Someone spilled ink over someone’s face today. No, wait. Someone first tell me why does this product still sell in the market? It is the most self esteem-crushing, handwriting-debilitating and painfully cumbersome stationery item that has ever existed in a helpless student’s kit. Try and recall the first time you tried using an ink pen. I don’t know what happened to you. But I had witnessed disaster of the highest order in trying to use this useless blue liquid for the first time. The ink pen wouldn’t work for nuts, so I gave it a few jolts. Generous sprays of the ink went all over the bowl of cookies lying before me. (Weirder things happened later when my mother’s anger got me so nervous I tried to wash those cookies, but let us skip that part).
Ink has done worse. Especially for people like me who were anyway not particularly gifted with calligraphic skills. Place an ink pen in our hands and my writing would go all over the place. I had considered getting someone to file a petition against the use of ink pens when I had answered an English essay paper on the Indo-China war of 1962 with a misbehaving fountain pen and my teacher returned a note saying she did not really mean I needed to write the essay in the Chinese script. The results were there for everyone to see, and I told my mother I had the ink pen to blame. And she taught me a few lessons, Que Sera Sera style. “Remember them for your exams, and remember them for life,” she said.
1. Get a new pen.
Stop blaming everyone and everything else around you for the mess you are in. It is not just passe, it also doesn’t make sense. You know that theory of positive and negative energy thriving in equal measure, or something like that? If something irks you, don’t throw ink at it. Change what you can while staying within your limits (you know how to define them), accept what you cannot. Stop cribbing like a baby. And use your herd mentality for better purposes than “Hey, I heard that awesome dude socked his minister in the face with a boot – how about I spray some ink over the next person I see and high-five the other morons who call me a hero?”. Induce some positivity if you can. If you cannot, shut up and quietly do your own thing.
2. Keep your answer paper clean.
If you try being funny with ink, chances are some of it will spill over on your paper too. Blotted papers blur your own story, good as it may be. So be gentle with ink. When you become the guardian of civility and righteousness for everyone else, how on earth do you intend to monitor your own scruples? If your paper can be read, there are fair chances your story may work in your favour. Clean up your own act before being moral police to your city. Cleanliness begins from inside you.
3. Write to inspire.
At the end of the day, you will be asked only one question: Have you made it large? (No, not that one.) It will actually ask you: Do you inspire? If you do, no negativity can steal your words away. Write, speak and do things that can set a precedent, however small it be. Make a difference with your words and deeds. Violence makes dissonance at best, not difference.
We are not custodians of morality, honesty, law and other such mumbo-jumbo most of us do not understand the meanings of. At best, we can try being good, sensible human beings ourselves. At no rate do we have the right to hurl shoes, slaps, guns, grenades, cyanide, etc, etc, and ink at anyone. Let us all behave like grown-ups and learn to mind our own business, for starters.
PS: Please don’t call today’s scandal the “inkgate” if you can help it. The scandals are going to continue, but we are going to run out of suitable names soon.