I Fear . . .

fear

 

Do you fear irrationally? Let me rephrase that.

 

Have you ever felt that some of your fears are irrational? Maybe a little bit baseless and you’re perhaps being a little superstitious (or something similar)? Click To Tweet

 

I’m not talking about the generally-known, let’s say common fears – so not about things like heights, dark places, and the likes. But, the slightly off-beat ones. Or rather weird ones. Like, in my case, roller coasters.

 

(Yes, you read that right).

 

Actually, that might not be completely true. I don’t hate roller coasters. In fact, I enjoy watching them. But most of the times, from a distance. And preferably with some sort of barricade between us. I also enjoy watching the reaction of the people on roller coasters. There’s something rather joyful about the way they behave. Even in those screams, there’s a certain masked thrill, I suppose. And much like some others, a roller coaster is probably one of the few ‘activities’ where we can possibly measure success from the decibels of the screams of the rider.

 

Yes, I’m scared. I don’t think I’ve always been this way though. I remember, with vivid clarity that too, getting on roller coasters as a child and how much of a tantrum I’d throw if I couldn’t get on one. In fact, there used to be the mega-hyped-about coaster in a theme park in the UAE (I’m talking about in the late 80/early 90s). I can’t remember too much of it, but it had this massive O loop that the seating train had to go through a number of times. And almost every person who exited the coaster would stumble on their feet as if they had a little too much to drink. And their reactions were usually, as a certain credit card company would say, “priceless”. (Except the ones who would sometimes throw up, of course)

 

As a child, you sometimes get curious about why everyone reacted that way. And sometimes, you’d even think (buoyed by a false sense of confidence) that you could possibly go through it and come out unscathed. There’s that sense of misplaced ‘ignorance’ that stops us from thinking about the consequences. Every kid goes through that phase – the age may differ, but we’ve all been through that. And what makes you more curious is when the ride operator looks at you and says You’re too small/young’ for this ride. I don’t think I can possibly explain the feeling at that moment, but it’s something that’s rather hard to digest. It’s like a weird sense of rejection.

 

So, as I grew older, I grew more determined to visit ever damn theme park I could and get on every single roller coaster possible. And to some extent, I did. I’ve lost track of the number of roller coasters that I’ve gone on over the years. Oh, and the types – at the risk of sounding a bit like Trump so, so many. Ones with multiple infinity-style loops, one where your feet are dangling as you feel like you’re stuck between the talons of a giant eagle that’s decided to somersault mid-flight, upside-down ones – you name it, I’ve probably been on it.

 

Until, one fine day, I stopped.

 

*pause for effect* 😉

 

Alright, this is going to sound ridiculous, but a certain ‘movie’ messed with my head. Now, I’m sure some of you (especially the ones who’re usually excited about predicting the end of a book or story) could have probably guessed which one it is. And you’re right. It was Final Destination. Now, I am a person who voluntarily stays away from horror. Movies, books, shows. I mean, I’m someone who freaked out over Zee Horror Show back in the 90s. I am probably (and quite literally) the ONLY person in the history of that show to get spooked by it. And as far as horror stuff goes, that’s pretty much the funniest horror show ever. I mean, you could literally see the ketchup drip from the actors’ faces. My son dressed up as a ghost for Halloween was more spooky than that show by the Ramsay brothers. But yeah, it did the trick as far as young me was concerned.

 

What really spooks me about horror movies/books/images is this one big thing. And it’s a classic case of ‘It’s not you, it’s me’. I have a hyperactive imagination when it comes to all things spooky. So, the part where I get scared isn’t usually during the movie. It’s after that. Like when I’m lying in bed at night, and it’s dark and I suddenly feel thirsty and realise I have to go to the kitchen to get water. Or when there’s a sudden noise in another room. I know it sounds silly, but it’s like there’s this part of my brain that refuses to switch off when the other part says, ‘It’s just a movie. Or a book.’

 

Anyway, moving back to rollercoasters, I don’t remember which one it is (can’t believe they made like five or six in that series, where the overall plot is – you can’t escape death. Or in their case, gruesome death), but that movie put it in my head that every roller coaster I get on is potentially a time bomb waiting to go off.

