Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just Push Rewind

There's a saying I heard once

You never regret the things you did, only the ones you didn't.
I've used this line pretty shamelessly to get people drunk and/or other things they'd otherwise be hesitant to do. But some memories can make you feel like a complete tool. Small events like a physical fight, an act of aggression or unkind words don't matter much. If one does feel badly about them, some amount of self-persuasion with a dollop of justification helps.

Ever get a small pebble stuck in your shoe on a hike? The air is getting thinner, your lungs, legs and back are all complaining, when suddenly, every step brings additional irritation. It's not so much about the pain as it is about having to deal with the dull prick amidst all the other creaking joints in your body. Soon, everything else ceases to matter until that small, insignificant pebble has to be discarded.

Wish memories could be handled as easily. I worked in Bangalore for about a year right after college. During the time I'd take food to work everyday (love you mum!) or go out for lunch. On rare occasions, the workload would give me no time to eat out. We had peons in the office who could run out to get takeaways for us. I used that "service" once. I gave the boy (term loosely used - he was at least 10 years older) 20 bucks to get me lunch. He was back soon with the food and 5 bucks change. I asked him to "keep the change". He said "no no, it's cool". I insisted, he kept refusing. I didn't understand the reluctance at all - tips are rare, and meager. His refusal went from a polite "no" to an almost helpless plea. Finally, he said "ok" with some resignation and my ego was stroked - I had been "generous".

It took me sometime to realize that he was not as much of a "worker" as I saw him to be. I'm sure he drew a monthly paycheck, just like I did, and didn't need to be tipped like some of the daily wage laborers. Must have been terribly embarrassing in a country where social standing, class differences are still very important. That, and I figure now that I must have sounded like a complete douchebag.

There was some scene in a movie I saw recently that brought this memory back, and now I can't stop thinking of it. Even if I could apologize to him, I probably wouldn't, considering he *is* a peon and I - well - I'm a dick. Still, I wish there was some way I could get rid of this annoying pebble.

Any regrets?


Purely Narcotic said...

Yup. The 'no regrets' bit. I want to regret things too! :\

Thanatos said...

That's a good life then :)

Purely Narcotic said...

Perhaps all that math (calculation?;)) helps? :)

Thanatos said...

Haha, can math be applied to human interaction? Those are numbers that my poor skull can't keep up with :)

Purely Narcotic said...

Cost-Benefit analysis hon. Always works ;)

Thanatos said...

Hmm, does that work on nutters? ;)