This article is the outcome of such driving force that first incites the mind to think differently about people and then forces it to vomit all those good for nothing things on paper. I invoke the Muses to give me at least the one tenth of Chaucer’s skill of narration. I know I can not compare myself with that great stalwart but still an attempt has been made to use the power of pen for showing different character traits of different people.
Wherever I go I find some people who seem odd to me and honestly speaking if I have got the skill of drawing I would have drawn caricatures of them and especially of the one whom, lovingly, I call Gangudin along with my Little Lady Chatterbox. These two characters, especially Gangudin, have been my real inspiration behind the present article. In literature we have read that in ancient times it was believed that everyman had four humours or fluids in his body-choler, bile, phlegm and blood. The preponderance of one of these gave a distinct twist or bias to a man’s disposition .Choler made him choleric or irritable, bile melancholy or pessimistic, phlegm phlegmatic or slow and sluggish, and blood sanguine or lively and optimistic. Humour thus came to mean an idiosyncrasy, eccentricity or oddity of character.
The term derives from the Latin humor (more properly umor), meaning “liquid,” When properly balanced, these humours were thought to give the individual a healthy mind in a healthy body. An imbalance of these fluids, or humours was thought to cause a personality disturbance. Along with this theory on humours, my recent study on vocabulary-a lot of thanks to Norman Lewis for writing such immortality as Word Power Made Easy-has also been my inspiration to write this article.
I wonder is there a man or woman in this world in whose body all the four humours are found in proper balance and who is normal. I have never been around such a person. I have heard of such a fictional character named Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar .In the final lines of the play (V.v.74-76), Antony eulogizes Brutus:
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man
So it is only Brutus that I have heard of having all the humorous in proper balance and as far as real life is concerned all the persons I have come across seem to have an imbalance of one or other humour and some even give a feeling that they are having an imbalance of all of them like our Little Lady Chatterbox. She was a perfect example, a paradigm of Female Orator “who can talk whole hours together upon nothing”. She had a feeling that she is the only one responsible for whatever is going on in this world? There is no doubt that Lady Chatterbox was eccentric but Which fluid was this that was in disorder in her body I could never make out as she was sanguine as well as melancholic. I am dead sure that it was not the imbalance of phlegm as she was not sluggish at all. Then, I suppose, leaving phlegm all the other fluids were in imbalance in her body. As at times she was sanguine, then suddenly she would be melancholic and will start shedding tears that could flood any place, and irritable she was all the time. It seemed that she had done a degree in irritating people. She was ambidextrous as she could irritate you with her sudden sullen moods as well as with her enthusiasm .She inspired me to such an extent that I got conceived with a poem to whom I gave birth in 2010.Here is my offspring:
LITTLE LADY CHATTERBOX
Little lady chatterbox
How much she spoke and spoke and spoke
I felt on my tenterhooks
Whenever she caught me and booked
I would feel so helpless and in pain
But all my attempts to get free would go in vain
I would wonder why she spoke so much
For each and everything she had a grudge
She would talk only stupid and useless things
At which I would sometimes laugh and sometimes grin
Would ever her mouth be shut, I think
The day I would be able to do this, I would say
I win I win I win
Then a second lady who would give judgment on any topic as if she were the omniscient, the viceroy and the final jury sent by the almighty and her word is the last word on anything and after that no further discussion is possible as whatever she thinks right is right and what’s wrong according to her judgment is wrong. Sometimes, I wonder how a person can be so much filled with oneself. All the time talking about what she thinks, what she feels, what a particular person has said about her, how somebody has praised her, how she is going to work on a particular problem, without even letting the other person opening up his/her mouth and if the poor fellow succeeds in the combat and manages to say a few words, that egoist would turn a deaf ear to all the matter without even bothering to listen to other person’s point of view and would start her stereotypes:
“I don’t understand you. I am not getting you. What are you saying? Hunn…hunn…I know I am right. I have studied it in that magazine. The guy cladded in Adidas clothes said this. Do you have any knowledge about Nike brands? You know my brother only wears Nike shoes. You know from where does its range start? From 2000….That student was whispering look at ma’am’s shoes. I haven’t seen anyone wearing such shoes…and that girl blah…blah…blah….”
She won’t stop until and unless you give up. I think that lady is the perfect example, an epitome of an egotist. And if I try to find about the imbalance of humours in that lady I feel she is having too much of blood and I’ll call that blood ego blood as it is blood that keeps her sanguine all the time –and yes! also the consumption of chocolates that she savors very much(and also torturing people)-and it is her ego that doesn’t let her think or talk about anybody but herself and makes her a misanthrope also ,leaving only one category of mankind on this earth which is fair and is wrapped in branded clothes. This point is to be noted that only this category of homo-sapiens has managed to be safe from her wrath. And what is it that makes her good at torturing people is her skill of altercation. She uses this skill as a weapon to torture people emotionally and sometimes also makes them shed tears when she uses this weapon as a brahmastra. But there is one thing that I have never been able to make out and that is what is it that makes her so very good at altercation??????Is it the consumption of chocolates or love for herself, I have no ideas. But then I think may be the reason for this particular talent resides somewhere in the jeans. But then I am not a person from medical sciences to give a final verdict on this, nor am I a viceroy of God. So I leave it to you, if you are from any such field you better try it for yourself and let me know too.
