"To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect." - Oscar Wilde

Monday, 8 July 2019

Melon, Almond, Peach or Grape?


Don't judge a book by its cover, for appearances can be deceptive. 
Sounds great on paper, but real life and real people can be so confusing and paradoxical!
Just when you think you've figured out a person, he does a 360 degree turn and you are left wondering if it's the same person!
Still, I think inherent personality traits could be analogized to these edible references...
Image source:Pixabay
A melon is hard outside and soft inside. 
A hard almond shell has a hard nut inside.
A juicy soft peach has a hard seed at its core. 
A grape is soft outside and inside.

Then again, whatever the personality type is, there just might be some situations, certain circumstances that challenge, make it imperative for him/her switch from their stereotype. 
Most of us are not just black or white, but varying shades of grey. A timid cow can turn into a roaring lion while a raging bull may become a docile kitten. 

Hard outside, soft inside
The ex-king of RuritaniaThis fictional character from P.G Wodehouse novels has left a lasting impression on me*. 
"The ex-king of Ruritania's position as official stander on the sidewalk outside Barribault's Hotel was one of splendour and importance." - Full Moon (Blandings Castle)
This statuesque and imposing personality is the first one you encounter when you have to enter the Barribault's Hotel which welcomes only the creme de la creme of society. The ex-king admirably performs his designated task of daunting and deterring lay mortals or "the proletariat" as Wodehouse puts it, from entering the hallowed echelons of Barribault's. His mere presence seems like rigorous scrutiny to undesirable clientele, making them squirm and spirit away. 
But then, one is relieved to note that the blue blood of the ex-King tends to run a little less blue at times. It just happens that the position he holds is a lonely one and he occasionally gets off his high horse to seek the company of lesser beings. And hey, he is a pretty normal fellow, sociable even, when he does that! 
Sometimes one needs to look past a daunting exterior, unravel it and get to the soft core. 
* I'll have to admit here, my partiality to all things Wodehouse, compelled me to select this character over other more deserving references!

Hard outside, hard inside
On the other hand, what if you took the example of the ex-King of Ruritania to heart and decided to venture into a lion's den hoping to bring out its deep-rooted/non-existent gentleness? 
I certainly can't imagine the spine-tingling, Hannibal Lecter being anything other than what he is! Brrr! Foreboding exteriors can have equally scary interiors! 
Many times you hope that difficult, adamant, hard persons will eventually turn out to be congenial, approachable, but they are like a granite stone - what you find outside is what you will find inside - hard, rigid and unbending. The kind of person most likely to lead an army to victory or head a successful enterprise.

Soft outside, hard inside 
It is extremely challenging to deal with people with a gentle demeanor and a strong heart. Yep, silk hiding the steel within. Not necessarily a negative trait but it certainly can throw you off-balance. You can misinterpret their soft exterior as a weakness and land a rude shock when you encounter the unyielding or strong center. Ask Ravana about Devi Sita, Duryodhana about Draupadi or Allaudin Khilji about Rani Padmini. Beautiful, fragile beings who couldn't be made to budge or bend against their wishes.

Soft outside, soft inside
It is no hoot being a softie and a pushover. Almost everyone, takes you for granted. Take Yudhisthira or Dharmaputra for instance. A character who was soft-natured, easily swayed, and gentle to the core. Characters you want to scream at, "Have some spine for God's sake!" Then again, in a world so chock full of hard nuts, sometimes all you need is a soft marshmallow or a gooey-centered choco lava cake with no rude surprises waiting inside! 


And then again, what is a hard or a soft trait? 
Is hardness a negative trait, one that is ruthlesss and tough to break? Or is it an armour to shield the softness within? A turtle would literally think so! 
Is a softness a trait of weakness, one that enfeebles its beholder? Or is it an enigma to flummox a tough opponent? A wolf in sheep's clothing would certainly be disconcerting!

We humans have this innate need to find good in ourselves and in our fellow beings, even the harshest ones - like looking out for rainbows when it's raining. 

So what kinda personality are you? 
A Melon, Almond, Peach or Grape? 
Maybe you're a bit of all, a fruit cocktail?
Don't know? Well, nothing really makes sense, life doesn't make sense, you've just got to fake it till you make it.




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