Why Do I Find It So Difficult To Understand Sarcasm?

She wanted to name our baby “Sachin”. I believed her.

When I was in college, a 16 year old girl promised to marry me. She wanted to name our baby “Sachin”. I believed her.

When a policeman once asked me whether I’d like to get my passport on time, I smiled with gratitude and slammed the door on his face.

When I once read, “Ron Paul is a gynecologist, and he is self-taught.”, I did not understand why this evoked laughter in an audience. I still do not.

I’ve always had a tenuous understanding of sarcasm and double-speak. I take words literally. When I was a child, it took me many years to understand hidden insults. 

I’ve never had it any other way. I was not sarcastic as a child. I was too innocent to understand the art of insinuation. When a teacher was sarcastic to me at 9, I understood her only a year later. When I fully understood her, I felt numb, as if I were struck by lightning. I stood still, staring at my coconut tree. It was too late, because I’d left that city and moved into another school. There was nothing much I could do about this. This was deeply unsettling. Continue reading “Why Do I Find It So Difficult To Understand Sarcasm?”

My Experiments With Truth

I keep wondering how Mahatma Gandhi became hip in this dishonest country!

Honesty is a precious virtue. Wimpy Kid’s experiences while practicing honest speech are quite illuminating: When he decided to obey his mother by being an honest child, it was a liberating experience for him.

When his friend Max Smedley started telling him about his grand plans on becoming a Pro basketball player when he grows up, Wimpy kid was a lot more truthful. He said: “Think again, Max! Neither one of your parents is taller than 5-foot-4, and you’re the only 150-pound six-year-old I have ever seen!”  Max started crying, “Waaaah”, while his father took him away. Wimpy Kid said smugly: “I cannot tell a lie!” When Rowley’s grandfather said in his birthday party that he wants a chocolate cake the next year, Wimpy Kid said to everyone’s embarrassment, “That is, if you are around next year.” adding “Hey, I am just trying to be honest.”

However, the hypocritical world around him did not appreciate his goodness. Wimpy Kid’s honesty angered everyone, including his mother. When she did not speak to him for a whole night, he decided that it was time for him to go back to how he was before.

Continue reading “My Experiments With Truth”