 

Okay, before you smirk, I know how silly that sounds. I think so too. Because, in theory, I’m more likely to be driven over by a car (provided the driver doesn’t care much about denting their car in the process) or be bitten by a stray dog than a couple of nuts and bolts coming off my rollercoaster seat and me plummeting to my death. Yet, I still pet dogs and cross the roads on a fairly regular basis.

 

I know it’s probably all in my head. Okay, it *is* all in my head. But it’s been at least 10 years since I last got on a rollercoaster. And it’s not for the lack of trying. Every time I see one, I try to tell myself that I should do it. That it’s going to be okay. But somehow I always chicken out.

 

I guess that’s the same challenge with a lot of things in life too. A certain fear of the ‘unknown’, I suppose. Or things not going the way you expect it to.

 

But on life’s karmic rollercoaster, you just buckle up and brace yourself for the ride, quietly screaming in your head in the hope that at some point, it will stop and you will stumble out, a little woozy and dizzy, but with an experience that nothing else can give.

 

Maybe that’s the way to tackle everything. Just jump in and face it.

 

*imagines being stuck in a room full of spiders*

 

Yeah, maybe not for everything. But certainly worth a try sometimes.

 

So, do you have an irrational fear? Or two? 


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31 Comments

  1. That one paragraph I cannot copy and paste here had me going yes yes YES! after every sentence. The one about horror movies. Guess what? I haven’t watched horror movies in years. No. That is not true. I haven’t been watching them for over 10-12 years because I have this friend named imagination who is merciless, but, I watched Ragini MMS 2 and freaked out last year (Ya ya). I couldn’t get anything done for about 2 months. I even feared that my sister sleeping next to me was possessed for about a month. I feel you Sid. And thank you so much for finally being the only person who can understand. *Wipes tears*

    I have other fears too. I sometimes don’t get sleep, hear sounds of passing vehicle, think that its a tsunami approaching and freak out. I think about how I’ll grow old, everyone in my life would vanish and I’ll be alone. Completely. You want a list? I can write a blog post. (What have you done?:P)

  2. First things first – no, you are not the ONLY person who got spooked by the Zee Horror Show. I was particularly scared of one Aghori baba on there, he haunted me for years!So there…you’ve got company.

    But as far as the roller coasters are concerned, I personally LOVE them, so I don’t think anything or anyone can take that away from me. Well, okay, possibly a really convincing horror book/movie can. Allrite, allrite, who am I kidding..it doesn’t even have to be convincing – I was scared of the ketchup that the Ramsay brothers passed off for blood..so there.

    Now coming to irrational fears – as a kid I was very scared of getting into elavators. In my mind – and I know this sounds ridiculous – people got sucked into the fan of the elevators. So for the longest time – I always took the stairs.

  3. Well, we have more things in common. These joy ride (as they are called) do not excite me at all. I have a fear that I will fall off. Silly I know but I don’t try. I just don’t.
    Horror movies – I am okay watching but it stays with me so I hear you on that. I loved how you drew that analogy to the karmic roller coaster of life. So true those words are. A good reflective post, Sid.

    1. Not silly at all, Parul. I’ve wondered what happens if that ‘lock’ comes off, or that seat belt doesn’t hold.

      Oh, well. Gotta face some of our fears I guess.

      Thanks, Parul.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

  4. I may not be afraid of roller coasters. Afraid meaning I will get onto them but will be screaming at the loudest pitch out of fear. But I was definitely spooked by Vikranta Rai Jabbar, if you remember where this name comes from. And there was also a show called ‘Aahat’ on Sony during that time which was more spookier. I stay away from horror –
    books and movies both. My mantra – why to give such fooder to the imagination? What else do I fear – ummm…snakes hiding under my bed (the possibility of which is zero). It was last year during the monsoon that too many cobra kids were found roaming around in my complex. This is the source of my fear.

    1. Oh yea, I remember that. *shudders*

      That’s true. Why give fodder indeed? But sometimes curiousity really gets the better of us and we end up.

