This post by yamini bought back many memories and made me nostalgic. Anger and managing it has always been an important part of my life. Or rather, it used to be till a few years back. These days, I generally don’t get angry that often.
So, you see, as a child I was a very angry child. I blame it on the circumstances. And my mom tried a lot to calm me down. Divert my mind in other activities. But somehow I always used to get angry. At everything and everyone around me. If that bully from my school rickshaw did not let me sit at the window seat as per my turn, I used to fight (beat him) like crazy till I got my turn. Add to the fact that the rickshaw kaka used to side with the bully to maintain peace in the rickshaw. It was no surprise that I changed my school rickshaw and got the most awesome and angelic rickshaw kaka ever! Some of the fights my sister and I have had when we were kids should be put down in the books of history. They were no less than wars. True, there were some affectionate moments between us siblings too, but we fought most of the times. Some of the worst manifestations of my anger were throwing things, tearing newspapers and banging doors. Hey! I am not proud of these things..but it is what it is. Just a part of past now. I re-read what I wrote above, and I do come across a pretty aggressive kid. Which is not really true. Considering the fact that I had a huge gang of very loyal friends in school and that my parents still tell me entertaining stories of how obedient I was as a kid.
As I hit my teens, the manifestation of anger had subsided but my mind was always restless. You see, there was so much injustice around me, and I *had* to do something about it. Those were the days when I used to think that whatever bad is happening around me, I am the answer to it. Making it right is my responsibility. (My thought process has been quite dramatic right from my childhood!) And when I failed to do anything about it (most of the times) I used to get angry in my mind. Now that I look back upon my teen years, I think I just took a very long time to “accept” the existence of injustice and in-humanity around me and sometimes in me.
Engineering college, the chilled, laid back atmosphere, super cool friends and further calming down lectures by mom were instrumental in making me less angry. Not just in how I showed my anger but also, in my mind, I had realised that anger was doing me more harm than it was helping me. A change of scene from India to the US further calmed me down. Sometimes it is just amazing how therapeutic a new environment, new people, awesome friends, new country and new culture can be. And I am really glad that I have consciously tried to get rid of this nasty temper over the years. I should mention that the husband has been instrumental in un-knowingly keeping my temper in check. That dude refuses to get angry. And there are times when I just wish he provokes me further so that I can yell, scream and get all the pent-up anger out. But he just gives me fundas that make such amazing sense in that situation, that the pent-up anger just vanishes somewhere! Our fights most of the times end up quite hilariously. With he realising that I had been angry at him (and raging a cold war) all this while, and me realising that he was not aware that I have been angry all this while! One of the things that I am really fortunate to have in S is this amazing calming effect he has on me. Something even my mom noticed, the first time I went to India. S and I were seeing each other for over 2 years at that time and my folks were surprised that anyone could handle me so well! After that it was a cake walk getting the approval from my parents ;).
Anger these days is generally not “anger” per se. It is mostly just a mild irritation or frustration. Like the other day, a very dear friend of mine was pissing me off over gtalk and I just told him to get lost with ” abe ja yaar…dimag mat kha mera”. After a few days of not talking to him, he pinged me and we started talking as if the entire spat had never happened! With the hubby, I show my dissent either by sulking or by stamping my foot. Or in extreme cases – crying. Fights with mom also end hilariously most of the times with both of us telling each other how stubborn they are. I tell her I am stubborn because she passed me her stubborn genes and she tells me that all her stubborn genes got exhausted because she gave them to me :D. And with the awesome time my sis and I have together, it is even hard to imagine that once upon a time we used to pull each others’ hair and scratch each other!!