Sorry guys, haven’t been writing since some days. Got caught up.
So this Saturday, after studying mechanics straight 9-1, and programming 1-3, we finally had something different by the college. A guest lecture on “The Art of Self Management.” Just like one would expect, we walked in expecting another boring lecture on stupid stuff. But it wasn’t quite anything like one would expect. Now, we don’t have any non-Indian faculty, none that I have seen. Yet here he was, a white guy wearing a kurta and dhoti and a mala round his neck. Quite a fascinating sight for most Indians. Can’t seem to understand why. Maybe because Indians don’t really understand “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” concept. But anyways, here he was. We all settled down. He’d written the words “Herd Mentality” on the board and on one side he’d written “7 mins”, “8 mins”, “9 mins” and “10 mins”. Now, speaking for myself, I was actually waiting for him to explain why he had written that. As, it happens in every class, people were huddling, chatting, texting. Suddenly he became hard on us and asked a guy who was talking on the phone or chatting to give him his phone. After repeatedly calling us buffalos, and telling us that we came 10 mins late, he started demonstrating how we’d been acting and how we reacted when we saw him in the class. He said that when you guys see a white guy, that too in this attire, you react as if you’ve never seen anything like it! Some people even ridiculed him, which they thought he didn’t notice. He also pointed out that we were basically laughing at our own culture. And then he explained it to us why these reactins were so funny. It’s ’cause they’re ridiculous! He also pointed out about how we all so rely on other people to do our work for us. We basically have someone cleaning our rooms, making us food, doing our laundry (though for us hostel people the laundry, at least, is self-done) etc.
And after much more comic relief, he came to the main point. Why do we go against our conscience and come late to class, and still act cool? Why do we think that it’s okay to do whatever everyone does? It’s cause of our “Herd Mentality”. And thus the term for us, buffaloes. All the buffaloes walking in one direction. In a herd. (This was just the first class of many.)
Why? Why’d we do it? True, as I quoted earlier, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”, but what about our own indivisuality? Does looking cool and trying to fit in really matter more than being yourself?
What do you do when you realise that you’re not yourself anymore?
Give it time to sink in. Think.