I have three ARs in my WhatsApp list. Arun, Arjun and Arvind. The last was my late younger brother whose name I have not had the heart to remove from the list. The first two  have Rajagopal as their second names, one with Rajagopal and the other with Rajagopalan.

Earlier this week, it was Arjun’s birthday and I sent him a birthday greetings in the morning but, till late in the afternoon I had not received any acknowledgement and so I rang up my friend and his father to enquire if all is well. My friend said that he will get the son to call me back and then I found that his birthday was later in the year and he claimed that he had not received any message from me. I then realised that I had sent the greetings to Arjun, but was following up with Arun’s father and Arun. I then realised that Arjun had also died some months ago and I had sent the message to a dead man’s WhatsApp number. My bad.

I have two other contacts, one a Koushik and the other Kaushal. I often type the first three letters wrongly to send emails or to send WhatsApp messages. I have not yet goofed up but, would not be surprised if I do soon enough.

Such confusion is normal for people of my age I am told. On the other hand, I have a young friend who is in a very comfortable position with a highly reputed organisation with a bright future. He has been offered a position in the Middle East where the emoluments will be higher and tax free for him and he can use a skill that he has acquired that he is unable to use in his present position. He sought my advice and I was at a loss to advise as the present situation in the Middle East is anything but rosy. I just discussed the pros and cons with him and after that both of us are as confused about the course of action to be taken by him as we were before the discussion.

Coming to another friend closer to my age, he is a widower living alone and wanting to pursue a spiritual life. For the past two years he has been in discussions with me and a few other friends about how to go about it and despite having explored a number of alternatives, has not been able to come to a final conclusion as he is totally confused. With the lockdown, things have become more difficult as his idle mind is a devil’s workshop and he keeps obsessing over not being able to be decisive.

These examples are micro level confusions but, today, the entire world is totally confused about the course of action to follow with the Covid situation with no answers coming from anywhere that guarantees success. In my fairly long life, I have never seen anything more confused than this pandemic with thousands of experts throwing up their hands but still offering opinions. We have governments in our states each following its own erratic ways and some claiming success one day and despairing the next. People too are totally confused with the number of advise givers growing day be day and diets and immunity boosting things changing from day to day.

Confusion has become chaos and quite when some semblance of normalcy will return is anybody’s guess.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by me. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

21 thoughts on “Confusion.”

  1. Yes, Ramana, you are one of many in my life who are as they are are terming it “cracking”. I have experienced it myself. Stress is making us make poor decisions, and fumbling over simple tasks.

    I don’t believe we will hit “normal” again. It will get worse and then it will get better. A new world.

    The second wave is coming.


  2. Commiserations. I hope your birthday is still on 26 July, unless it was 26 June and I have missed it.

    I don’t think I am ever “confused”. However, I do subscribe to the Chaos Theory. I love it, love it, love it. HA. Beware the detail, that almost imperceptible shift. No doubt Con will have something to say on that. Then I will concede, if necessary, that he managed the inconceivable, namely to confuse me.

    There is one line in your post which hit a bit of painful note: “. . . he claimed that he had not received any message from me”. The pain is in “claimed”. My dear Ramana, he may well NOT have received that message. Happened to me a year or so ago. The fall out not so good. I “googled” the father of a close friend of mine – and learnt, to my dismay, that he had died a couple of months earlier. I wasn’t dismayed at his death. It was expected. I was dismayed that my friend hadn’t notified me. So I called him to convey my condolences. And what do you know. He was miffed. He’d sent me the notification, the obituary both by email and post. I hadn’t received either. Fluke, no doubt. Now, this friend of mine (we go back to the sandpit) can be a hard man (by which I mean exceedingly critical and scathing). Essentially he indicated that he didn’t believe me. I may be many things but I am not a liar. His reasoning escapes me. Not least because he knows I was very fond of his father. I found/find his reaction upsetting. His reaction/disbelief somewhat cooled our relationship. Not my affection for my friend, but my perspective on him. Yes, so, careful what you lay at someone’s feet. It may do damage.


    1. If you love Chaos Theory, then you know the big trick is finding the strange attractor. Then the only real chaos is sequence, not pattern.

    2. Regret that my birthday was indeed in June. Don’t worry about it thuough. I don’t celebrate but, the children make a fuss and I quite enjoy it. Misunderstandings as you write about are quite common and if someone wants to hold a grudge because of one, I would say, so be it and leave the relationship.

  3. If you suffer these issues since you turned 120, I must say you mask it well in your posts. Or, is it something we all face in our affairs but not in our communication as we age? In any case, if I came to your home and we sat at our leisure discussing life and meaning, I doubt we would notice much difference from our youth.

    Unless we try to remember the name of … well, most anybody.

    1. Yes, dear Conrad, it is only since I turned 120 and started being called Gandalf the Grey that this has started happening to me. I look forward to the opportunity to do exactly what you propose comes true.

  4. I like your eloquence of “confusion has become chaos.” This is a very apt way of describing this mess. Take care!

  5. I may be getting on a bit but I wouldn’t say I was habitually confused. But certainly the pandemic is spreading confusion in all directions. As you say, different experts have different opinions, and the guidelines for safe behaviour change about every five minutes. In the end I either have to make my own decisions about safe behaviour or follow the code of conduct of whatever shop or institution I happen to be present in.

  6. like peeling an onion.
    our states are like separate little ‘countries’ each with its own chaos and confusion. sometimes the brain just gets tired of it all. but ever forward we march… into the confused chaos!
    some things in your post brought a smile. thank you. xoxo

    1. Our great nation is no less. Each state has its own peculiarities and local leaderships that need not always be in synch with the others. It is always my pleasure to bring a smile to you.

  7. Confuson is the new normal especially if there is no firm central control anywhere. here should be no confusion regarding Covid-19 – wear a mask,social distancing and wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face have all proven in slowing the virus to a crawl but apparently too many people think they are invincible.

  8. I’ve found that “time” is the conversation and although many “things” are normal in New Zealand, it’s my head space that hasn’t quite caught up with it. Instead, having someone else explain how I need “baby steps” and that all will okay…I’ve taken some of it to be, but the head space part to just “amble along at a pace that feels like a flow time”

    I don’t have to be out there: retired, it’s winter time here, I’m relatively happy, and it’s nice and warm at home… but I do miss “me” the independent, go anywhere person but maybe she will return in the summer…
    Catherine de Seton recently posted..Woolly things… real and not

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