I like playing with fire. My 7 year old nephew said to me some 500 times - "Aditya mamu, let's do some really dangerous experiment!" And the truth is, I love doing stuff like that too. As a 14 year kid who was too introverted to go out and play gully cricket or to talk to girls, I took respite by making my own home chemistry lab. Yeah, go ahead, call me nerdy.
My favourite experiments were (or should I say 'are') exothermic reactions - chemical reactions where a great amount of heat generated, sometimes to the point of causing an explosion. I had figured out many different ways to create fire and gas by mixing different types of chemicals.
Recently, the kids and I made hydrogen gas at home by mixing sodium hydroxide and aluminium foil. The metal and the liquid bubbled away, producing an immense amount of heat and releasing hydrogen gas. The real fun was in collecting the gas in a balloon, and then lighting it up with a match stick. Hydrogen gas lights up very quickly with a loud pop sound.
The kids couldn't stop oohing and aaahing. Instantly I became their hero, like a wizard from Hogwarts who can make fire appear from the end of his magic wand. To make the whole thing even more exciting, all I had to do was repeat a few times "stay at a distance, this is really dangerous stuff". That just made them even more curious and attentive!
There is something about dangerous things (and people) that is attractive to us. Of course, we like to keep our safe distance, but we are attracted to danger like moths to a flame.
I'm talking ghost stories, midnight treks, and halloween nights.
I'm talking about casino's, bungee-jumping and roller skating.
But I'm also talking about relationships and people.
I'm talking of people with a bad boy and dominating nature.
I'm talking of relationships which intense highs and lows.
I'm talking of emotions like anger and irritation that lure me in.
We often are attracted to people and behaviours that are toxic for us. People who don't always treat us so well, sometimes seem to be more exciting and attractive. People who make us chase after them, seem more desirable. Their unavailability makes us crave them even more.
At some level or other, we all love danger.
What is important is to be watchful of ourselves. I'm not passing any judgement of right and wrong here. I want to be more aware of things that are attractive only because they stimulate my senses, but don't really do me any good in the long run.
Risk can be assessed and calculated. But falling blindly in to the trap of toxic emotions, is something to be avoided.