Tag Archives: Anger

Walking The Minefield

We glorify anger. We present and consume revenge sagas, hate politics. This is an easy narrative because feeling hard done by is a universal experience and few other things incite people to react as blindly. We justify rage reactions, arguing for the right to be furious and citing catchphrases like ‘tone policing’ and ‘right to expression’. We dramatize and applaud wrath.

We even turn emotionally shut off, violent, abusive people into role models for masculinity and how the ideal human being at the top should be. Behaving the way your oppressors have behaved with you only makes you part of the problem. Yet, we prize anger like it’s a value.

First, there is dealing with your own anger in a healthy, constructive way rather than allowing it to make you a ravening monster. And then there is navigating a world that prizes wrath.

You can’t avoid angry people or situations that make others and you angry. But you can remember that anger is always, ultimately poisonous. And choose, keep choosing not to consume it. When you do, spit it out like any other rotten thing you may have eaten, sneeze it out like that fiery bit of chilli you breathed. Cry a little, wipe your tears and breathe afresh again. You can own your anger.

What about the anger of others? You do not have to be defined or cowed by other people’s wrath stories. Hold your precious self above the world’s reactions. Protect your hard-earned peace of mind, body and spirit from from those who have not yet learnt how to do that for themselves.

There are people who will treat you badly, because they think they’re owed a revenge opportunity against the world. It is not your job to educate them. It is not your place to deny them their life lessons. But it is your job to get out of their way. Maybe that is your life lesson.

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The High Road

Have you been hurt badly? Betrayed? Fooled? Discriminated against? Violated? Injured? Destroyed, ruined, shattered? So have I. So has every human being on the planet. 
This doesn’t nullify your pain or mine. It doesn’t make it bigger or worse or more worthy of attention, consideration, empathy, respect. It doesn’t make it easier because contrary to popular belief, misery does not love company. But how you respond to it, is up to you.

If you choose vindication, you let the person who hurt you, be a continued part of your life. If you think revenge, you add to the pettiness, the fear and hate that no doubt, drives the person who violated you. If you hate because of this, you make this hurt your identity rather than one of the many things that happened to you.

And if you lash out and attack those around you, you add to the weight of injustice in the world, except now you are also a perpetrator. You live in this world. This is your home. And you’ve just added to the garbage that someone else dumped in your living room. Who lives with the stink?

I’m not saying ignore your hurt. No, acknowledge it. Give it the respect that profound emotions deserve. Don’t be in a hurry to convert it into bitterness, rage or cynicism. Wars came from hurt but poetry also came from hurt. You get to decide what you want to create with the stone you’ve been given – a weapon or a statue.

Courage/strength are not appendages one is born with. They’re active, conscious, minute-to-minute choices. Not to treat the people who’ve hurt you in the same way. Solutions over one-upmanship. Healing over revenge. Growth over gossip. Being yourself over being toxic. Choosing constantly. It’s tiring too.

The high road is a choice one makes for oneself, regardless of circumstance, background, gender, caste, class, age or any of the things we hide behind. No one else can rescue you or carry you up that road. You don’t do it for moral brownie points. You do it for yourself. 
Walk the high road because that is the path that YOU deserve to walk on.

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THE HIGH ROAD Have you been hurt badly? Betrayed? Fooled? Discriminated against? Violated? Injured? Destroyed, ruined, shattered? So have I. So has every human being on the planet. This doesn't nullify your pain or mine. It doesn't make it bigger or worse or more worthy of attention, consideration, empathy, respect. It doesn't make it easier because contrary to popular belief, misery does not love company. But how you respond to it, is up to you. If you choose vindication, you let the person who hurt you, be a continued part of your life. If you think revenge, you add to the pettiness, the fear and hate that no doubt, drives the person who violated you. If you hate because of this, you make this hurt your identity rather than one of the many things that happened to you. And if you lash out and attack those around you, you add to the weight of injustice in the world, except now you are also a perpetrator. You live in this world. This is your home. And you've just added to the garbage that someone else dumped in your living room. Who lives with the stink? I'm not saying ignore your hurt. No, acknowledge it. Give it the respect that profound emotions deserve. Don't be in a hurry to convert it into bitterness, rage or cynicism. Wars came from hurt but poetry also came from hurt. You get to decide what you want to create with the stone you've been given – a weapon or a statue. Courage/strength are not appendages one is born with. They're active, conscious, minute-to-minute choices. Not to treat the people who've hurt you in the same way. Solutions over one-upmanship. Healing over revenge. Growth over gossip. Being yourself over being toxic. Choosing constantly. It's tiring too. The high road is a choice one makes for oneself, regardless of circumstance, background, gender, caste, class, age or any of the things we hide behind. No one else can rescue you or carry you up that road. You don't do it for moral brownie points. You do it for yourself. Walk the high road because that is the path that YOU deserve to walk on. ——————————————————————– 📸: @gadbadbaba 🎶: EKLA CHALO RE – Rabindranath Tagore #theideasmithy

