I was watching an interview of the famous singer SP Balasubramaniam on TV in which he narrated an incident regarding singer K Chitra. She was new to Telugu industry so SPB took the onus upon himself in dictating the Telugu lyrics to her as he would be better able to help her jot down the nuances in her mother tongue Malayalam. As she was sincerely following him to a T he was busy feeding her garbage lyrics ridiculing all the people in the studio. When it was time to sing, Chitra started singing and soon found the whole studio rolling around with laughter. She sang for some time, puzzled, before quietly asking SPB why everyone was laughing. He continued to don a serious expression and pretended to have a serious conversation about it with everyone there in Telugu. The charade continued for some time till the music director clued Chitra in on what was really going on. As soon as she realized she was singing nonsense she burst into tears (which surprised SPB) apologizing profusely to the director and later complaining and lamenting to SPB for pulling such a horrible prank on her.
This reminded me of what my husband (let’s call him “junior” as he was a newcomer to the office fresh from college) and his senior did. It was during the time of CRT terminals with mainframe computers. One of their colleagues, Priya who was diligently showing her presentation to her clients suddenly found her terminal screen go bizarre; the colour reversed, the background colour became the foreground colour and vice versa. She panicked, not knowing what to do next and soon dissolved into tears. Her breakdown shocked the senior and junior into damage control mode; while the senior got busy consoling and encouraging Priya, the junior quickly fixed the problem by typing in some codes. Though the terminal got back its original colour in no time it took a while for Priya to get back hers. The prank played by the senior and junior on Priya didn’t go completely unnoticed. One of the senior’s colleagues suspected them to be the pranksters and she mercilessly blasted the senior for it.
I have seen right from my school days how the conscientious and the easy-going ones consciously or unconsciously keep bursting each others’ bubble. There was this girl in my class who took her duty of writing a proverb on the board every morning very seriously. She would get extremely annoyed by some of our classmates who would be creating a ruckus in the class while she would be diligently writing. She would glare at them hard to convey her displeasure at their frivolousness which in turn would encourage them to rile her up even more. But sometimes she would completely lose her temper and end up screaming at them. This sudden outburst of frustration would shake them up enough to sober down for some time.
One can tell that both the conscientious and the easy-going ones shock each other by their respective behaviour and reaction. What, I wonder, are their afterthoughts? Do the conscientious ones go “ARSEHOLE!” or “Maybe I should lighten up a bit”? Do the easy-going go “Gosh I grossly underestimated the seriousness he/she attached to that task. I got to be careful in future not to hurt these kind.” or “Geezzz LIGHTEN UP!”?