In my days working in a women’s magazine, I’ll never forget the New Age inspired colleague who once told me: I can feel your negative vibrations. Positivity is overrated, I snapped back. Back then I never took anyone who wore fishnet stockings to work seriously.

While I’m still not spinning in sync with anyone’s chakras all these years later, I’ve recently been rethinking one of my key life philosophies. These days I’m trying out positivity to see how it fits. So you guys can go ahead and rant about how Anurag Kashyap’s short film That Day After Everyday doesn’t really provide any solutions to the pervasive menace of sexual harassment; you can be cynical about India’s first Mars Mission; and you can pick a million holes in Tanishq’s remarriage-themed advertisement. You can slam the Food Security Bill, yell conspiracy! every time you spot an Aadhaar number, fight savagely about who can lay claim to Vallabhbhai Patel’s legacy and groan about the quality of Indian men on Mallika Sherawat’s television show (maybe I’ll join you on this last one).

Me, I’ll be ensconsed in my cozy, fuzzy blanket that blocks out your incessant whining most effectively. I’ll still be smiling beatifically when you read this and rush to take apart my attempt to pass on the good vibrations. Please do feel free to list every rant you’ve encountered in this space before; I don’t expect any less from you.

Of course I’m not indifferent to India’s massive inequalities—or our many mediocrities. But I’ve updated the background score of my life from the dull drone of your finger-pointing to Babyjaan’s Kannada-accented sing-song: “Good morrrrning, namaskaaaara". I’m deeply affected by Mint Lounge’s recent Giving Issue. It’s so inspiring to meet people who are working for actual change—instead of interacting with folks who constantly crib about how things will never change.

Author Barbara Ehrenreich may be one of my reporting gurus but I believe she would probably have replaced the word Positive with Negative in her book titled Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America if she lived in and was writing about India.

Most of my favourite authors including Cormac McCarthy and Rohinton Mistry stay as far from positivity as they possibly can, but maybe that’s because the idea of positivity feels like it’s only fit to feature in a Chetan Bhagat novel or a Norman Vincent Peale self-help bible. Delink it from phrases like “going gaga", I say. I gathered the courage to flip through Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking before I wrote this piece. Believe in yourself, don’t be hampered by your inferiority complex, he says. I couldn’t read much further. Positivity deserves better. More negative people like me need to embrace it quickly and give it some character.

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