Being Perfect

“Do you cook?” Reema’s father questioned Saurav to which he replied “Yes!” without hesitance. Reema and her mother sighed in relief and smiled at each other from the corner of their eyes. In a relatively personal talk, a curious Saurav’s first query to Reema was “Do you enjoy drinks?” in a tone so impatient that she thought she better answer in agreement in order to sharpen chances to impress this boy and convert her potential marriage to real. After an exhaustive round of interview and counter-interview between Saurav and Reema; the satisfied two departed smiling, with their respective families after they exchanged their social networking ids.

It sounds like history when men only worked outdoors and women weren’t expected to drive but it isn’t that long ago. Time and its best friend, change, seem to have picked up tremendous pace since the millennium began. Every young man and woman today is quite comfortably expected to know everything. To be able to cook well, keep a hand-decorated home, earn in 6 figures, enjoy social gatherings, carry the hottest pair of trendy pants will bring you close to be a cool dude. Likewise; good driving skills, slang language, sophisticated career and skimpy body with skinny attires can make you the most desirable chic around. You are sure to attract more friends when you disclose your fondness about nightclubs, pubs and smokes. If you are 20 something and not connected via even one of the hundred social networks over the web, please don’t feel embarrassed receiving general reactions which will be one of these: popping eyes, jaw drops, swears, pale white faces, jumps or walk away.

A general perception to prepare for an interview of a software job in a leading IT company would be to swallow down every programming language book feasible. To surprise you, the panel scrutinizes your resume and questions about your hobbies to which you quizzically answered thus ending up in the waiting-list of selection. How the company benefits from this? Given a chance, why not hire a software specialist who might even win them laurels at annual inter-organization co-curricular fests finishing targets by the deadline still and all this at the same pay! Lives were simpler when only artists designed and engineers did the calculus. In this era, doctors can be expected to resolve their computer bug and manager of a company can be anticipated to be an engineer. We survive in an age called ‘Know-It-All’. Of course, it spirals stress but is it worth giving a thought and waste your time which you otherwise might utilize in learning a new activity.

This newest wrinkle of requiring every individual to be know-it-all and perfect in every way can be perceived as a positive break in our society. We have certainly raised the gender equality bar. People have begun to think beyond work. Everyone manages to do nearly everything from household chores, machine repairs, cricket, partying, painting, ballet, drumming to excelling in professional certifications. Man is walking towards flawlessness. This is a remarkably triumphant vogue. But I still wander for an answer, Is this how we naturally are or we are on our toes in fear of shame of limping behind? I find comfort in the famous quote by Alexander Pope, “To err is human” and solace to believe that no man/woman can achieve idealism in the walk of life. It’s possible that this opinion be considered morose, old-fashioned or showcasing loser-attitude. However, in reality, those opining the same are the stressed people pacing hard in the fast lane leaping their way questing to conquer perfection.

Karnika Palwa