5word5 theme 10 – Neutral

Below are some of the dictionary definitions of ‘Neutral’:
1. not supporting or helping either side in a conflict, disagreement, etc.; impartial
2. having no strongly marked or positive characteristics or features.
3. pale grey, cream, or beige
4. a disengaged position of gears in which the engine is disconnected from the driven parts
5. Neither acidic nor alkaline (in chemistry)

Basically, ‘Neutral’ refers to a state of rest, a kind of equilibrium where external influences are not at play.

Your car in neutral is disengaged from the engine and therefore at rest. A neutral colour palette usually doesn’t go wrong – whether it’s for a party or a more sombre occasion. A neutral cleaning solution (in chemistry terms) does not react easily with external factors and is therefore healthier, easier on your skin – really, Google it or read more about it here!

Neutrality in a court of law is paramount, otherwise people would lose faith in the judiciary. Being neutral in relationships is hard, especially when you are emotionally invested with people on both sides – divorce, breakups, strained relationships always bear down heavily on more than just the two people involved. Staying neutral and avoiding impulsive reactions when agitated or provoked can save many unnecessary confrontations and unpleasant interactions.

Net neutrality was a big deal some time back though it got pushed into the back burner with other issues subsequently (CAA/NRC, Covid….). Should you get faster internet and access to wider and better content if you pay more or are a commercial client as opposed to an individual user or based in a tier 1 city rather than a tier 2 city? Or should all users of internet be treated on par?

There is a lot of emphasis on carbon neutrality these days – lead a green life by reducing your carbon footprint. Here’s a ready reckoner I often find myself going back to on some easy-peasy ways to lead a more sustainable life!

Gender-neutrality is another buzzword in organizational communication nowadays. Gender-neutral language is language that minimizes assumptions about the social gender or biological sex of people referred to in speech or writing. And gender-neutrality is the idea that policies, social construct and gender roles should not distinguish between people based on their gender. Less judgement all around can never be a bad thing, can it?!

Political neutrality, much like staying neutral in personal relationships, is when a nation decides to remain neutral and not participate in the ongoing conflicts of other warring nations. At an individual level, being politically neutral or apolitical is having no political affiliations or biases. But neutral politics is nothing but an oxymoron!

With all those different applications of Neutral, let’s dive right into the 5word5 stories that we all came up with! Being theme 10 of the series, I was really hopeful of getting at least 10 entries but looks like I’ll now have to wait for silver jubilee to do a ’25 @ 25′ sorta thing!!

Images courtesy Google. Collage courtesy befunky.com


Only he had both the means and skills to change the fate and face of the country. The ruling party needed his brains but only as a puppet in their shrewd hands. And the unscrupulous opposition needed him for their image makeover. Choosing either would be a disservice. So he quietly moved to another country.

Dhiraj (blog)

Never should you encourage partisanship,
Even if it’s your best friend or nearest kin,
Under the Hammer they are to establish Guilt,
The law can take a while,
Rarely should your judgement be indiscriminate,
All said and done, us and them doesn’t tire,
Losing friends is fine, if they are the ones dousing the fire.

Anusha Arvind

The noise level had surpassed tolerable limits. The constant drill and banging sounds from the new neighbours made her extremely furious. Everyone in the building was complaining but she decided to stay neutral about it. In a few days, she found out that her new neighbour was partially deaf. Sometimes silence is the better option.

Julie P

The catalogued evidence pointed towards the accused. A perfect murder by jilted ex-lover of a certain community. A section of the media had already declared the verdict. Even Malti uttered those dreaded words last night. A strong motive seemed amiss. That would be the litmus test for the verdict, his religious beliefs and professional principles.

Nimesh Balaji Shinde

As night creeps in…
emotions seep in…
You lie down…
Scrolling through the screen…
Mind wanders aimlessly…
Thoughts change gears in your head…
and suddenly they switch to neutral…
The world goes numb…there’s no stopping of your scrolling thumb…
Lost love
Lost opportunity
Lost friendship…
Every night you get Lost in the same neutral routine….

Vibha Laljani

A Classic
Two cats were fighting over a cake. A passerby monkey offered impartial resolution by splitting the cake into 2 halves. The monkey got the split slightly uneven, took a bite to try to even it out, got it uneven again and repeated the process till the cake was gone. Was the monkey neutral?

My musings

Aruna and her Mom were very attached. But her Dad wasn’t wrong in the many ugly fights that ended in a divorce. She was torn apart emotionally.
Nothing heals like time. Now five years later, she has earned from both her parents unequivocal love, trust and respect for her impartial mature behaviour in the past.


Jaanvi was reading a book called “Walking on Eggshells”. Suddenly, she overheard someone yelling. She was puzzled about what’s happening around. Her parents were screaming at each other. She wanted to cry desperately, but she maintained being calm and reminded herself to be neutral. Jaanvi gave a bottle of water to them and resumed reading.


Next theme coming your way…..

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