Just Emkaying: The one with What scares you the most ?

Mar 21, 2016

The one with What scares you the most ?

A couple of weeks ago I was at Bangalore and found myself in the midst of a most unusual conversation. Most party conversations would include good natured leg pulling, gossip or something else of a more spirited nature, etc unless the first that came to your mind reading the word "party"was to do with any political one in which we case we can't be friends anymore.

Seriously, stop watching Times Now. 

The conversation I refer to was around the topic "What scares you the most? What would be your worst fear?". When I heard the question I already had an answer that popped into my mind. It was not the speed of the answer, but what it was that made me wonder why. Many around the table had answers that you'd expect - fear of losing loved ones, fear of missing livelihood, fear of missing respect, etc. But mine was none of that - which was oddly weird.

I sat back for a bit and pondered. And by pondered I mean flickered my eyes in anticipation of having an epiphany. Zilch. My mind was already pre-occupied at that moment which much more momentous heart wrenching things, not limited to but including "Where's my old Monk?" and "Was that the last piece of chicken wings? Did he eat the last piece? Argh!". Luckily though I wasn't pushed to answer. I probably had zoned out by then and it's quite easy to spot a zoned out zombie face like mine.

That doesn't mean I forgot. Nuh -uh. 

In order to re-validate my answer at that moment, I looked at some of the other answers. The most obvious one - death. Am I afraid of death? Well yes and no. There was this lesson we learnt at school in 6th or 7th grade which presented an interesting case for thinking about death more deliberately. It said that death was the only absolute thing, guaranteed to happen. Yet no one gives a thought to it, and the mere mention of it was taboo. Logically speaking, that's the one thing that you should be thinking about, and hence planning for what kind of death you'd like is probably the best way to go about it. The rest of the tale, the protagonist thought that if he could die putting his life at the service or benefit of others, that would be the best end. Because of this clarity, if there ever was such a moment, he would seize it and achieve his goal - a perfect death by his standards.

Now I don't know about you, but death is scary. I've been an ICU once before, but the scare was more from what would happen to those who depend on me, things that I need done, etc. It hasn't been about not living anymore. Secondly, I have often pondered this question myself and one example of it would be - If I was close enough to a terrorist firing a gun, and I had the opportunity to let say tackle him or hit his head with a stone or something - would I?

Of course there is no right answer. Perhaps I would, perhaps like many others I'd run for cover to save my life, or I'd justify it as saving it for those who depend on me.You can't predetermine these things. The terrorist could have a bomb on him, or he could turn around, or maybe somebody else would do it. Though, I'd like to think that because I ponder so often on this subject, I've developed an inclination to follow the hero in the aforementioned tale, and perhaps will whack the terrorist bugger on his head and hope to damage him enough to end his killing spree, at the least. Or maybe not.

Another way to look at is what kind of death would you find scary. For example, being buried alive is terrifying, but the chances of that happening seems to balance it out.

Bottom line, death is scary, but probably isn't the most scariest thing.

The next up - fear of losing your loved ones. Now this is tricky territory and sure to have many eyebrows raised. But then again your eyebrows won't harm me and so, you may carry on. There are about 10 to 15 people I could claim to worry about if something went wrong, per se. Obviously my parents are up there right on top, so let's address that as the main thing here. Needless to say, If something were to happen to them, that would hurt me a lot. Even more than I what I assume right now. I worry when they return late home because I want them to be safe. I get angry when they do things that are risky or could harm them or if they don't see a doctor quick enough, but this is concern and love a child has for his family. Or a friend will have for a buddy, a wife for her husband and so on. Perhaps I've made peace with the fact that one day the inevitable it's going to happen, and I need to love them and keep them happy every single day.

That's a great way to live, if you ask me. 

Never end a conversation incomplete or on a sour note. Say you Hi's and your bye's as if they were your last. 

Louv conquers all!


Where was I? 

A couple of other important things in my life, (and this probably isn't the case for most of you) is I have never been in close physical proximity to my family or friends for a very long time at a stretch, the most being 3 to 4 years in one occasion. The other, is that I depend a lot on myself and a few close friends when I need to.

Them be my rocks I say!

In the same space, what about friends then you ask? Would I be scared of missing my "rocks" so to speak? It's a difficult one to ask, because over time, if you think about it, friendships widens, adjustments happen and compromises are made. Isn't that like losing the essence of a friend? If that's a reality, then the fear is meaningless. As a person I make friends easily, but the ones that really know me are about a handful. What about these handful? (And I know they are going to read this). Well I've lived every moment of these friendships as honestly and deeply as I can, and I intend to continue doing so for the rest of my life. But you can't fear inevitability, which is nature's areas of expertise.

One disclaimer though. I'm not married or in a live-in relationship, but perhaps the above logic does not hold good in that case, but let's see about that when we get there.

So no, Fear of losing loved ones is scary, but isn't the most scariest thing. Nope. 

At this point, I think it's fair to say that I might be completely wrong. I might turn mad and get a panic attack if something were to happen to one of the loved ones. But my rational brain seems to say I'll get through.

So then what is it that I'm the most scared of?

I am scared of spiders - the black widow kind where you die. And of course the fear that strikes you when unexpected things happen. I mean If I found myself being chased by a Tiger in the the forest, standing and fighting with it would be my stupidity, not an indication of lack of fear. But these are things you can't fear in the same tone as in this topic.

And tigers are charming creatures. No?

The word that came to my mind that cool Bangalore evening was "Humility". The fear of losing humility would probably be the one thing I can honestly say I am scared of. Why? Because it's happened before and probably taught me at a very young age some of the most valuable lessons I will ever learn in my life. Because arrogance makes you a terrible Human being. Because a lack of humility is a lack of respect for others, and no one deserves that. And if you think about it, losing humility is like losing yourself, and losing yourself when you are living has got to be worst than dead. In this case all the other important people in your life suffer as well.

Being humble doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have pride in who and what you are, or to be overly modest. I can't explain why it scares me so much, but the fact that I'd ever be an arrogant prick to anyone is just unacceptable. Am not saying I've mastered it, or that am very good at it but at least I want to be able to look at everyone who knows lesser that I do, or more than I do with the same curiosity, the same willingness to learn or graciousness to teach.

I'll leave it to the following people who've probably nailed it far better than I could probably ramble!

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but of thinking of yourself less." - C.S.Lewis

"Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right." - Ezra Taft Benson

"Life is a long lesson in humility." - James M Barrie

"There is a thin line between Confidence and Arrogance. It's called humility. Confidence smiles, Arrogance smirks." - Unknown



  1. Nice one! Also there would be two types of fear. One constant and one circumstantial. At the moment you think you aren't scared of anything but you never know what life has in store :)

    1. Yeah probably. You never know when you end up stuck in a place where there's no nutella. Scary that. :D