Dearly deluded, you are a delight.

Dearly deluded, you are a delight.

By Bikram Vohra

Published: Fri 11 May 2018, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 11 May 2018, 2:00 AM

I don't mind delusions. I like them. In fact, I often delude myself into believing I am wealthy, super smart, extremely charming, have a great sense of humour and a few other things we won't go into right now. All too often, the position we hold or the wealth we have accessed leads us into an even deeper delusion about our role in the great scheme of things. We actually believe people get up all around the world in the morning to hear us crow. I have never ceased to be fascinated by how much wisdom is accrued in those who suddenly become rich or famous or win a lottery. From two digit IQs to flaming geniuses - in one fell swoop. Their opinion, however cockeyed, now is legitimate and has gravitas.
I am sitting in party solitude mode (which means I am there but not sure why, and I am mute witness to party prattle) and this person is telling us how he has to get to Mumbai by the morning flight; it is imperative because this high-profile businessman-cum-magnate-cum-household-word is having a funny-coloured wedding anniversary and how upset he will be if this guy does not fetch up for this 2,000-people celebration worth a king's ransom.
And being the kind of meanie that I am, when the hosts says, no, no, no, no IPL, cricket is boring, let's make meaningful talk instead, I am thinking nasty stuff like, really, you think this billionaire is waking up tomorrow and saying to his wife, darling, you think that dope is coming, if he doesn't I'll be so upset, maybe we will have to cancel the party, let me check if he caught the flight.
How do you tell this gentleman as he bites into a chicken tikka piece and elaborates how he and the big "billyanair" are like this (fingers crossed), that the odds greatly favour his not even being a blip on the hosts' radar and no one cares a whistle in the wind whether he comes or not.
Yet, we come across this stunning self sell so often, this desire to package oneself as supra-important when you truly are not.
That is when it gets funny. Like I love indispensable people. They make party solitude so much easier to bear. They also make for great laughter and never realise how absurd they sound. You hear people giving themselves away and you can keep count. Even as you read this, you can identify someone you know who behaves in this sort of fashion. Some sundry examples:
* I have to call on them in Portland, they'll be so upset if I don't fetch up (you probably will be ruining their weekend and they will be so teed off you are in their town, wanna bet on it).
* My boss depends on me, he values my opinion (how can anyone be so unutterably naïve, your boss does not give a spit in the wind about you, he is using you like a tissue).
* My friends are always asking for my advice, any problem and I get called (yeah, sure).
* As usual, I had to save the situation, they were stuck without me (probably created the crisis in the first place and had the solution ready). 
I recently met this person and he was talking about the 'architect' of the success graph in the company he works for and how he has suddenly been unfairly dumped by the board and the company will never be the same again, it is doomed, all downhill from now on.
And since I can't be silent, I say, you are kidding, right, you don't really mean it.
He says, of course, I do, the company can't pull through without him, he was the best, it will be a shell, no one can fit into his shoes.
No problem, I say, just throw his shoes away and get another pair.
I get no laughter. Instead, he says, you wouldn't understand, he was indispensable.
What do you say to people like this? I want to tell him the company will not only pull through, it will probably flourish and they will get rid of everything that reminds them of him and a few weeks down the road they won't even recall he had ever been there, let alone been the architect. He will enter the ranks of 'whatshisname', that fellow who was pretty okay but no big deal.
So far, I have dramatically failed to figure out what makes these people tick. How can anyone be so capable of such self-delusion?
Like I am fondly imagining hundreds of thousands of people all over the world reading me this Friday morning and saying, wow, what a guy.

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