January 12, 2014

Character Study for the Day

Dear M,

There are some very interesting people in this world - each unique in their own way, but you can still classify them into groups. Observing them is rewarding - you really can make a story out of a person.

For instance, there are people who don't show a lot of emotion. Very rarely do you see them frown. You believe they haven't learned how to scowl. Their anger is not explosive. They would smile and laugh and look thoughtful, but within certain boundary conditions. There are some who look arrogant because they are so controlled, then there are some who are gentle and calm and caring and gentlemanly/lady-like. They always say the right things, do the right things. Nothing overboard. They don't ask unnecessary questions. Casual talk is also within the realm of decency. You start to wonder, they are so polished outside, how might they be inside? What made them so unemotional? There - you have your story.

I once approached a woman at work for something. She had been on leave for a few days. I noticed that she looked tired, but thought nothing of it. She responded to my query as sweetly and patiently as she always did, and I returned. Later that day, I heard from co-workers that she had had a miscarriage. Nothing of it had showed in her behaviour. No pain, no sadness, nothing. I had never for a moment suspected how devastated she must have been beneath her calm exterior.


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  1. Many times it happens, by looking at face or body language we make certain impressions about a person, but when we actually start knowing that person.. It turns out to be somebody else we have never thought about..