Saturday, June 27, 2009

The next best thing

I was at the doctor's yest morning. The nurse, as usual, was taking her own sweet time to go through an extensive list of what appeared to be seemingly innocuous albeit useless questions. Then she got down to the ethnicity (linked to nationality) question and couldn't find 'Indian' (of course it existed as Asian Indian) in the drop down list so looked at me and innocently asked "so would that be Indonesian?"

It's an interesting aspect of human psychology. When you don't find what you're looking for, immediately your mind wanders around, looking for the next best thing, whether it fits or not, whether it's applicable or not, whether it's what you might want or not.

In good old days, when a potential desi groom would visit a family with two daughters to check out the elder one, and if something did not work out, no one shied away from instantaneously proposing the younger one. The younger one's gotta have some of the common qualities as the elder one after all.

The career choice for wanna be engineering students with 12th grade result sheets in their hands is a testimony to this. All the branches of engineering have a score associated with it. If you want to be a comp eng, but did not quite qualify on the basis of your score, you go to the next best (and available discipline). And it doesn't matter how far spaced out computer and mechanical engineering are from each other.

It brings to mind the oh-so-popular "settle hone ko mangta" from Rangeela. If you take it out of context, the human mind is wired to settle on the subject it's working on and if the expected doesn't seem to be in the vicinity, you settle for something else. In short, just coz you have to settle the matter, you settle for whatever you can get. And it's often too late when you realize it's definitely not what you wished for.

But you probably know that... and it's no biggie. Ok time for some spiced tea but out of mint... maybe I'll settle for coffee.


Kusha said...

Really nice one..btw mint in chai is a big No no for me :)

Pari said...

thanks :) yes not many are a fan.