Call me an intellectual snob if you will, but I can’t stand stupid people. I’m not the only one, but that’s to be expected. And by ‘stupid’ I don’t mean people who’re mentally challenged. By ‘stupid’ I mean people who do such maddeningly, infuriatingly dumbass things that calling them mentally challenged would be an insult to mentally challenged people everywhere.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done hundreds of stupid things in 25 years. Like driving a bike while playing with the fairies. Or confessing to my parents that I was as hungover as a sailor on shore leave. Or having ‘happy brownies’ and then taking a local train home (longest train ride of my adult life). But they were fun stupid things. Not the kind of things that would make the other person want to get their hands on the nearest hatchet and make me eat it.
Of course, as luck would have it, I’m perpetually surrounded by people, who, with the sheer volume of their stupidity, inspire me to commit hara-kiri.
People like my brother (I told him to me my two shirts to give to the dhobi – one pastel green and one olive green; he promptly brought to me two tops – one red and one black).
Or people like the average Pune pedestrian – who’ll be crossing the road, and when my bike is still far away, he will freeze in the middle, right in the middle of the road, like a deer stunned by headlights. And then, as my bike comes closer and closer, he’ll raise his hand to stop me. As if he’s bloody Neo, and I’m a freakin’ shower of bullets, in an acid-inspired version of The Matrix.
It’s also some kind of conspiracy that the more stupid the person, the more I’ll come in contact with him or her. They come in all shapes and sizes – usually as call center executives, yes, but also donning clever disguises like cab-drivers, cyclists, and servicing people. And they’re all coming together, to make sure I end up like Becker. I can see it happening in the near future. Like in, oh I don’t know, five minutes.