They mean well, but….

I have a couple of cousins who have taken it upon themselves to enlighten me by sending text messages every day. The phone beeps in the morning on my bedside table, and before I even check I just know who it’ll be from and what it’ll be about. Most jokes they send these days revolve around the President, trying to inject some humor into the hopelessness of our predicament (frankly I cannot find anything laughable in Z jokes…they all make me cry) others are about the uselessness of the Power Supply Company. And even those now grate on my nerves. It is all black, black humor to me. Here’s an example:

Proverbs for the future and their meanings: (‘light’ = electricity)

  • light is back = to express great joy
  • today the light won’t go = to lie
  • when will the light come back? = to wait for something improbable
  • don’t you have any light in your house? = to commiserate
  • we have light here = to brag
  • has the light not gone today? = to be extremely puzzled
  • inshaAllah now the light will come back = to be very hopeful

I admit, this is funnier in Urdu.

Then there are the Wisdoms. I’m always afraid to open a message that looks like it might be a Wisdom. But if I don’t open it, the annoying little envelope icon won’t go away from the top of my cell phone, and it will drive me nuts. I have to open the message just so it will go away, and once it’s there, my OCD will prevent me from deleting it without reading it first.

So, Wisdoms. They usually remind me of all the things I don’t do, and all the ways I don’t behave, and all the things I shouldn’t say and all the things I shouldn’t do. They drive me nuts. And they do so because they inevitably make me think about things I regret, things I have almost succeeded in burying deep within the dark recesses of my tortured soul.

I really don’t want to go there again, I swear.

The Wisdoms that get my goat the most are the ones that remind us how short life is and that we’re all going to die one day so we should be ever-oh-so-good. Nobody knows about my Death Phase, do they. They don’t know how I used to bolt out of bed at night struck with terror at the idea of being dead and lying in a grave, six feet under the ground. But I’m over it now and I’m in denial  I’ve accepted it. Let’s get on with life please!

Here’s an example of a cheery early morning message by my well-meaning kinsfolk:

  • ‘Man does not go to Hell because he Sins. He goes to Hell if he is Complacent about his Sins and if he does not Repent. Good Morning!!’

Signed, Cousin X.

And how’s this to set you in a good mood:

  • ‘If you are on the Straight and Narrow and do not encounter Difficulties, then sit down and think for a while. Think about what you might be doing wrong, because the Straight and Narrow is littered with Great Difficulties.’ Have a Lovely Day!’

Signed, Cousin Y.

Or how about the gross ones:

  • ‘New addition to Newton’s Laws of Motion: loose motion can never be done in slow motion.’

Well, thanks A LOT, cousin o’ mine, for that awesome visual. It just made my day. Really, thank you.

To be fair though, I admit some Wisdoms do give me pause before my eyeballs automatically roll upwards and around. Got this one today:

  • ‘The day your friends stop bringing their problems to you….is the day when you have lost command over their hearts.’

Hmm.

I wonder why so many of my friends don’t talk to me anymore…..

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15 thoughts on “They mean well, but….

  1. saks June 25, 2011 / 1:19 pm

    funny, funny, funny, deep!! now may i request you to tag all of our well meaning cousins on this blog if it’s possible .. 🙂

    • munira June 25, 2011 / 1:23 pm

      Are you kidding? SShhhhhh! I’m hoping they overlook this post….;)

    • munira June 25, 2011 / 6:51 pm

      No, you usually recycle the ones sent by The Diabolical Duo 😀
      They know who they are 😉

  2. girl in the hat June 26, 2011 / 3:45 am

    You’re funny. Those wisdoms are hilarious. I love that the stab-in-the-heart is punctuated by a virtual happy face. 🙂 They should be called depressions or pains, not wisdoms. Why do we often equate depth with sadness? Why do you have to wear a sour expression in order to appear intelligent/good? The same who think there is something vaguely virtuous about suicide. Your post made me laugh and think!

    • munira June 29, 2011 / 10:44 am

      I’m glad you saw the funniness of this post Anna! a friend of mine read this and told me to lighten up and not take people so seriously!
      I guess it depends on your state of mind.
      Great point you raised about depth=sadness and sour=intelligent/good.
      Glad I made you laugh! And think! 😀

    • The Intellectual Traveller July 5, 2011 / 5:32 pm

      Hello The Girl in the Hat!
      Is it sunny where u come from? Or is it just feminine to wear a hat?
      I’d pen in a few thoughts on ur question: Why is Depth = Sadness
      Have u ever seen a shy person smile? The way the lips twitch up, and gently the cheeks adjust and the smile grows wider and bigger? Its usually when some amusing or happy thought has crossed his mind… and as he/she delves deeper into it, the more it gives him happiness and the smile broadens.
      There are depths of Happiness and depths of sadness.
      Let me explain: Assume u r an old man, and your young, working and married son comes and kisses ur hand every day before heading off to work. Its a simple routein act in most of the muslim world. But you could sit back and think of how well your son has turned out; his good education, family values, and a happy life… and it could make you smile… Isnt there a degree of depth in his happiness?
      We tend to accept happiness, welcoming it and living it… in mechanical terms, there is no restriction to the flow of hapiness in ur mind… but as soon as a sad thought hits you, u have to toss it around in your mind, and try to solve it. It stays there till you either solve it, or sleep and switch off your brain!
      The ideas of sadness being equated with depth have been manifested in history… The tragic ends to the hero’s of Troy, who were shown to have depth of emotion; The epic romance of a Queen who was in love with her Slave (Razia Sultana i think, though there has been a bolywood movie on it, with a famous song… Aye dile nadaan…) The Feudal kings who opressed the morally right… and then the classic literatures of Macbeth and The merchant of Venice! They all shape our thought process!
      Why do you think they say; All great artists die poor! its only after their death that their glory is recognised! Its social perception, and not an intellectual thought to equate depth with sadness; and on similar lines of reasoning, neither is it fair to equate a sour or somber expression with intelegence! an enthusiastic and intellegent person is often witty! Now, who wouldnt like a witty person?
      Its only when u put in your entire effort and energies to learn something so well that u loose out on the other ‘lively’ things in life that i presume u’d get the ‘sour’ expression… but thats sheer hard work and perseverance… not exactly intelegence. They are in the same group, but different characteristcis… are they not?
      As for suicides… Thats a real looser!

      I’m sorry Munira as it doesnt go with the flow of the blog… Like having a heavy meal at snack time; too heavy 😛 But sometimes i cant resist the flow! A good dig at many things in life… apart from ur cousins! 😀

  3. satsumaart June 28, 2011 / 5:43 pm

    I enjoyed this post and I am so grateful I do not wake up to these messages! 🙂 What I liked most was your description of how you can’t ignore messages — the little envelope icon makes you crazy until you read and then delete. I’m exactly the same way. It’s not that I need to read every message but… I need the envelope to go away!

    • munira June 29, 2011 / 10:46 am

      Pssst. The messages have stopped! I guess the hint has been taken 😉
      Thank you for making me feel like I’m not the only person with the envelope fetish!

  4. crazygoangirl July 19, 2011 / 2:42 pm

    All I’m saying is…better your cousins than mine eh M 😛 But seriously…that last one had me in splits 😉
    Oh and just one more thing…I say we have just the one life in which to screw up any which way we want to…I consider that my birth right!! No, really 😛

    • munira July 20, 2011 / 11:33 am

      Haha….cheeky H! 😀
      Love your philosophy and am trying my darndest to not give a flying you-know-what about what people think about how I live my life.
      Admittedly, that’s easier said than done, when the people concerned are your own family 🙂

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