Thursday, December 18, 2008

Word Feeding

On the auspicious occation of fathering a baby, a colleague of mine posted a picture of the newborn on his orkut album. No harm in that. And afterall every father has constitutional right to post his baby's pic on orkut. Doesn't he? I too, under the spell of human curiosity, clicked to have a look on the pic and it was pretty much normal, a-day-old infant clad in pink Mikey mouse printed suit (too young to know who's Mikey), wrapped in sky blue towel.

It was not the picture but what caught my attention were the comments that followed. One of the response was "Cho chweeeeet....cute baby." Thats a pretty standard response, you do not need to think or even see the infant properly to find appreciable features or things to say about. Just "sweet" and "cute" along with its variations, chweeeeeeeeet, tute, tweet, etc., are good enough, why stress the brain.

Another response was "Mubarak ho dost, the infant resembles u...." Now, this is hilarious. I know the owner of the comment had good intentions (if he had any) and could not read his words as I can. At first, the world "resemble" caught my attention. A 1-day-old newborn resembles to a 30-year-old adult! One can find the resemblence when kids grow up a little, but how is it possible to find similarity when one of the concerned party is a-day-old baby with red swollen cheeks and lips and closed eyes. One cannot even match the eye color. And that too from a two-dimentional poor quality picture!

Now, read the sentence again "the infant resembles u." Such a good friend is he who wants to assure the father that the baby indeed is his, nobody else's, at least not of the good friend's for sure. Even though I am feeling sorry about the father (if he happens to read and understand the comments), I could hardly stop myself double over with laugh.

You might think, it is too much of me to describe all this nonsense. Indeed, nonsense it is, not to dig deep in thinking, but to speak and write words which are not thought, words which are just taken out of shelf. The society seems to have fed the words in our mouth and coded the incidences, where which phrases should come out. We do not bother to think before we appreciate, we just fullfil our social duty using the preformed template. What an unintillegent species the majority of humans are!
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1 comment:

  1. three comments:

    - keep up the irreverent tone in your articles!

    - you are right that it is a part of etiquette to praise a new-born's appearance and assure the parents that they have produced a work of art. Amrita Shergill (a famous Punjab painter) was notorious for once having said at a new-born party: "What an ugly looking kid". Needless to say, she was never invited to any such party again.

    - Assuring the father that the child resembles him is a common social custom having evolutionary roots (to assure the father that he is indeed the genetic father), even when all newborns look pretty much alike.

    There are studies about it (which you may find on the net after a search) in evolutionary psychology.


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