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Jupiter’s Volcanos: We Are Both Sabu & Chacha

Sabu, an alien muscleman under the friendly stewardship of the moustachioed Chacha Chaudhry was an integral part of every Indian childhood. The caption that accompanied a panel preceding a fight scene said, “Jab Sabu ko gussa aata hain, to Jupiter pe jwalamukhi phatata hain” (When Sabu gets angry, a volcano erupts at some distant place in Jupiter). It was fun to imagine the drama of a planet far away responding to what was happening right on Earth. Sabu is the the primal, muscled alter ego to the mild-looking, benevolent senior citizen whose mind nevertheless works faster than a computer. As an alien, he is not as subject to Earthly rules and his primal responses were used for laughs as Chacha explained how the world worked. But even with Sabu, rage was a displaced emotion, bearing consequences in a far away place.

I painted this on a teeshirt for a former love. Curiously telling, since that relationship was pockmarked with suppressed rage and every form of twisted anger possible. The manifestations of rage happen up close and personal, inside our own psyche and everyone nearby. Yet is our anger any different from other emotions that we own more proudly?

Anger rises from grief, from fear, from caring even. It happens to us all. If you live in a busy metro, you’ve probably already felt it already today. Annoyance at flapping curtains. Disproportionate rage at the alarm clock. Irritation at fellow commuter. Mild venom at the colleagues/teachers waiting for you on Monday morning. These are you as much as the laughter that tickled you on Saturday night, the contentment of a good Sunday meal that you ate. Yet, you plod on past the grief, the micro-hurt, the frustrations because that is the way the world must work.

You my friend, carry both Chacha Chaudhry and Sabu in you. As do we all. Let them share the panel. They’re good for each other.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

The Music Of An Ex

Your voice still terrifies me. If anger were energy, you’re a nuclear reactor. But I only saw the gravity, I only heard the pain, I only felt your fear. And inside your head, for you, I became everything I could see. No wonder you hate me.

Now, every now and then, I listen to you, I watch you from afar. And what’s visible now is enough to scare me away. The trouble is memory is so weak at repelling. The minute I’m beyond the bounds of remembering, I come back to listen, to hear, to watch and to fear.

You wear the face of the unfamiliar, the strange, the uncomfortable. But your anger is known, like a well-remembered accident, a bone that never really healed and aches up every time it rains. It’s only ever raining when I think of you.

The scars on my arms have healed. And the lines on my face turned to pretty poetry, gritty poetry. But in the murky whirlpool of emotion, you still linger. How do you paper plane music? Because, yes, you were right, it is music.

Anger Is A Dish Best Never Served

Scrambled Eggs

Image by foodiesathome.com via Flickr

A bad mood can make even the tastiest dish seem unpalatable. Or maybe that’s just the extra salt I put into the scrambled eggs, because I was preoccupied. A good breakfast was ruined, either way.

Looking For Peace

I sat on the grass for a long time. It felt like it, as I breathed every second that passed. The grass felt comfortable under my butt and thighs. Like a carpet? No, I’m a Mumbai girl, I’m not used to carpets. The park is full of little mounds and grassy gradations and the contours of this patch of land fit comfortably under my legs. I don’t remember the last time I tasted comfort like this.

I was facing the jogging track and people walked by me, heads angled in front, not a glance here or there, focused on building up their heart rate and burning their calories. It was odd to be ignored quite like that. How have I not noticed it earlier? Maybe because I’ve been one of them. Truly, we city people miss the lovely things right before our eyes as we chase after other things.

How often I myself have pounded down this same track, my feet keeping up with my thoughts, an Ipod plugged into my ears or a phone conversation happening in parallel. I’ve been running away from things that are too much bear, rushing through conversations that must be had. And that’s exactly what I see written on all the faces that whip past me on the track today. I hope they find their peace. I really hope. It’s all around, abundant and just waiting to be experienced.

Last month I carried anger and indignation inside me, frothing like a bottle of coca-cola in the backseat of a car that’s zoomed down one of Mumbai’s roads. It rose inside me, threatening to burst forth from my lips and eyes any minute. Any damn minute right now. And I struggled to contain it, to settle it. My best friend had thrown a tantrum when I spoke up for the first time in 15yrs. Another friend had spoken up for the first time in 12yrs and burst forth with things that had little to do with the occasion. The irony of the two events happening in the same week was not lost on me. While I labeled the first one a tantrum, I called the second one an excessive and uncalled for response. I was torn between the two and my anger at the end of it was the stress I felt torn between the two diverse roles I played in these events.

Then there was the person who wanted me to work for him for free. Worst of all was his condescending attitude, an impression of ‘You’re not working so let me give you something worthwhile to do’, an air of doing me a favour by letting me do his work. I wanted to toss it all in this face and flounce out angrily but of course I didn’t. Seething, seething, seething.

