Monday, May 10, 2010

The misery of the unorderly couple

Yes we are the odd balls out. We never plan....or let’s say we plan, but none of them works. Or maybe that’s just an excuse for an imperfect planner. And this lack of planning or organization or order is reflected in all the aspects of our life.

For the starters, I was the one in the family to whom every elder in the house will look at, roll their eyes and say “What’s going to happen to her? With no plan, no organization, no discipline, what will she do in her life? What will happen after marriage etc etc “.They have a reason to say so.

I had a near perfect sibling and father who are neat, organized in everything that they do. A mother, who is organized in whatever she likes to do. In this family of organized people, I was the odd one out.

For instance, my set of documents as compared to my sister’s would always turn out to be random. While I will order the set each time I open it, on reopening they always seemed to be cluttered.

A stack of clothes- that I will arrange for half an hour to make it look like the perfect stack. And just when I would think it cannot be arranged any more, in comes my sister and reorder the whole stack. Believe me it was as if a five year old’s work has been redone by a normal adult.

But the best part is that in the end their fears of what will happen post marriage to me were resolved by the husband. For all those who think that opposites attract, somehow in my case, it was “Ram milae jodi….”…Yes hubby dear believed in the laws of unorderly nature more than me…Turned out he got the same advices from all his elders.

So here we were, two people who believed in the unplanned way of living brought together by the planned destiny (I am not sure if it works that way or not). And let me repeat we do try our best to be systematic and organized. But somehow, it seems as if the whole universe conspires against us in achieving that.
For instance, whenever we plan to do certain things, like planning a holiday, everything starting from the visa (yes even the visas) to the tickets invariably happens at the last moment. Needless to say, I have no memories of a planned trip.

But somehow, we survived very well till of course we came to the “organized country”, vis. a vis., the US. If we were surrounded with a disapproving family in India, here we had the whole nation and the system looking at us with disgust.

I could sometimes see (or may be imagined) the look in every friend’s eyes: “Ah well here comes the couple who do not plan out anything!” And we, as usual looked up to all of them with awe- inspired -respect and wishing that a day will come when we will be like them.

Looking at the way people planned…like planning out for months for a long weekend, checking the whole week’s weather to plan out what to wear, planning out what to cook for the whole week …. We just felt out of place, and like social outcasts.

But somewhere in our deep hearts I am really not sure whether we want to be like that or are relieved by the lack of orderliness in our lives. Sometimes when we exchange looks on seeing such people, it looks like the “look of respect”, but recently I have started feeling if we in our hearts are happy to be like us.

The biggest shock for me was when I saw my friend turning the packet of butter. I was a little embarrassed -“Why is she checking the price of such a small thing?” Turned out she was checking the calorie content and deciding if buying that brand would increase her monthly intake. I gave up at that point of time.
One of the arguments which most people staying out of India make against going back is that after getting used to all the organized way of living here, can I really go back? The dialogue will start, revolve and end with the problems in India because nothing is organized there.

Somewhere during one such conversation, I remembered a concept we have studied in school “Entropy” and the laws of nature. This concept relates to the orderliness in a system and said something like, if left to itself, any system tends to go from an organized state to an unorganized and unsettled pattern.

So now when I look at my coffee cup, I could visualize the molecules in it screaming with pain to tear away from the agony of a settled, organized, monotonous existence. There is a relatively happier set of molecules in the coffee floating around but still striving to break away from the organized pattern. And of course the happy, jumpy air molecules all around me buzzing and wandering away randomly.

I am happy to rediscover our tight bonding with the laws of Mother Nature and given a choice we would rather be the jumpy, random air molecules. And this time more proudly than ever……

And for those who thinks that India is disorganized, a great video. I think I relate to such randomness more than anything else.

Refer to : More on entropy


  1. Sri, very well written.... The video is also really nice... Keep it up!!!!!!!

  2. I was trying to imagine the chaos around you and your calm face in it! Nice video.