Friday, May 14


What do you do when you are angry?

a. Scold or criticize those near you?
b. Scream?
c. Hit yourself/others/objects/animals?
d. Fight with everyone you can see?
e. Throw things around?
f. Go for a walk/ride/drive?
g. Cry?
h. Sit quietly in one place and meditate?

The list is not exhaustive, as I’m certain there are many creative people who find myriad ways to displace or vent their anger.

I usually end up being curt with people around me when I’m angry – be it the object of my anger or anyone else. And knowing that, I go into my shell and frequently keep mum when I find it hard to control my emotional outburst. There are times when I really can’t stop the tears from streaming down (yes, even in anger!) and I shiver with rage. Quite a furious cat, I am. Ask my family… They’ll tell you horrendous tales about me.

(Don’t bother. I’m kidding, they won’t tell tales. They love me despite my arrogance and temper tantrums.)

Being angry is an emotion that can be summarized in two words, but cannot be described effectively in even a hundred. It’s so easy to say that one is/was angry, but the intensity and consequences are left for the listener to imagine and visualize.

For example, the last time I met someone who was realllllly angry, I almost got knocked off. He was offended about something I had said/done, and when I tried to pacify him by moving closer, he waved me off in a motion that almost floored me. No black and blue patches, thankfully, but I am quite sure anybody else in my place would have caught a fist in the jaw. And imagine, that person loved me… So, you see, one truly can’t trust anybody in an enraged state.

Then there was this other time when I was a lot younger and my uncle and I were traveling from Mumbai to Pune. Now you know how these tourist buses and Volvos are. They seat you in with false promises and then keep waiting for the maximum number of passengers before they finally depart. So, obviously people are frustrated and they start shouting, after which the bus pulls off.

The scene was no different on this particular occasion that I am referring to. We were very tired after our flight from Kenya to Mumbai. (Yes! I’ve been to Africa, I think it was the year 1999 or maybe 2000. Fabulous experience.) We caught this bus, I vaguely recall that it was K.K. Travels, but I couldn’t be sure. They said they’d leave in under half an hour, so we readily got onto the bus. 90 minutes passed by without the vehicle nudging even an inch. My uncle went up to the driver and asked when we would finally be on our way. He kept saying “soon, soon”, “almost leaving”, and other terms to that effect. No action.

When the watch eventually showed that 2 hours had passed, my uncle lost it. I have seen him angry several times, but never have I seen him as livid as he was then. He went up fuming to the driver, and I remember I was clutching his hand tightly, beseeching him to hold his temper and be calm. I was worried of two things – one, the embarrassment that would result due to the scene created, and two, his blood pressure rising and causing trouble. Trust me, I was actually scared.

But neither reason stopped him. He marched up and gave it to the driver left, right, centre. Words can hurt/frighten as badly as blows can, and I anyway get petrified whenever I hear anyone shouting. (I can’t stand people yelling, it terrifies me. So, even when I tackle disagreement, I monitor my volume and request others to do the same.) By the time he was halfway done, the driver raced the engine and set off. Hushhh…

I was sitting next to Abba, and I was anxious to speak to him because I know that angry folks commonly roar at anyone who talk to them. However, out of my concern for his health, I asked him softly, “Are you ok?” He looked at me affectionately, gave me a wink and smiled, “Yeah! I’m ok. Don’t worry.”

Relief flooded me. He means a lot to me. More than I’d ever admit to him or anyone else. He’s my godfather after all… And someone I respect and adore more than my biological father…

Aren’t I straying now? Sowieee…

When it comes to anger, Shiva is the god who is known for his raging temper. He opens his third eye at the slightest of slights and turns to ashes whatever it is that has incensed him. But do we also know that he is the easiest to please, and hence, demons and gods alike worship him whenever they want any smart or silly boon.

My brother more or less reminds me of Shiva’s temper, and till date, I scurry out of his way when he is infuriated with anyone/anything. All of us know he bears no one any ill-will, but catch him when he’s angry, and you’ve had it. We’ve asked him innumerable times to hold his horses when he’s bugged. Words and arrows are similar coz when released, they cannot be called back. And he often repents things he has said or done due to his hot-headedness. Be it punching his hand against the wall and suffering a fracture, or driving rashly coz something ticked him off.

You temme it’s not easy to control the temper?

Well buddy, nothing is easy. Not even breathing. The doctor had to whack us on the butt to get us to do it.

While I am no great authority on anger management myself, I sure know that it’s not right to be so ill-tempered. It ruins moments, it wrecks relations, and it destroys your peace of mind and good mood. So often you let trivial habits of your spouse or colleagues bother you, and who ends up irritated? YOU. And no one else...

Yup, I know I'm a smart one to talk. Wish I could live by it as deftly!

My case is that I get angry and hurt at the smallest of provocations, and I manage to pull that person apart with my piercing words. (Which are at times undeserved and very unflattering.) But I also cool down just as fast, if I’m left alone to chew things over, or better, if I’m pacified and cajoled sweetly by the annoyer. You know I’m good at heart, so you might as well go that extra mile…

Chill it, will ya?

I’m trying, too… Let’s buddy up!

All the best :-)

-Angry (but Sweet) Young Woman


Unknown said...

You should sometime go to my home in Kolkata. I am referring to my dad's home. We have a heriditary problem with anger management. Nobody in the family has yet been able to manage it.

Everybody is nice and civilised and the next moment like those diwali bombs all go off one after the other. My ma has been controlling all four of us in the family and I honestly think she should be given the next Nobel peace award for her efforts.

But my late grandma used to say that people who get angry fast and cool down fast have good hearts. I take heart from this...... I have good hearty genes :-D

Unknown said...

not to sound too philosophical, but now a days, i see people losing their cool more often.

the other day, i was taking a u turn in traffic and obviously i created a line of vehicles behind.. one dude honked away to glory and it angered me no end! i cancelled where i was going and followed him a few kilometers. if i would have got a hold of him, i would have beaten him pretty bad. i wouldnt have done this two years ago..

yes sir, people have grown more intolerant these days. including me...

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