Then, an ex- told me that I was just the same as ever, everlastingly full of angst. But he laughed as he said it, just as he always has. And I realized even if he were right, it didn’t matter anymore. I am just myself that’s all.

And A jauntily told me that it was a good thing to replace one’s friends. Relationships outgrew their purpose too and permanence was overrated, he said. There’s some solace to be drawn from that. Can I then let go of all the shackles that hold me back without fear? We hold the keys to our own handcuffs and we hold it with tight, fierce desperation.

It’s time to breathe. A deeeeeeeep breath. And let go.

Yesterday the temple was crowded, as it always is on Saturdays. I found a relatively empty spot and sat down to collect my thoughts. Ten minutes later, when I was walking down the road, a young man passed by and said something. I unplugged my earphones and stared back. He said,

When you were doing your puja, you looked very peaceful and serene. It felt good to see that.

And he walked away. Peace, happiness, contentment, so elusive. I think I’ll stop trying to figure out how to get them and keep them. I’ll just stay in them when they do occur.

You Aren't Being My Friend

To my friends in so many places,

I’m upset. Badly so.

I’m not okay with your calling me only when you have problems in your love life. I’m struck even worse by the fact that you have no time to hear about my love life problems or worse, that you don’t even think that’s a problem.

I can deal with unanswered calls; honestly I can understand a busy life. But I can’t deal with unreturned calls and unanswered SMSes. And these things have time restrictions. How would you feel if you knew the only way to reach me was to contact me at least 6 hours in advance since I’d never call you back before that?

I’m so not okay with being kept waiting. 10-15 minutes are non-issues, longer and I’ll wait if you let me know. An hour and over with no indication is staggering. Work, traffic, family restrictions, mood swings, loss of watch, deep conversations and boyfriends/girlfriends may sound like good reasons to be late. I’d like to think I’m an equally good reason for you to be on time.

If you don’t care for that, it tells me you don’t think my time is of any value. It tells me you don’t give a damn about my feelings since you invalidate how upset I am at the end of it. It tells me that I’m nothing more than someone you feel you can snap your fingers at, when you like. Never going to be okay with that.

I can take the initiative. That’s not because it ‘comes naturally’ to me, it’s because you matter enough for me to make that effort. When you don’t bother with making an effort, it tells me you aren’t bothered about me. I’m your friend, not your party planner.

And finally, I know we live with increasing demands on our time and no one’s found a way to make the day last longer than 24 hours. Just remember, that I live in that space too. The same city, the same lifestyle, the same profession, the same kind of family, the same kind of relationship. If I can make time for you, I expect you to make time for me.

I’ve swallowed all of the above as well as my pride, your excuses and an increasing feeling that none of you cares for me. One of you has told me that everyone is so busy with their own lives, that they tend to overlook other people’s feelings and that ‘it’s not that they don’t care’. I disagree.

Caring isn’t the absence of negative feeling.
It is an active sentiment that is backed up with actions.

Perhaps I have no room in the busy space in your mind. But that means you shouldn’t enjoy the same position in my mind. If you love having me around for how I always listen to you and stand by you, you need to remember that I have the same needs and you’re honour-bound to care for me as well. If you expect me to be sorry for bringing this down to a ratio, I’ll say you should be sorry that you haven’t been able to make me feel cared for.

I’m posting this here because this is the only way I have to get through what I need to say. If you suspect that I’m talking about you, you’re probably right. If you don’t know me at all, please don’t offer advice or consolation.

Trust, Actually

If I’m a fool to trust you, what does that say about you?

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Nobody’s born suspicious. We trust because we think other people are the way we are. Then someone hurts us and we think everyone else is that way.

Treat every suspicious person you meet, gently. Maybe they’ve been hurt really bad.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

What have you ever lost that is so precious that it cannot be found again or replaced? Life, is the only thing that meets that description. If you’re still breathing, then everything else can be found again.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Trust isn’t the blind faith that things will never go wrong. It is the belief that nothing will ever be so bad that it can’t be gotten over or out of.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Trust is not thinking you’ll never hurt me. It’s believing that you’ll not willingly want to.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

Trust isn’t relying on those who’ve never sinned. It’s relying on the premise that there is always the possibility of redemption.

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

And finally, trust in everyone and everything else is built firmly on a foundation of trust in self. Nothing that really matters can be taken away from me.

Killing Romance

Romance is dead, this is true.

Romance is just a myth foisted on the world by men to keep women chained to their stupidity.

Which is why I think romance and its sorry butt can get kicked, strangled, have acid poured down its eyeballs, buried barely breathing and have its grave danced upon.

Instead I’ll just switch off my phone that’s too expensive to smash against the wall, eat a melting brownie too sinful to be wasted and walk out on an emotion too disempowering to be chained to.

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