Now you must be thinking that it is only the fair sex that has managed to inspire me, but no it is not so, the dark sex has also the equal contribution. And the first person who has been my inspiration-my real inspiration behind this article, is my dear Gangudin. Lines started bubbling from me on his first appearance the same way as the idea of Malgudi would have taken birth in R.K.Narayan the first time he put pen on the paper for writing. The moment I met him, I felt he was directly coming out of the pages of a novel and was not a real life character but fictional. The very physique reminded me of the characters painted by Geoffrey Chaucer, a literary stalwart, in his Canterbury Tales. He had got a skinny body having little flesh, while the stomach was trying to get out. He had got the eyes of a Chinese and a speed that could fail any bike. In my graduation I had prepared a report on a bike and I named that bike Accelerate Toofani-a bike having a great speed. Gangudin’s speed reminded me of that bike.
It is normally said and believed that a person’s life is always similar to his temperament as “You become what you think.” And our Gangudin’s life was similar-not to his temperament but-to his gait. Whenever he walked he would come with such a speed as he was not going to stop; or spare anybody that would come in his way. He would remain in motion even after reaching his destination and it took him time to calm down.
So Gangudin was in the habit of using no breaks either while walking or driving. And he used to walk towards his goal with the same speed without any breaks. And do you know what his goal in life was. And it was to find a girl, and mind it, a Baniya girl and he started making attempts to achieve that goal at a very tender age. He was barely 14 when his eyes caught fancy of a Baniya girl, and it was in college that he mustered up courage to open up his heart in front of her .But poor Gangudin, all his dreams fell flat on face when he uttered those three magical words:
“I ……….I……….I, lo…..ve you.”
There was a pin drop silence. Gangudin was feeling like the persona of Browning’s poem The last Ride Together. Her yes or no was a question of life and death for him. Then the girl’s reply came:
“You wear your heart on your sleeves. What do you think of yourself? Are you a Salman Khan? Go and look at your face in the mirror. I don’t have any feelings for you. Get lost.”
Uttering of those three magical words extracted all the magic from our Gangudin’s life. The girl’s harsh words broke our Gangudin’s heart badly. It gave him great pain but didn’t make him forget his aim. He didn’t gave up. Nothing could shatter his indomitable will and undaunted spirit. He was fully determined to achieve his goal. After all, he fully believed in the saying, “Try Try Again.” After the tragic end of his first one-sided love story, he tried again at another Baniya girl , but he could not express his feelings to her and one day he saw her with her husband. His heart cried, but again he didn’t give up. He tried for a third time, a fourth time, but the result was same. He failed again and again but never lost his heart and is still trying.
I was so much filled, touched and moved on listening to his story –which he used to tell to each and every person coming his way, especially girls and that also Baniya girls-that I wrote down four lines for the youth of today. It is my humble request to the youth that they follow our Gangudin’s example and walk towards the fulfillment of their goal with the same indomitable will as Gangudin. No matter, how many times they fail, but they should not give up. But like the attempts the goal should also be a good one as I believe:
You should run after your career,
Not a maid (girl).
For you’ll definitely find a good girl,
If your career is made.
As far as the imbalance of humours in Gangudin is concerned it is again blood like our egotist, which is in imbalance in him. And Gangudin’s is not ego-the poor guy doesn’t have even self respect–but lecher-blood. And I feel you are intelligent enough to understand this lecher blood. Come on…I know you are very smart.
After Gangudin there is one more person who has made me brood over the matter of imbalance of humours. Although he has not been able to do it the same way as our Gangudin-as Gangudin’s inspiration is so much that I am writing a novel on him-still I would like to mention him. That person is very loquacious, he talks a lot and all his talk is always senseless and illogical talk. People laugh at him but it does not make any difference to him and he just keeps on cracking silly jokes. According to my observation one desire of that person which may be the cause of all his nonsense talk is to prove himself very witty and one is to be very sociable and to make people laugh. So his desires behind his eccentric behavior are not at all bad or adulterated but the approach he has adopted is affecting not any third person but his own personality, disposition as well as his temperament for the nonsense talk which he started as a pastime has now become a habit with him and also a part of his conscious as well as unconscious mind. Therefore, this imbalance of humours can also be a dangerous thing in the long run. The guy though he is a good person has created a wrong image of himself due to the imbalance of one humour. In fact all the persons mentioned above are just victims of imbalance of one or other humour. Otherwise they are very good human beings having a lot of qualities in them like our Gangotri she is the one “full of the milk of human kindness”. And egotist, she is a fastidious lady who pays full attention towards her work and carries out every responsibility honestly and with full dedication. And what to say about our Gangudin…..he is the gem of a man
If we believe that there is a science behind the imbalance of humours due to which a particular person behaves in a particular way, we must also remember that all the errors can be fixed. You can manage with the imbalance of any particular humour in your body but for this purpose you will have to find out time from your busy schedule to assess your own personality and find out the errors that are lying in this beautiful creation of God that is called body and soul. But for this you will have to start paying more attention towards yourself than peeping in the lives of others as it is you that is more important than anybody else and it is you that need your criticism and judgment more than anybody else on this earth. Men and women are dime a dozen but you are the only one. And in the end I would just like to quote Alexander Pope’s lines from his Essay on Man:
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of mankind is man.