On sadists and gossip…

Posted: January 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Today, my housemaid came in looking really hassled. Her son, a student at a school close by was beaten up with his by his peers with school belts. His crime? He complained about them to the Principal as they had come to school wearing jeans on Republic Day. The poor kid, who was only doing his job as the school monitor. Now he is black and blue all over and terrified of going to school.
Many years ago there was this short, dark 12-year-old who used to wear thick glasses, thanks to short sight. His peers ridiculed him for his nerdy looks. Everyday in the bus, he would be bullied physically and mentally by one particular senior. He never complained to his parents and always took the crap. One day, however, it reached breaking point because this kid was slapped for no rhyme or reason and unable to bear the humiliation he began to weep. A medical college student finally stepped in and told the bully to stop it. The senior replied with “why don’t you mind your business?”
To which the medical college student said, “This kid is like my younger brother and if you don’t stop it, I’ll break your jaw. Then it will become my business.” He then turned to the kid and told him “If he does it again, just let me know.”
That incident stopped the bullying. The senior was basically a sadist who liked to pick on kids, because he knew they wouldn’t retaliate.
Some of my journalism students told me how they’ve been at the receiving end of a whole lot of negative vibes and comments, only because they took the initiative in a project which the others baulked at. Adding to this rather nonsensical issue, which included innuendo and gossip, were the usual academic and parental pressures they were facing every day. It reached breaking point a few days ago and after speaking to their parents they were all set to walk out. It was some last minute talking to them that made them see reason.
Even at a workplace I’ve seen such behaviour and have quite often wondered what makes people do it. It’s one thing to put someone in their place because they are being casual about their work and an entirely different thing to pick on someone for kicks. A lot of seniors indulge in the latter and enjoy it.
In my first job at a hotel there was an assistant manager who would pick on a couple of us, just for kicks. Since none of the seniors took him too seriously, he would assert his authority by firing us juniors for even the most minor of transgressions. Till one day, my uncle, whose company was one of the biggest clients of the hotel, walked in, came up to me and started chatting. The AM saw this and made some discreet inquiries. We became the best of friends, thereafter!
Competitiveness is fine, but when it degenerates into mindless and vicious innuendos and bitching, it stinks. Going after someone just because the person is smarter than you or more articulate, shows not just your upbringing, but also your own insecurities. Maybe, it’s time some people held a mirror to themselves.
Oh, that nerdy kid with short-sight was me, so you can guess why I have a problem with such people!

  1. Kavya says:

    This is something most of us will understand, Sir. It’s like there are a dozen bullys born for every person who isn’t one!

    And it doesnt just involve violence, teasing, ragging, nagging, etc – like you said INNUANDO: this one is especially cruel, i think. the things people hint at through twisted words and crooked smiles….


  2. babu says:

    Power always breeds contempt, jealously and everything under the sun. All of us indulge in throwing our weight around sometimes when we have the means to do it. That is the way of life, i guess. We must hold a mirror to ourselves first before we pass judgements on others. But nobody does!

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