and b) I couldn't care less about learning the answer myself. And guess how our exceptional friend responds? He starts his response as follows: "Irritating." What an extraordinary display of courtesy to someone who spent hours responding to questions that in retrospect were not probably genuine! He goes on to say he knows how to do a Google search and I need not tell him about it! Wow! Bless his soul, people!
Do you think I made a mistake asking him not to write to me again after reading this? Honestly. Go ahead, tell me. I feel immature putting this out on my blog....but I seriously will leave this post intact for two reasons. 1) It really is cathartic to write about such a horrendous experience and get it out of my mind. 2) I would be interested to know if I made any mistakes apart from the fact that I lost my patience somewhere in the middle and gave him undiplomatic answers or, well, maybe I actually put up with him for too long? Give me your piece of mind!
PS: I did post a few messages about this experience on Twitter a while back and someone came back and told me to suggest that this person look up "the blog zone". In case you - you know who you are - happen to be reading this post, you might be able to appreciate this suggestion - provided your laziness does not prevent you from looking up this portal and reading through it. There is no substitute for hard-work. Wait! Does that make me sound like a preacher? Maybe! OK, consider that sentence removed if so! ;-) God bless. Whew!
I can't believe that this kind of a thing can happen to someone who actually loves being asked questions, like yours truly! I seriously like being asked questions and engaging in stimulating conversations but only if the intention of the other party is to truly learn or discover something through the conversation and not just prove his own point or prove that there is no answer to his questions (!)...and only if it is a topic that I can actually comment on and only if I am not expected to drop all my other priorities and health and squeeze out the last drop of blood in my body to answer questions that appear lame to me! Enough. And, finally, at the risk of sounding very holy, apologies if this post seems to be written in bad taste and has contaminated the blogosphere...