We are all social animals.
All of us. There is no exception.
One might not want social acceptance but then social recognition is a different ball-game altogether.
Most of us even want our silence and invisibilty to be recognised.
We all have our needs and reasons to do what we do.
By chance or dropping not-so-subtle hints we would like the world to get a whiff of those reasons.
Only for us to deny it all later.
As I said, we are all social animals.
Things were already pretty messed up even before social media came into the picture.
However, once it entered, being public became the new personal.
Attention became the drug we craved. We crib or bask on the overdose or the lack of it.
We wanted our lives to be shown the way we wanted to.
We wanted our stories to be narrated in the way we wanted to.
We wanted to be the protagonists in our stories.
We wanted to decide the antagonists in our story.
We always wanted to believe that we were not affected by what the world perceived us to be.
I was no different. Except for the tiny little fact that I was and am fiercely protective about my personal life.
It is not that my private life wasn’t discussed.
It is not that stories about me didn’t go around in circles.
It is not that my personal didn’t become rather public.
But, the source of such a story was never me and this is what I meant by fiercely protective.
As I said, stories about me did go in circles and at one point too many, I came across episodes of mine where I wasn’t the good person(hero).
I came across incidents of mine that had such a spin on it that Shane Warne would have been proud of it.
I came across fables of mine that was coloured in a way I couldn’t recognise it anymore.
I came across tales of mine where I knew I was the antagonist(villain) but somehow it floated across portraying me as the victim.
I didn’t revel in being portrayed the victim nor was I languishing about the fact that I wasn’t the hero.
Inspite of all this, I didn’t go around correcting the “facts” and “truths” in those stories.
One can refer to it as the “hero” complex and despite knowing the stories were just half-truths or half-lies I didn’t say anything because “Why should I say something that will refute the present story and make the other person feel any less?”
The stories floating showed me in a poor light anyway.
It didn’t bother me so much because of the simple fact that those who actually mattered clarified it with me.
Those who didn’t, went around spreading those stories adding on their perspective and their “truths” to further the agenda they had in mind.
Then why this rant? Then why this long message of unnecessary factoids one might ask.
I really don’t know the reason.
Will I go around trying to clear my name? I’m not sure.
Will I go around giving people the story in its entirety so that criticism and name-calling can happen for all the players involved? I’m not sure.
Will I go around putting an even better spin on certain stories and come out as the better person thereby putting down people who had just hoped they would be seen in a better and brighter light? I’m not sure.
As Kamal Haasan says in Panchathanthiram, “Naa nallavan aagardhu romba easy. Nallavan aagi kaatuna adhu ungalku nalladhu illa”
But again, will I do it? I’m not sure.
I know my limitations as a writer. I know my strengths as one.
I know how to weave a story to make myself come out to be the bigger person.
I know how to narrate one, hinting and gesturing to plead my innocence or mask my guilt.
I know how to fake life experiences to impart free knowledge for the truly ignorant.
I know how to say things to make someone else feel a lesser person.
Most importantly, I know enough about people to go on a barrage of posts referencing them yet maintaining a general facade to it.
But again, will I do it? I’m not sure.
Only because, I am fiercely protective about my personal life.
Sometimes I do want to shout out to people that the story they are hearing has one more version. Mine.
I want to scream to people that certain incidents that are being discussed had one more character. Me.
How can they assume something be true without hearing all sides of a story?
How can people treat truth so lightly?
How could they?
But then I realised something very important…
What is truth if not the most convincing story?