25 June 2013

Being “quirky”

Asked to describe me in one word, my wife of 20 years once said “Quirky”. And I agree.
The aforementioned wife believes my refusal to react or get angry when she is mad too is me showing indifference. Perhaps it is.
People who have had the misfortune of inviting me for lunch or dinner has often called my practice of handwriting a full page of thank you letter in a monogrammed envelope “too formal”. And I think they might be right.
Certainly my practice of showing up to parties on time and leaving by 9:30 – often skipping dinner is considered “weird”. And it is.
Getting up at the crack of dawn, running because I want to, calling my mom every single day of my life, wishing 1500 people “Happy Birthday” in a year on their birthdays (and I sometimes mess up the dates 🙂 ), digging up friends from my elementary school days, date nights every Sunday (with my wife, of course; else it would be “weird” 🙂 ), showing up at Durga Pujo in shorts …….
I have often asked myself why do I have to be difficult and different?
I have seriously struggled to answer “Who am I”? and what prompts me not to go in with the crowd…..

Read an eloquent poem by Linda Ellis (1996) thanks to my good friend Samaresh. Now I am hoping against hopes that this is why I am so weird and different 🙂 Anyways, it is a good read…

“I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?”

Posted June 25, 2013 by Rajib Roy in category "Musings


  1. By Al Blake on

    So there are 1499 other people getting a birthday wish? Impressive and thanks – I would miss it! Quirky? Maybe, but it’s all good

  2. By Chanda Parbhoo on

    Love the poem – lost a friend this weekend and makes you reflect on lifes fragile and precious moments – what matters most – calling your mom everyday – priceless – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – sharing

  3. By Rajib Roy on

    Al, regardless of the other 1499, you will always be special to me. I met Pavan recently and we talked about you a lot!! And yes, I do wish a lot of people – as many phone calls as I can make – the rest in emails in a year. It does help me keep in touch with a lot of people who have touched my life in so many beautiful ways. Today I wished 8!!

  4. By Rajib Roy on

    Nitadi, you will be proud of me – I have now graduated from writing those letters in fountain pens – I know I know I am “quirky” – I use only fountain pens – to calligraphy pens!!! When I was younger, I used to buy normal nibs in India and keep rubbing on sandpaper and then the concrete floor to create my own calligraphy pens!!!

  5. By Vicky Ruffin Cupit on

    You sent me a message a few weeks ago – i printed it out – showed it to my husband, told some friends, and framed it . Maybe quirky but was really nice to be a receiver.

  6. By Rajib Roy on

    Vicky, WOW!!!!!! That makes me feel so special!! And also cautions me to watch my words since people print them out 🙂 Kidding! I am a little overwhelmed by our action!!

  7. By Baishali Chakraborty on

    It’s ur speciality that’s why u r different from others.for this reason Sharmiladi first refused u & now with u for 20 years. For the almost same reason I’m with ur friend for 16 yrs.

  8. By Anushree Mukhopadhyay on

    Sab to bujhlam kintu chithhi te ki likhis ?Tui indifferent noi tui chalak . Bou kotokhon eka eka chechabe? Tui participate na korle automatic precipitate kore jabe anger. Tai na?

  9. By Roger Whitney on

    Brilliant stuff. Really. Although this reminds me I owe YOU a thank you for my recent visit. Forgive me. I promise to work on my quirkiness!

  10. By Milind Mehere on

    Rajib Roy I think I still have a letter you sent to Top 5% in ur group in my i2 memorabilia folder which I remember to be different… Inspirational.

  11. By Murali Hegde on

    Rajib, you forgot to add your great ability to write unusual beautiful thought provoking posts on facebook! I love your posts.

  12. By Rashmi Jayakumar on

    Inspiring post! Can u please share the secret that makes you not get angry even when your better half is? Something surely to learn for me…

  13. By Rajib Roy on

    Rashmi, I certainly get angry – for otherwise, I would be no human. But I strive to lend my anger neither my tongue nor my senses. Experience from long past has taught me that anger can drive me to say or do things in a fleeting moment that I will regret for the rest of the life. People never forget how you made them feel. Better those moments pass and I enjoy the rest of my life 🙂

  14. By Rajib Roy on

    Rashmi, every time I get yelled at, I remind myself of the days more than 20 years back I was so madly in love with her that I asked her to walk out of the guy she was betrothed to – against peer pressure and certainly parent pressure. But she did. The only thing that has been added now is certain chemicals/hormones ricocheting off her neocortex part of the brain. The way I think of it is it is two versus one and I can win that game every single time. Statistically, 24 hours after the yelling, I have always been proven right! It is a formula that has worked for me and I am sticking to it!!!

  15. Pingback: A lovely gift from Larry – Rajib Roy

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