On Hating Things

Love is an oft spoken of trope. You see these topics come up in books, movies, plays and whatnot. But no one speaks much about its counterpart, hate. Yes, I know matters like hate speech form a lot of news media, but I’m not talking about that. You won’t see influencers talking about things they hate, nor would you have a TV show on something like the ‘World’s Most Hated Holiday Destinations’ or some such. I think that’s unfair. It’s almost as if we collectively whitewash our existence with a Live, Laugh, Love poster and pretend that things we hate don’t exist.

I’m here to change that. I will describe to you in some detail things that I hate. I know hate is a strong word and I promise not to take it lightly. Everything I write about is something that I absolutely abhor and detest from the very core of my actual being and will go to several lengths to avoid as far as possible.
I will choose not to write out one key point out of a sense of political correctness. Bonus points if you, dear reader, can identify that (message me, maybe there’s a prize?).

What: Kites
Origin story
I hate kites. Not the majestic birds, but the damned diamond shaped, heavier-than-air crafts. As if they even deserve such a long and elegant sounding definition.
As a kid, a kite is probably introduced to you in your first foray into literacy with an alphabet chart with the poor eleventh alphabet bearing the burden of carrying this unholy noun to its name. Are there no other K words you could introduce to young kids without saddling them dreams of flying devices? Kit, kilt, kiss, kill all of these are legitimate words too.
Anyway, point being, one’s constantly taught that kite flying is this wondrous activity whereby kites just take off and provide hours of giggles and fun for all.

Spoiler alert, they’re not. As a kid when I did get a hold of a kite, it just bloody never flew. The adults I asked for help would always begin with tall tales of how skillfully they could fly them but couldn’t deliver. Either it was too windy, or the string wasn’t great or we didn’t have enough flat space. Sure, totally accepted. I started detesting the concept of kites right then. This was further strengthened in 2002 when we’d once had a kite making and flying activity in class and my house got the WORST quality paper there could be (all us poor blues were grounded before take off). The thing was doomed from the start. And that just made me hate kites even more. The final straw was when I learnt about the dangers of manja string and the kind of damage it causes birds. That was it. I hate kites from the bottom of my heart now. I hate that stupid kite flying festival, all those people can take their ridiculous neon coloured plastic kites and fall off their roofs for all I care.

Rest assured, if I find a kite randomly, I will render it inoperable.

What: Being told to loosen up and have fun
Origin story
I have always been a very introverted person, right from childhood (ha ha yes, insert your born 80 years old jokes here folks, haven’t heard that before). When I was younger, this meant that I wouldn’t do very well in crowds or with new people. I’d frequently cry at friends’ birthday parties or just refuse to even allow known people to pick me up or hold me (this is something I still maintain) or even just not mingle in recess. I didn’t choose this, it’s just how I’m wired, I don’t do anything to amplify it.

In adolescence, this eventually translated into was me being a bit of a loner or slightly removed individual. I didn’t not attend gatherings, but I was very pleased to not be the centre of attention or the ‘life of the party’. Again, this did not mean that I hated crowds, just that I drew my fun from a distance. My fun was not their fun but it was fun nonetheless and I absolutely hated being told to loosen up because it invalidated my idea of fun. More so, I loathed the air of superiority with which I was told, as if I’m some ignorant soul that needed their revelation to a newer life.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was in December 2011. It’s the season to be jolly and to be unnecessarily exposed to the actual original sin that is the heinous act of Secret Santa (I’ve thrown up a bit in my mouth just typing this sentence). It’s an act of idiocy where you’re forced to show material kindness to a random individual whom you may not even care about. Like what? Anyway, I didn’t sign up for the first time our batch was doing this in college (and every subsequent time including the last year) and I had to receive flak from people. Again, what? One person sent me a bar of chocolate through a common friend. I figured it was her but then what diluted it all was when she asked me, “Didn’t it make you feel nice?” “It did, until you asked me this question and made it sound like you were doing me a favour.” I did of course enjoy the chocolate, what fault did it have, eh.
Maybe a day after this, another person, a very dear friend (whom I still love very much) asked if I’d signed up and upon hearing the negative, said the magic words. And that’s when I blew up. Like literally lost it at her (sorry SSK2) but I went on a long spiel about how I have my own fun and didn’t need to conform to their standards because there are other ways to celebrate the gift of giving. [My response to all this was to start a revenge Santa where I would just give gifts to a few select people and that’s it. No randomisation, no multiple gifts, no obligations.]

