I am in trouble. Some of my most valued virtues have become my vices since the last week. This post is my confession. Take this as a warning before you go down this spiral path of addiction.

Disclaimer: All incidents described in this post are real. Any resemblance to you or other persons in your life is not merely a coincidence, but a sign that you need to take severe measures against those.

What are these dangerous virtues?

    1. Love for languages
    I was totally under the impression that this is a useful quality. I can become a better communicator in the languages I already know, and learn new languages fast.

    I already read, write, and speak 3 languages fluently. I can read, write, and impress people with my perfect pronunciation of another language. I understand one more enough to see if people standing behind me in the line are making fun of me. I can read and comprehend one more to keep an eye out on my colleagues from that country in case they start plotting to get rid of me. What more could I ask for!

    I could have asked for being happy with what I got. I could have asked for being bored by movies with subtitles. I would have asked for disinterest in anything that I cannot comprehend instantly. But no, no, no. That’s just not how I roll!

    Last Monday, when I wanted to write my Magic Monday post, I decided that instead of playing music I want to play something on Netflix which I do not understand. It will remain as a white noise in the background and will not distract me. So I played the first suggestion Netflix gave me for entertainment in a foreign language – “Grand hotel”.

    Obviously, I had to find out which language it is in so I watched the first scene of this Spanish TV series. And damn you, Netflix! Those 5 minutes got me hooked. It has been an addiction since then. Soon I am going to add Spanish in my repertoire of languages. And the way this is going, I have a feeling I am going to master it unlike some other languages I claim to know.

    2. Focus
    Focus is a good thing. In fact, it is a great quality. I can remain focused at a task at hand for hours at a stretch. Taking breaks is not my style. I forget what hunger and thirst feels like. I stop only when I finish what I had set my eyes on. Nothing and no one can distract me. Don’t you wish you, too, had such focus?

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Within the last week, this focus has become my enemy. I am consumed by one goal and that goal only: to learn more Spanish. I also want to do it the real way – through conversation. And what better way of getting there than watching – yup, you guessed it right – the “Grand hotel”!

    I have watched this series until my eyes cannot stay open any longer, and wake up early in the morning super motivated to make up for the waste of time called sleep. I tell you with such dedication and persistence I am going to become what I dreaded the most until now – a “workaholic”. I need intervention!

    3. Do it right or don’t do it at all
    I am married to this philosophy. Who wants to make a half-hearted attempt? Definitely not me! If I have chosen to do something, I must do everything in my power to ensure that the outcome is splendid.

    This attitude has been detrimental lately.
    I have been coupling the vast information base called websites with the gripping drama called – yes, you guessed it right once again – the “Grand hotel”!

    Who are these phenomenal actors? Ask IMDB.
    Was Spanish culture really like this in 1905? Ask Wikipedia.
    How do Spanish people pronounce “c” in “Alicia”? Ask Google.

    Needless to say that for every 40 minutes spent on Netflix, I am spending about 20 on internet. I am not going to lie, this has become my second full time job when I am not doing my first one.

What’s the cure? Nada, nothing, zilch!

There is no ransom “grand” enough to get my life back. (Oh God! I am even making puns now.)

When I was sane enough to think about life beyond “Grand hotel”, I remember telling myself “Don’t think too much about it, just do it!” That’s exactly what I am going to do – finish the last episode available.

The good news is I will get to it in about 5 minutes after I finish this confession. Do NOT expect any reply back from me within the next hour or two. But I do expect to get some feedback from you about the last time your life was kidnapped. How in the world did you get it back?

© 2014 Manasi Kakade
Photo credit: Sean Molin Photography via photopin cc