At Bangalore Literature Festival this time I stumbled upon a discussion on grudges held by Sophie Hannah, a UK author, who shot to fame writing Agatha Christie’s detective novels and is currently working a nonfiction book on grudges we hold and how they are good for us. Driving back home, from the festival, I made a mental list of grudges some that readily leapt to mind and some that required a little mind straining.
Intensifying a grudge through imagination – Some grudges disappear over time and some don’t. The ones that hold on actually get more intense with time – because we keep imagining new situations – completely our figment of imagination – similar to those that engendered the grudge and expect the person who caused it to react in the same or similar way to the imagined situations, multiplying the grudge we have. It could be a social behavior, like behaving above your station or being patronizing, in the same way or expressing disagreeable views. Almost anything.
Grudge against pleasure seekers – This type of grudge is held by kill joys who believe they belong to a higher moral platform because they don’t indulge themselves in pleasure. Drinking is the most common form of pleasure they disapprove of and drinkers are the most common pleasure seekers they love to hate or hold a grudge against. At least in India. Read my blog on this.
Ideological grudges: Have you ever wondered why liberals and conservatives never tire of hating each other? Of course, because they come from conflicting viewpoints. But we perfectly get along with people with differing views in our day-to-day lives without wanting to kill them. The reason why liberals love to perpetually hate conservatives and vise versa is that one’s views go against the common sense of the other.
Common sense? Yes. There is actually very little common in common sense. Our common sense is framed by things we know to be absolute truth – so much so that their veracity is inarguable to us. Our common sense is shaped by education, social influences etc. A writer’s ‘common sense’ is very different from the common sense of a, say, business man or a person coming from some other walk of life. Similarly, importance of national borders, for example, is non-negotiable for conservatives for the same reason that social inclusion is for liberals: common sense (which is shaped by basic value system). Read my blog.
Grudge against myth busters: We all like to believe in lies, that hardwork pays, that honesty is the best policy, that that filmstar, who looks so humble and nice, is a good person and a role model. There is a possibility these things we like to believe in are true but there is also a probability that they can be wrong. Hardwork pays but not every hardworking person is successful; in fact the reverse is sometimes true. And that filmstar may look and sound down to earth but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has to be a ‘good’ person, too.
Yet we like to believe in these myths as individuals and also collectives. And when somebody bursts these lie bubbles, he immediately becomes a hate figure. It’s happening so much in India. Read my blog for more.