      Ouch – that fear is a real possibility. Stay safe, Anamika. Well, monsoon is over 🙂
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

  5. Oh yes! I am with you on this one. I have many fears or dislikes. Roller coasters are one of them. I really dislike them and would never get on one willingly or unless it is really slow. I also dislike horror movies. Final Destination really scared the hell out of me. I don’t mind crime, mystery, thrillers but somehow horror grosses me out. I don’t have fear of spiders but I don’t like any creepy crawlies. More yucky, I would think. I also fear water. I remember that my weirdest dream was of drowning. Weird because I know swimming. I also fear closed, dark spaces. Okay I don’t like where this train of thought is heading.:)

    But I think the more worrisome thing is that I worry so much, often over seemingly inconsequential stuff. I need to get that under control.

    1. Hello Sid,
      Loved this post, especially the humour 😊 Very relatable. I have many irrational fears (public speaking and snakes coming out of nowhere gives me the heebie-jeebies) but the fear of rollercoasters isn’t one of them. I live in a small town so I haven’t sat on many mind boggling rides bur enjoyed whatever experience I have had thoroughly and looking forward to more 🙂 I’m with you on horror books/movies/series and very rarely read/watch it. Aahat scared me when I was a kid so I hear you.

      1. Thank you, Sujata!

        Okay, you’ve just added some more to my irrational fears 😉

        Fair point – here’s to hoping you get to ride more kickass rides.

        Ah, a fellow aahat-spook. I hear ya.
        Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

    2. Yay! Another one for the anti-rollercoaster squad.

      *does a cheer*

      Yeah, Final Destination was more gory perhaps, than spooky. You fear water despite knowing swimming? Who’d have thought!

      [haha, I’ve been doing that too – relating more and more fears since I started writing this post]

      Good luck, Rachna. I’m sure you’ll get it under control soon.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

  6. Final destination! I never thought of that. Thanks for transfering that fear. Hmmpph
    I do love roller coaster rides… The scarier the better. But i haven’t ridden once in 4 years so I don’t t know if I will survive one now. Maybe water rides are my thing now. That fear of uncertainity can sneak up at anytime… It really messes with the brain. Better keep it at bay.

  7. Lovely read this one! 😀 ME LIKES!!
    My sister would be the one throwing up 😐 and still be excited about roller coasters! I don’t mind roller coasters but I cant stand the ferry wheel, imagine. Ferry wheel is something supposedly easy and a cake walk but that feeling when it went down slowly. GOD! I was terrified!
    I know that feeling of rejection!!! I was at this fair (there were no malls in the early 90s) and that operator looked at me and said you don’t take the plane, take the boat. I scowled and screamed and yelled!
    I HATE YOUR PAUSE FOR EFFECT BTW.
    Ketchup drip from the actor’s faces! BWAHAHAHA.
    Bomb on a roller coaster? Like really? SID?
    Okay I have sooo many irrational ones. BUT But But I shall not disclose:P

    1. Of course you do. You really like it when I write pieces like these. You’ve told me that before 🙂

      Oh, I know where I’m taking you next. Giant Ferris wheel. Woohoo! 😛

      PS: I suspect I know some of your irrational fears
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

  8. Let’s see, what am I scared of? Driving through flooded roads – I’m always afraid the road may have caved in and my car and I may just drown in one of those huge craters! Crazy, no?

    Final Destination – just the first 2 movies – did have some horribly scary (and probable) deaths. The ones later were a huge stretch! There are only so many ways you can make a “coincidental” death play out, right?

  9. Oh yes, I am scared of roller coasters, too! When I was a kid, I would happily climb into one and stand in the little cubicle, or whatever it was back then, and peer down to see the tiny people. I was not scared back then. But, now…I too keep a safe distance.
    Horror movies frighten me, too. I feel at times, that if I watch one in the day time, I won’t be scared. But what I tend to forget then, is that after day comes night, when I might need to get up to visit the bathroom or the kitchen. What will I do then? Paranormal Activity and Conjuring gave me several sleepless nights and nightmares.
    I also fear fire, and speed and heights. More about that later, in a post on my blog, I guess!
    So, don’t you worry, Sid. You are not alone! 🙂

    1. Haha! As kids, I suppose we’re a lot more curious than we are as adults. I’m sure I’ve explored the train of the rollercoasters too.

