About Usha Narayanan
Usha Narayanan’s suspense thriller, ‘The Madras Mangler’ (Leadstart) was acclaimed by media
reviewers as ‘a celluloid potboiler in print’ that is ‘as addictive as caramel popcorn’. She has two books releasing in 2015: a romcom with Harlequin and a fantasy with Penguin. Usha has worked as creative director, corporate communications manager, web editor and green volunteer. She is a gold-medallist with a Master’s degree in English Literature, and a diploma in creative writing from the University of Hawaii.
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Today Usha Narayanan has graced my blog. Her take on handling morons at your workplace and in life in general, is hilarious. Just what she stands for - positivity even in the most trying situations. Thanks Usha, after reading your words - I felt a bit of a giggle will carry me through life with a lot of laughter - Lets bring the chuckle on .. :D
Guest Post by Usha Narayanan - Bring on the Chuckles
The job was good. The company was excellent. I would have liked to continue there forever. But then… there was the boss. He believed that he should have the last word on everything, whether it made sense or not. So he would change my text here and there, often using words wrongly, or put in an ill-advised comment that interfered with the smooth flow of the prose. And then, he would hand over the pages with the words ‘I’ve put in my five cents.’
Well, who was to tell him that even this expression was wrong? The original idiom is ‘to put in my two cents’, meaning that you are making a humble offering. There was nothing humble about my boss however, and he would insist that I carry out his changes in toto. So, what could I do? I could stress myself out, curse him and quit. I would be the loser then, for he would find ten others who were ready to accept his words as gospel.
The other option was to make a joke of it, and that was what my colleague did. “He’s given us so many five cents I’m afraid he’ll go bankrupt,” she whispered to me.
That turned the tide for me and I giggled, feeling better in an instant. I had friends to laugh with and my boss’s foolishness wasn’t such a big deal anymore.
We meet many such clowns at home as well, don’t we? We know people who can never be anything but obnoxious. They criticize everything from our hair to our clothes and our choices in life. Who asked you? you want to say. Or punch them in the face when they get too personal. But do you want to get your whole circle involved in a free-for-all?
Why not just chuckle about their crassness and make notes for your next book? Heh heh. It doesn’t pay to antagonise a writer, does it?
That’s life. There’s a lot that you cannot change, and many people you cannot tolerate. So what do you do? You can look at life as a tragedy or turn it into a farce. Wouldn’t it be more fun when you change it into something you can laugh about? Several great men and women have voiced a similar thought. They have called laughter a ‘tranquilliser with no side effects’, and termed it ‘an instant vacation’.
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour,” said Charles Dickens. Wouldn’t you rather be lively and good-humoured than someone who repels people with his ill-humour and his grievances about life?
Of course, there are times when laughter is not the right reaction. Times when you need to make your point clearly and without ambiguity. When you must stand up for what you believe in and tell the bullies off. When a woman is harassed, when an animal is beaten, when rank injustice prevails...you must strike out without hesitation, and hope that others will join you in protest. Revolutions don’t just happen. They are created, one voice at a time.
But meanwhile...ignore that nosey parker neighbour. Giggle at that pompous guy with the put-on accent. Laugh at the colleague who thinks she knows everything. You’ll feel better, much better. Take my word for it!