About Sumita

Sumita considers herself as a writer for all reasons. She has written most of her adult life starting with a book of stories at the age of eleven. After an unsuccessful attempt to get into journalism school Sumita fell head first, into advertising copywriting and that started an affair of a lifetime (at the risk of sounding a tad cheesy). Today Sumita is a not so lean and mean writing machine displaying capabilities in many styles. Check out the offerings on display and do get back to her with your feedback and requests for writing work -

50 shades of negative

Besides the fact that some people exude negativity there is also a shade of negative that is not very overt but lies deep within the texture of the human soul. I call it the 50th shade because it is so light that it is barely discernible yet you can feel its stench even in the most polite conversations. For instance, it could go like this –

Congratulations, I heard your daughter got the scholarship. That’s wonderful news. You must be so happy.

Yes, we’re really proud of her and all that she has achieved.

You should be. By the way, wasn’t she the only female finalist this year? And it was slated to be awarded to a woman, right? But you know what, she got it. That’s all that matters.

I call this a corrosive, soul depleting compliment tinged with that 50th shade. A dear friend, who has recently opted out of my circle of who I consider my share-pretty-much-everything friend, had this habit. A lot of her so called compliments were always tinged with that 50th shade. Like she was happy but not the full nine yards and she gave a rat’s ass to whether I had won ‘Marketeer of the year’.

So why does the 50th shade really matter? I mean the world is full of such people who always begrudge. Like they didn’t think you were smart or qualified enough to sit at the success table. So…

Well it’s like this. The 50th shade in my book is the sneakiest form of negativity because it starts as a compliment and in shape and form it resembles a compliment but it never really is one. All it does is make the receiver feel small and undeserving and insignificant and no one has the right to make another individual feel that way, unless of course he’s Adolf or Stalin.

Now take a few steps back and check out the 47th shade. What makes it revolting? In my book the 47th shade has a certain snarkiness about it. It wears the look of fortitude, speaks with restraint and just when you think that you like it despite its snarkiness, out jumps the visceral negativity, like this –

Hey, guess what? The boss thinks that I did a great job with the event.

Your boss probably doesn’t have very high standards.

What do you mean? I’ve just started at the company and I’ve already organized a national level event which was attended by some of the top minds of the country.

Of course you did a great job. All I think is that your boss’s idea of great needs to be measured

I generally tune out such comments but they do have a certain soul destroying effect. I like to think it comes from people who are so unhappy with their own lives that by painting a person’s achievements with a brush stroke of negativity they feel a sense of purpose. Or perhaps they just can’t stand another person standing tall and feeling good.

Being negative comes in so many shades because it takes all kinds…..






1 Comment
  • Shilpi

    March 10, 2017 at 3:12 pm Reply

    That struck a chord !

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