As a writer, I need to keep trying to understand the state of human emotions, their triggers and consequential emotions. I came across this pie-chart while fleshing out a character for my next project. And as I did, I tried to evaluate myself too. Struggling to place myself in one of the quarters, it came to me that I actually do a complete 360 during an average 30 day period. Which means my state of mind shifts like the phases of the moon. I know I'm a normal person but just how normal? Do you all feel that way about yourself too? Or are you able to place yourself assuredly in one or maybe two of the sections? I know it is socially suicidal for me to confess that I do touch upon that black line between the grey and yellow but don't worry...that is only when I've slogged over something and am waiting for appreciation, and some stupid fb status update like "Going to brush my teeth" gets 500 likes in under 10 minutes ;P . And NO, I do NOT have any neurotic instincts that one may associate with any kind of crime :)
So, the point is that how well-defined can a character or a person be, when situations and other triggers keep a person in a state of flux. I'll narrate an incident for clarity:
A young man is standing on a bus-stop, waiting for about twenty minutes for the bus to arrive. He has been waiting patiently for his turn and as a queue starts to build up behind him, he is slowly pushed ahead to be the first to board. There are people of all age-groups, office-going people, and a couple of school children. The most noticeable are two elderly gentlemen with shaking heads and black umbrellas. He chats amicably with the person behind him, discussing the day's headline about the double-murder of an old couple in his neighbourhood, by their own son. They discuss the insensitivity of younger people towards the older generation and how people are at their insensitive best during their youth. During his talk, he manages to exchange a few flirtatious glances with the demure girl standing several places behind the old men. The bus approaches. As the queue lunges forward, the girl breaks the line and strides in to the bus before anyone else. The man ignores it, even if he doesn't approve of it. It happens all the time, he thinks, and why should I try to change it? He settles down and in a while, reaches out for his wallet to buy the ticket, only to find it missing. He looks for the man who had been standing behind him in the queue. He is not in the bus. The bastard, he mutters under his breath. Realising that he had been taken for his gullibility, he looks around helplessly. A friendly hand with bangles offers help to buy his ticket, bringing the smile back on and making him forget her misdemeanour. Before he is able to say 'thank-you, someone walks past, stepping heavily on his toes. He curses under his breath. The toe-treader stares back aggressively. The exchange flares up and comes to fists and blows.
Which section of the chart could one possibly place this young man? It may be argued that some situations are just that- situations, and do not define the character of the person by the responses they draw? But I argue, why not? Aren't these situations, the true test of one's character while the rest of our life sails by on calm waters. It is easy, and normal, to be in the green and pink when there aren't any external disturbances.
Am going back to that character that I'm etching. Do let me know what you think, if and when you can :)
Cheers and clinks!