Cool and Uncool

Being cool is a cool thing and the one who is not cool, is uncool.

What a pathbreaking observation, put in equally fancy set of words. The last bunch of 365 days or let’s call it a/an year, I have been among some cool and uncool people and thoughts.

These individuals have enlightened me and broadened my limited horizon, not to forget the widening of world outlook and enriching my general awareness.

I am from a tiny village of Bihar and my father is a small farmer though he is quite a man as far as height goes. Schooled from a school in an area which is in Jharkhand, I suddenly found myself confronting a cultural shift and shock when I landed in Delhi.

It’s been some 8 years now, thanks to my good friends and other schoolmates for standing with me all through.

Undergrad and post grad days were quite good where people had eyes, ears and other sensory organs working flawlessly.

Then, I started earning as I took a job at a premium brand where many of us aspire to go. Here I suddenly realised, or was made to realise that ‘oh, I am not cool!’

C’mon man I travel in AC buses or equally chill Metro and drink a lot of cold drink and we all work under a centralised AC office… How come I not be cool!

‘No, you are not cool. You mix up normal water in that cold water from cooler apart from the fact that you don’t have an AC in your room.’

But I do have a cooler!

‘That ain’t good dude.’

What is this ain’t? Never heard that word!

‘Thats the second reason that you ain’t cool. Don’t ya watch English flix? Besides, you don’t talk to girls and you don’t have a tattoo. No good hairstyle….’

Wait, wait… My grandma has a tattoo on her arm. And another granny of mine has got a tattoo on her face. It is a ‘Bajrang Bali’ image. Is she cool?

(I was so desperate to be from the lineage of a ‘cool’ person. But they won’t let me feel that ego ‘high’.)

‘Bajrang Bali? That monkey god? This is outrageous. Who keeps a monkey tattoo?’

Well… My ‘labki mama’ has one in dark black ink for the last 60 years, permanent one. She takes bath every day but it won’t go…

‘What was her name? Labki Mama! Totally outdated words and no one, not a single Holly or Bollywood actresses or their children have this name.’

(Little she realised what does that name means. Nor I had an intentions to offend her by justifying that my granny was 80.)

‘What’s the plan for the day dude?’

I don’t have plans. I don’t make them everyday. I mean I just go to my room, change, eat, read and sleep. Or at times I sketch, listen to gazals…

‘You are so boring. Get a life. Reading and stuff, gazals… Euuuuu! What do you do to chill out? Don’t have girlfriend?’

First thing, it’s already 4 degrees so where is the need to chill more? And second, why is it so important to have a girlfriend?

( I asked in a very simple tone and pat came the overexcited apology.)

‘ Oh, I am sorry yaar, I didn’t mean to offend you. I mean, you ought to have a girlfriend. If you want I will set you up with a friend of mine… Then you can do ‘stuff’. She is a cool gal.’

(and bla bla bla….)

No, thanks. I am fine and I am not hurt or offended.

————

Then I realised how important it was to be cool and cool doesn’t mean ice. Suddenly everyone around me looked cool. Using words, jargons understandable by no one. At times words which just sounded good, and people won’t notice the un-requirement of that.

Some synonyms like bro, gal, dood, dud accompanied by some abusive ones like fat ass, asshole, jerk, crap, shit and not to forget the mother of all- fucker, are considered cool and modern.

I realised that my three years of studying literature was a futile exercise as none of the teachers taught me the concept of being ‘modern’ in this way.

I was the uncool guy who will save his words for right moments and abuse when necessity arises. I thought abusing every split second would dilute the effect but that was uncool thing.

Once in a string of three words, expressions like fucker, shitface, dickhead, bastard is ‘cool-grammatically’ correct. And the word asshole is just the spice that can be universally used, and in abundance.

The misfit me, then realised that why democracy is a ludicrous concept at places like this. Weak-hearted individuals won’t sustain this hardship an eventually end up spoiling everything that makes them what they actually are.

I am happy that after the office hours, I have a company of uncool friends. After all it is the warmth that matters in friendship and relations, whatever kind that may be.

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