While driving across India on our road trips, we would see shimmering water ahead on the road. As kids we’d shriek in delight that there was water on the road ahead and on reaching there it’d never be there. My father explained to us then, the concept of mirage.
Years later as I grew up and the English language became my principle weapon of communication for all kinds of feelings, I found myself using this word frequently for myriad reasons.
Over the past year or so I have encountered an IMAX experience in what I have begun to call: My People’s Mirage.
I list some delightful mirage personas:
Gracious smooth-talking team member – could be any or all of these – deceitful, untruthful, misleading, unreliable – the gracious front is often a veil to hide other sentiments.
Concerned, too-caring colleague – could be any or all of these – impulsive, annoyed, snappy, insincere – the too-much-of-caring front is often a veil to hide other over-powering attitudes.
Smiling, often agreeing-with-you person – could be any or all of these – real-good at being fake, phoney, unauthentic, pretenders – the easily agreeing smile is a mask over their fake personality.
In-control, know-all leader – could be any or all of these – imposter, fraud, play-actor, bully – the loud controlling nature is a façade to hide the hollowness inside.
Simple, so-much-to-learn-from-you friend – could be any or all of these – camouflage, deceptive, misleading, deceiver – the playing-victim-kind of whiner who tries to manipulate everyone, even friends.
Sophisticated, Urbane chic person – could be any or all of these – narcissist, egoistic, distant, reserved – the hard-to-get go-getter who tends to intimidate the unpretentious types.
Self-admiring, self-centred advisors – could be any or all of these – immodest, pompous, disdainful, smug – the full-of-themselves priggish, holier-than-thou types who feel they are the best thing that happened to this world.
Modest, hapless yet lucky-to-be-born-with-a-silver-spoon people – could be any or all of these – meek, docile, star-crossed, conceited – the autocratic, cavalier, high-handed types, forever portraying to be classy & upmarket.
Then I also have my other spectrum of people in this mirage – all those who are real, genuine, authentic, frank, sincere, unfeigned, touchable, dependable, rock-solid, robust, level-headed, trustworthy, composed, rational.
For with people, there cannot be an ‘in-between’ type. I could either care or couldn’t care. I could be frank or be evasive. I could be dependable or unreliable. I cannot be someone ‘in-between’ at all.
As we interact and mingle with people, it isn’t about how they change, its only about their real selves getting revealed. For what I am inside my home, outside with friends, in my work place, in a party – anywhere and everywhere – it is what I really am. If I am different people at different places then I am not real, I am not authentic ‘Me’.
Thus, I always love my trips everywhere, because I see the ‘real’, for over time, I have come to so loathe the fake I see around me. It may be trending but then, I prefer to be out-of-fashion!