“How the hell can you always remain so calm?” Not for the first time, I saw myself getting annoyed simply because Shuntoo did not seem to get annoyed by anything. “You are so indifferent, so ……” And too my surprise and further annoyance, he smiled. “Shuntoo, you have a completely foolish perspective of this world. You don’t notice the reality. Do you have any idea how naïve you are!”
I knew I had made a mistake by engaging in this sort of a conversation with him but it was too late. He put his book down, smiled again and said in that bloody patronizing tone. “You know what I think, bacchay!”
Seeing this as a last chance, I was thinking about responding with ‘No and I don’t want to know’ but he continued without waiting.
“I think that you don’t believe any of the stuff you just said. I think you just see me as challenging your weak, apologetic reasoning that you use to satisfy yourself whenever you lose your temper or become a bit less of a human. I think that you have the same weaknesses as any other normal person and also like any other normal person, you cannot admit them. I think you are too much of a coward to tell yourself that emotional outbursts be they in anger, depression or any other type are natural and nothing to be ashamed of. I think that you people like to give yourselves weird justifications for all emotional reactions and believe that you succumb to them because there is no other option for anyone remotely human.”
“Now, that’s….” I began but the bastard was not finished yet.
“And I think,” he continued ignoring me, “that I, by not reacting like you, become a threat to this edifice of justifications. And you would rather believe that I am inhuman than think about the possibility that humans could be any different from you.”
“Now come on” I explained. “It wasn’t that deep a thing Shuntoo! I was just amazed that you were never shaken by anything, you are always so calm.”
“Who says I am not shaken? But I have my ways to keep cool.”
“Like?” Now I was really interested.
“Like sometimes when I feel stressed or bored or anything unpleasant I close my eyes and recall the smell of school.”
“The smell of school?”
“Yes, you know that smell of chalk and fancy rubbers and lunchboxes and crayons and sweaty kids. Try to recall it sometimes in your mind, it’s not that hard. And it does calm you. Maybe because it reminds you that you hated school too but now it is over and is never coming back and you wish you had enjoyed it more and taken lesser stress. So you realize that the present moment is not much different.”
Shuntoo has his weird ways but I have begun to wonder if it could work.