You know what? It appears that Jessica Alba and I share a thing in common. If we look carefully we might find more than one, I’m sure….. Let’s see, for starters – she’s an accomplished actress, has won numerous awards and her net worth is supposedly 340 million dollars (says Wikipedia) I’m an accomplished Drama Queen (say reliable sources), my awards aren’t numerous, but I did win the 1st prize once at a party game (for collecting and throwing the most ping pong balls into a bucket in 1 minute) and my net worth – well I’m pretty close to her 340 whatever, if you scratch out the million and the dollars part! There… see!!
However, those are mere trivialities. I allude here to something on a higher level.
Jessica’s theory is, and I quote her here – If you can look confident, you can pull off anything – even if you have no clue what you’re doing – unquote.
You see, I’ve been able to pull off most things in my life owing to my confident demeanour – all bluster and bravado on the outside; while on the inside – I never have a clue how I got into a given situation! To put it in plain spoken English – most of my activities are preceded by much fanfare and swagger, all unintentional though- that’s just how I am! But it fools people into thinking I’m an ace at whatever I do.
Just a few instances to help you grasp the scenario.
Back in my school days, my English teachers would put my name up every year for the Inter-class Elocution Contest, assuming that ‘talking on stage’ should be a cakewalk for someone who talks, talks a lot and talks incessantly off stage. Oh yeah guys! If those were the only criteria to be a public speaking pundit, wouldn’t I have beaten Shashi Tharoor* at his own bombastic game long back? And me with my stomach-churning stage-fear!!! Most times I managed to talk myself out of the situation, but finally in the 8th grade, I somehow ended up on stage, mic in hand, with absolutely no clue how I got up there. Whew!!! How the next scene unfolded on stage is a matter to be treated with the utmost delicacy and sensitivity. Some other time.
On another occasion later in College, I was invited to participate in a debate on All India Radio, Goa. The invitation was either because my loquacious reputation had preceded me or because I used to be a regular contributor to the local newspapers, where I may have confidently aired my views, such as they were.
Long before the recording, family, friends, relatives, neighbors and our vegetable vendor too I guess, were aware that I would be going on air sometime soon. The topic of the debate – “Can the impossible be made possible?” Well, Well, Well! The impossible certainly happened that day in the recording studio. Out of the 6 participants, 5 argued and debated to the end of earth and back, while the 6th one – your’s truly – said not a word. Get it – NOT A WORD! Ok I’m lying here – I did mumble my name at the beginning and Thank you at the end. In between I have absolutely no clue what I did.
Nevertheless, I assume I pulled it off pretty well because a fortnight later I received an official letter from AIR thanking me for my active participation in their student’s segment and further informing me that they looked forward to more such associations in future! 🙂
Taking you further up this confessional road – there are these musical recitals or talks which I attend from time to time at which I can usually be spotted, if not in the 1st row, then definitely in the 2nd. So, if it’s at the former, then there I will be – eyes closed, hands clapping in time to the beat, heartily and enthusiastically, or if it’s at the latter, then I start to nod my head intently at whatever the chap on stage is saying. I repeat – It’s unconscious, unintentional, instinctive.
But it invariably leads the other concert-goers to think I’m a music connoisseur of the next level, or the speaker to ignore the rest of the audience and to address his speech directly and only to me. Probably concluded that the others are all fools and I’m the only intelligent person in the hall worth talking to! Ever tried controlling a yawn that rises from your intestines, while a glittering hypnotic eye from the stage holds you down?? Woah!! Been there, with no clue how I got there, except maybe for the confident look I sport……
Or wait – let’s refer to my title …. maybe I’ll get a clue there!!! 🙂
* Indian politician globally noted for his extraordinarily witty, charming and intelligent eloquence.