The Freedom to Choose, Or, Is It?

Image Courtesy:Dreamstime

My mom specifically asked me to get Aashirvad Aata and not Pilsbury, because the last time she got it, she was not too pleased with way the chappathis turned out. So , my instructions, according to my mom, were given clearly and I was told what to buy, and what not to buy. I made a mental note of it and drove out to the supermarket and when I reached the Aata section, I was almost taking  out a good packet of Aashirvad Aata, when suddenly, the inner me, (For convenience sake, lets give it a name, iash) said,“Are you sure it is Aashirvad?”

To which I replied,“Yes”
“Sure it was not Pilsbusry?”
“Oh god, That was what mom said right, or..Did I get it wrong, No no, she specifically said Aashirvad.”
“Did mom specifically ask you to Get Aashirvad or not to get it?”
By then, I was totally confused with the 2, so I decided to act smart, by calling up my mom and confirming it from her. But then when I asked her to repeat what she wanted, she reprimanded me for never bothering to listen to her, always disinterested in anything, mind wavering, never focused and  many more. I stood in the supermarket, silently listening to all this and out of the blue, my mom hung up on me. I was irritated. Come on, I did not listen to all this for nothing. I was patient because I knew at the end of the conversation or soliloquy, mom would give me the reply for which I had called her up in the fist case, but I was left without an answer and I prayed to God and picked up one brand after a lot of, Oh-god-please-tell-me. I finally picked up one and went home.
The point here is, when we have a lot of choices, more than making us comfortable, they end up confusing us all the more. In the above scenario, the poor girl Ashwini, *;-) was at her wits end when she couldn’t remember which was the one her mom had asked her to pick up. Wouldn’t  have life been easier if we had a limited number of choices. Another thing here is, More emphasis should have been laid on what to get, instead of emphasizing on what not to get. Believe me, that makes a difference.
You want another example of choice? Ok. Take the Objective type questions in the answer paper. Filling up the blanks would have been better, from a student’s point of view. You know the answer is 1987 and without even a second thought, you would have written it and proceeded to the next question. What if it had two option, a)1987 b)1978 or worse four options, a)1987 b)1978 c) 1897 d)1879. When you still know it’s 1897, I’m sorry 1987 you are great, but I’m sure  you would have given a second thought about the another equally probable and confusing option. The main aim of the tests conducted is to see how strong we are with our subjects, but as I said before,I  am talking from a student’s point of view.
You still want another example? Fine.
Samanth  wants to have an Ice cream in an Ice cream parlour . So he goes there and asks them what flavors they had. The person behind the counter replies,
“Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, Butterscotch, Black current, Spanish delight, Fig n honey, Rum n Raisin, Lychees, Pista, Badam, khulfi, coffee, and 10 natural ice cream flavors, Which is your preference?”
“I’ll just go with Vanilla”
“You want plain Vanilla or Vanilla with add ons”
“What add-ons?”
“ Vanilla with brownie, Vanilla with Black forest cake, Vanilla with chocolate cake, Vanilla with.., Vanilla 
“Alright, Vanilla with Brownie”
“Almond brownie, or Walnut or Chocolate brownie?”
“Chocolate Brownie”
“Plain Brownie or Sizzling Brownie?”
“Sizzling brownie”
“With nuts?”
“With Chocolate sauce”
“How many scoops of Ice cream?”
“You want the brownies cut into 2 pieces or 4 pieces?”
“Oh Man, Just get me my Ice Cream. All I wanted was a Vanilla. GET ME ONE”
“Yes sir, please wait for 10 minutes.”
“Wait? Why?”
“Because For the first 5 minutes, I want you to calm down and for the next 5 minutes I want you to repeat 
what all you just said, since there has been a power cut and I did not save your order”
Samanth stormed out of the Ice cream parlour.
As it is there are many people who take hours to arrive at a decision on just trivial things. When they have so many choices thrown up against them, they are totally at a loss, and still remain in a dilemma even after hours of deliberation. When you have just one, you know what you are looking for. But when you have too many of a thing, unless you are clear about what you want, you would end up wasting your time.
So, sometimes, Choice is  not a asset. It can be a drawback  too.
Need another example? 😉

11 thoughts on “The Freedom to Choose, Or, Is It?

Add yours

  1. I wonder, these many flavors and sub classifications are there in single ice cream. lol …
    This blog is pretty light one.. cool. And again ,a very small issue is discussed totally in a different perspective..

    good 🙂
    keep blogging !!


  2. nw d funny thing is u've 3 choices for responding2 dis blog wid a reaction
    n my ques is under which category i should register my reaction
    1.good n funny
    2.good n interesting
    3.interesting n funny
    4.oly good
    5.oly interesting
    6.oly funny …. 😛 😛


  3. @ Sri Vatsan

    You are surprised with this?There are many more flavors and combinations and add-ons.Exhaustive.
    And thank you 🙂

    @ Dilip Kumar
    Cheers 😉
    I don't mean to say, life should we devoid of choices, in certain cases, it unnecessarily complicates matters


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