      Oooh…you saw Paranormal activity? Woah! More power to you, Shilpa.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

  10. I just want to pull your cheeks and ruffle your hair for writing this 🙂

    Okay, so here we go. I’m terrified of rollercoasters too. I’ve got on it once, eons ago and hated it! I also hate all rides that have a human come down from up. Going up, I don’t mind much but hell yeah, you need to get back down right? I hardly get on rides when I end up at an amusement park. Watching them is no less. I have no idea what pleasure those morons get.

    Horror scares me too. After watching ‘The Conjuring’, I couldn’t sleep for two nights and keep looking on top of the cupboard expecting to see the ghost there. Spiders don’t scare me much, well unless it is Aragog!

    I fear darkness the most. Scares the bejesus outa me. I might look strong and all, but yeah I do have my list of irrational fears. Quite a lot of them infact.

    1. WHAT! Yes, in caps, WHAT! . I thought you were the more adventurous types. Well, well, this is a surprise.

      The horror one I get – we’ve discussed at some point. Along with the darkness. I’m glad I have you for company 🙂
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

  11. I am scared of Roller Coasters and any kinds of slides. My ticket is totally wasted in a park. The last time I was there, my brother-in-law convinced me to get onto a kiddie roller coaster and I told him I am scared. But, I let him take me to the roller coaster. I screamed so much out of fear that my brother-in-law thought I will get an attack or something. I vowed never to get on one. I have been scared of slides since I was 5. So, you are not alone.

    1. Slides, I reckon I’m okay with. Especially water ones. Unless they’re in a tunnel. Okay, so maybe no so much 🙂
      Haha! I bet your brother-in-law is never going to ask you to get on a rollercoaster ever again.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

  12. You’re not alone. I hate Rollercoasters. Especially after I got on one for the first time. Gave me nightmares. And strange that you mention it but after my depression episode, I couldn’t watch trauma inducing movies of any sorts. They act as a trigger and send me into a spiral of fear, of sorts. They awaken repressed memories and things I’d rather keep buried. I stay away from horror films for this reason.

    So not all fears are rational and it’s perfectly fine to feel that way. You’re just human.

    *Nice to see you back to writing again. 🙂

    1. You do too? I’m quite surprised by the number of people who have an aversion to rollercoasters.
      Oh, I get that. They’re worse as it is, without needing external triggers too.

      Thanks, Shy. Need to keep at it.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

  13. I feel you, bruh. You don’t know how much.

    Let me make you feel better about yourself: I have gotten on less rollercoasters in my life than the number of toes I have. AND I NEVER PLAN TO GET ON ANOTHER ONE NO MATTER HOW MANY PEOPLE LAUGH AT ME AND NO MATTER HOW AWESOME THE RIDE IS SUPPOSED TO BE. Can you tell, from the shouty capitals, that I’m deathly scared of those stupid loopdiloops? Goddamn things are hazards, what if you’re upside down and the safety rail comes off (COME ON THIS IS INDIA, EVERYTHING IS MADE CHEAP AND BEST)?? I will fall to my death, I DON’T EVEN HAVE A PARACHUTE.

    I’m not trying to funny, really. These contraptions should be banned *shudders*

    Speaking of horror stories. I can’,t for the life of me, figure out why people would voluntarily want the bejesus scared out of them. Zee Horror Show? That stupid Chucky scares me. Yes, present tense. I hate the entire genre and then I did the unfortunate thing of marrying someone who loves horror. Now, I watch so many horror movies from under my blanket (I use music cues and the time of the day in the movie to know when to look up) and then spend an hour crying later than night (or when drunk) about how scary something I accidently saw was. And when the lights are off, I always have my back to the wall. ALWAYS.

    YES I AM CHICKEN, NO, I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR IT.

    Sorry about the rant, I sort of feel deeply about these causes 😛
    I also love your funny asides btw 😀

    1. Well, hello there Cookie! And high five 🙂 It’s always a pleasure to meet someone who treats ‘fear’ with the respect that it deserves.

      And, don’t worry about the length of the comment; long-ass comments are the best! Good seeing you here.
      Sid recently put up this awesome post : I Fear . . .My Profile

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