Have no doubt, if I’m told to have fun, I will go out of my way to make sure I do not. I am not a tight screw that needs to be loosened up.

What: The hype around biryani
There’s no real origin story here, I just find the fact that a sizeable population of this country can go absolutely bananas over rice mixed with meat. Again, I do not despise the dish itself — it’s yum when made well, but why would you treat it as if it’s a dish transcending the planes of existence and a means to liberate one from a pitiful human existence. It really isn’t. I mean it’s rice. Let’s not obsess over it. This hate is a little difficult to explain because I don’t have sources to link you to, but believe me, it’s everywhere. Zomato ads, ‘last meal’ questions on dating apps, the answer to every ‘what are you in the mood for’ and the endless food blogger reviews on YouTube.

God dammit guys, it really isn’t even a very innovative dish (I am already anticipating the comments about how wrong I am, possibly that I even need to loosen up or that I haven’t had the right one yet). Biryani absolutely does not warrant the kind of obsession that you see so rampant. Have we all, as a nation of one of the finest cuisines to grace the world, reduced ourselves to be satiated by course grains being boiled with meat and a few spices thrown in? Banana leaf meals, awadhi spreads, kutcchi thalis, Mughlai food, chettinadu spices, malvani meals and numerous other kinds of food that I can’t even begin to mention here, being all ignored and deemed ipso facto inferior to rice-meat? It’s a bloody shame I tell you, a disgrace.

I like biriyani. I hate people who place it on a pedestal so high they can’t even reach it to take a few servings themselves. Stop the obsession.

What: Having food taken from my plate without being asked
Origin story
I’m not a picky eater anymore, but I was when I was a child. I had strong likes and dislikes, some of which persist. Back then, then often meant that poor mum would make something separate for me just so I’d eat. I knew that my portions were kind of limited and thus hated it when someone would come over and grab some food from my plate with a sense of impunity that you only in banana republic dictators. This would simultaneously anger and sadden me because now, not only did I have lesser than I thought I would, but also because I obviously couldn’t do the same to them because helloooo you’re eating something ugh and that isn’t making its way onto my tongue.

This got amplified as I grew up and realised that not everyone maintains the same standards of hygiene that I like to when it comes to eating habits. Really, they don’t. Not that mine are irrationally high or anything, but I’ve seen some things that have frightened me and I am absolutely not going to risk having those hands comes anywhere near my plate, especially without my knowledge. I’m not averse to sharing food, but I’d like to be told of your wish to partake of some of what I choose to have before your grubby paws are all over what is, for the moment, my property.

Ask, and ye shall have. Trespassers though, would be shot (dirty looks).

When I began writing this I thought I’d have a lot more hatred to channel, but I realised a lot of those things are no more than peeves. The usual, chewing loudly, honking a lot, tardiness with already agreed upon plans and leaving text conversations mid-way with no closure for days at end. Just no.

Anyway, what do you hate? List them out in the comments. Trust me, it’s cathartic. Or even if not, it’ll make a great list to give to the people around you so they can appropriately reconfigure when they’re in your company. And remember, it’s okay to hate as long as it doesn’t consume you. Make peace with hatred. It’ll never go away.

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Tanmay D

Tanmay D

I'm a 29 year old son, brother, friend and colleague who enjoys reading, playing video games and complaining about never having enough time. Read my thoughts!