Friday, June 29, 2007

The Art of Gossip

Man is a social animal, they say.

I want to contest this judgment, or rather, desire to modify it to a practical statement.

Man is a social animal who loves gossip.

Like golf, one does not have to be very good at gossiping to enjoy it. I would rather say, if you're a decent listener, you can derive more satisfaction out of gossip. Gossip is fairly easy to practice. It does not need special arrangement as to place or time. Better place, time and occasion can introduce finer flavours to the recipe, but they are not absolutely essential. Art of gossip brings out creativity in you beyond compare: it takes some practice (apart from courage) to gossip about a person with your buddies in his (or her) presence. Masters of this art can debate for hours together on whether gossip should contain hints of truth or should it be a pure act of imagination. Either ways, no doubt it brings collective best out of a group.

Like alcohol, perhaps, gossiping goes to head and achieves the highly desirable state of mind. No doubt it's addictive, worse for the victim, since it can happen any time, anywhere, appealing against it is next to impossible task. Fortunately, for regular gossipers there is no law that lays down guidelines. If there were any, I am sure, the lawmaker would have become the first victim to appeal against incessant gossiping about him in public.

Since man is a social animal first, and then a born gossiper, gossip needs a group. Without a group gossip cannot and does not thrive. Have you imagined a lonely person whispering to himself about some person X's recent confrontation with person Y that never happened? You wouldn't possibly hear that. As gossip cannot grow with only a single individual, too many cooks too will spoil this delicacy.

Noting these many things about gossip, I wonder if gossip can really be called as an addiction. Probably yes, for it does have some resemblance with the habit of drinking that has gone overboard. You drink too much and the next day you wake up to rather unbearable head-ache (this is second-hand information, so you should take this with a pinch of salt and a glass of wine). Similarly, you over-indulge in gossip and if it leaks to the target, you may end up in severe headache of having to patch-up with that target!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the last punch line is great ...
buddy how are you doing? i have been regular reader of your posts and you rock.. especially your own observations about life and the things are great .. take my compliments with a cup of tea.