Critics are real ‘smart’ people….they think they know what you should have done and how you should have done it….what you should be like and how it is that you should behave….how you should talk, walk, laugh, dress up and how you should not be doing this that way or that this way etc…etc….it is their job to poke their runny noses in your work and be by your side constantly like a cursed shadow that eclipses the happiness of your living. It is hard enough having to live to critics that are external to your existence but imagine the pains in the butt that they can be when they live right inside of you. Imagine your own self torn in several pieces – one part is the creator, and several other parts are acting as critics each with a different point of view of how you should have done a particular thing. It is a nasty business, trust me.
Like for instance, there are 3 identifiable (there might be many more who surface once in a while and then disappear for a long time only to reappear most unexpectedly) critical personalities that I can name, who reside right inside my head. First is: Darth ‘Hannibal’ Vader – He is always the first to comment on how I am perfectly incompetent to handle the given assignment and tries his best to discourage me from going ahead elaborating on the number of ways that I could ruin it accompanied by similar examples of less-than-perfect executions in the past. His constant readiness for war of arguments is only equaled by his repulsive desire to constantly chew my brains when I am not in a mood to retaliate. Having him around is a continuous reminder of what a wonderful personification I am, of God’s amazing sense of humor and how Shakespeare would gladly coronate me as the full-blown human representation of the phrase “comedy of errors”.
Even if I manage to evade the Vader somehow, there’s no escape from Cruella Sugarpie. She is sweetly cruel in the way she manipulates me into thinking that every possible road that I could take to accomplish my task is laden with boulders of problems and that my tender self is incapable of fighting those enormous difficulties (again with enough citations from my past though from a deceptively empathetic point of view). With sugar coated criticism of my abilities, she begins her demolition work right from the assessment of my personality and qualities down to my traits and idiosyncrasies. And she supports it finely with her poisoned honey of concerns about the consequences that my failure would inflict on my precariously placed self-confidence. Curtly put, she is a critic in the garb of a guardian angel….
And then there is Agent Smith. Extremely articulate both in his words and deeds, mostly known to swing in action after I complete something that I could dare to be happy about. He is cold and menacing and attacks my work in clones of varidirectional criticism and since I am no ‘Neo’, I can’t even conveniently turn into superman/woman and fly away. I try my own lousy version of the ‘flo-mo’ escapism (for the uninitiated, it is the act of dodging bullets) from his criticism or the ‘freeze frame’ (the one that Trinity does superbly) counter argument kick. But Smith is relentless and I think that until I revolutionize my entire matrix of work to the ultimate perfection (which is frankly never going to be) it will be impossible to destroy him forever.
There are so many others too though not as distinct and vividly characterized as the above mentioned three, who I must say make me believe in the concept of hell. Even while writing this blog post, you should have seen the ruckus they created inside my head about the quality, the flow, the usage of words in general and the unflattering assessment of their personalities, in particular. ‘Rotten’, ‘Unimaginative’, ‘Definitely plagiarized’, ‘unoriginal’, ‘childish, immature’, ‘misrepresentation of reality’, ‘blasphemous lie’ were some of the adjectives I got for this post….just a brief glimpse of what it is like to be constantly judged…that too by the very ‘you’…..Welcome to my world!!
P.S. Darth, Cruella and Smith wish to add one must “Keep friends close and keep critics closer” and since they are with me every single moment of my life, I should consider myself extremely lucky and be grateful instead of bad-mouthing them in this supposedly-funny way. Amen.