Thanks to my father I taught myself early in my life that anger makes a person loose sense of right and wrong! Also that it cannot be controlled — Ha ha, so what is new? It can be given direction and it can be used as potential energy for times when energy is sapping! I try not to get angry for self preservation. When I do I fall sick. During lockdown I have been on border line of getting angry but saw it is not worth the effort. My blog writing has kept me above board. Most of my writings, as my friend says, are full of love and empathy. People see what is within them so she does not see the change of energy. My sense of Physics is very clear — energy does not destroy, it can only change form. For me anger stored as potential energy changes to kinetic energy and love flows. Most times it is sheer love flowing but sometimes other factors rule specially when I am not a participant in the events happening. Recently I travelled Jaipur Bombay, Bombay Jaipur by plane. I am not naming the company as the pattern must be the same in all airliners. Thanks to the pandemic a packet is given, for so called protection, in plastic bag, a mask and a plastic cover. All airlines have to adhere to these norms; the air hostess goes around telling each passenger to wear it. Obviously these plastics are to be discarded after single use. The system has created so much fear for personal safety that consideration of one planet worth living for human beings has lost its meaning! Oh yes I was angry and did not even open that packet. Had the air hostess come to me I would have explained to her with love why I could not wear.
I have taught myself would be too much to say as I do not know wherefrom some understandings come. Dealing with anger is one such lesson learnt early in my life even though I said I taught myself because of my father, as he would go berserk when angry. He would become violent within family — my uncles, aunts, my mother, me and my sisters have been recipient of his violent behaviour. He had to control himself with people, outside the family, not willingly. I love him as I do not see violence in isolation. It is during the one time he beat me when I was ten, that I learnt my strength of not giving in to violence. So my learning in relation to violence started early. I also learnt that I would not be scared of violence. I am sharing dealing with anger, for both, men and women, boys and girls as it is a major issue with the environment we live it. Anger hurts the person, who gets angry, most. I regret not having taught my children, those born to me and those not born to me, this part when they were young. Now I want to share this with everyone. Anger can be stored on imaginary shelves and taken down whenever required and used for work beyond our known capacity. It can never be controlled but given direction.
What I could not fathom was why my Amma, an enigmatically strong woman, did not retaliate to my Baba’s beating. She would never cow down or stop from checking him when he was wrong but never checked him from beating her. I did ask her and her answer did not satisfy me. Her reasoning was that he was unwell. Now I wonder whether she even knew the socialization of culture was stronger than her strength. The dissatisfaction remained till recently when it dawned on me just like how to deal with anger. What has ascended or descended is mainly for women but has to be known to men too. Women have been denied the knowledge of respecting their bodies. In many ways even as a girl child seeing the social cultural environment, I can only vouch for South Asian patriarchal structures which does not allow scope for self esteem as there is no ‘self’ as far as women are concerned, so respecting a woman’s body, women’s bodies, seems a far fletched idea. Women have to live with the greatest patriarchal myth of being the weaker sex; it takes the universe to descend on woman like me — there are many thankfully, to poke holes into it. It took me a childhood of dissatisfaction of not knowing why my father is driven to violence and why my otherwise strong mother tolerates beating of my father. As an adult I made peace with it but kept my mind open to find reasons for oppression and dreamt with open eyes of a world that was equal.
There is always a root cause and I seem to have stumbled upon the reason for violence on women. There are endless forms of violence women are made to do on their bodies without even being aware of it. A few glary examples are not going to washroom periodically, not drinking water to avoid going to washroom during travel, sitting on cold floor without putting a mat, considering themselves impure during menstrual cycles, getting beaten by men in their lives, letting go their share of food for the sake of love, eating children’s leftover when they are not even hungry…..considering themselves not intelligent is icing on the cake!
All my Amma needed to do would have probably been just to hold my Baba’s hand once and tell him he cannot do this how much ever angry, it is not done. I know she was strong enough to do that but she did not. I will not know why, ever. I can only make presumptions. All my Baba needed to do was accept that violence is not a solution. He died when he was 63 exactly my age now. I feel how much damage he did to himself by his anger. I wonder if he had knowledge of the damage he did to himself and his loved ones.
My sharing is an attempt to help people see that it is possible to let go their anger. People need to exercise, basically use up body energy otherwise it dances on our heads. Body has a different chemistry than mind. We need to love and respect our bodies and other’s bodies. When I get angry I hurt myself first and later the recipient of my anger. The latter has more scope to recover than me as I do not know I am hurting myself. I would use anger as a positive trait as energy increases many-fold in anger but that too I am trying to give up as it also drains me out. I call it a day, no night, always a night!