This post, made on 18th April, 2009, reminded me of those days. These days aren’t much different. There is still the darkness and frustration all around us. In this post, I found the precursor to a poem (Songs of Hatred) I would write much later, much after I had forgotten about this post. The poem will be my next post. Meanwhile, read this one. And, remember that it was written at the height of recession when even the writer of this blog was partially jobless. Good Day! Good Night!
Pretty lazy day, today!!! So, I thought not to post anything serious for thought. It’s weekend and as I am jobless, it normally does not mean much to me. Today, well, I have a wedding reception to attend and I’ll be busy with that for the rest of the evening. My worries however, hover as I read about a person who is frustrated. I’ve lately gone through frustrations myself and knew what frustrations would result in.
Recession is a time for frustration for a lot of unlikely people in the most unlikely places. Friends who draw five-figure salaries are especially frustrated. The ones with families are most likely to break down under this pressure when frustration builds up. Being jobless or going through bad marriages cause most frustrations. But, the recession has brought the both of these together.
Example. A person, let’s call him X, changed jobs last year. He’s happy with the huge increment he received with the change. He thought, “Well, I’ll buy a new property and maybe a car. Oh what the hell, how about a Macbook as well?” X saves little, swipes his credit card to the limit and is positive he can pay the EMIs. Well, he received twice as much as he received the year before. SO, it’s the natural thing to do. Recession hits a few months later. First, his pay is halved. “Take it or leave.” It was a sign asking him to leave. But he had too much at stake. He stayed to pay off the EMIs. That’s when his family started to lose its freedom. No dine-outs, no more internet shopping, no toys for the child and suddenly, he is working more hours than before. Reason. Some of his colleagues had left the half-paid job.
Frustration starts showing up only a week into the new routine. Wife nags whenever X is back home. Boss shouts when he is at office. Bank intimidates when his payments are late. X doesn’t want the shit-job. He was too dependent on the pay. Nothing satisfied him anymore. X quits the job and goes back to India because he read in a business magazine that the Indian boom story isn’t over. While leaving Dubai, he defaults on all the EMI payments that were pending against him. X hunts for job in all the major cities in India. Nobody wanted him. He was too expensive to hire. X moves to tier-II cities. No jobs there, either. Could he write to the business magazine for help? No, they won’t help. What’s he to do? He rushes home for some comfort. His wife, more frustrated than ever, shouts at him and demands some peace. Anger wells out. X shouts too. After all the spending he had done on her, how could she shout at him?
I know it is tiring to read. But, I am not done yet. The marriage breaks and X is alone. What do you learn? There are lots of things that X had done, that any man would have done. But there is one thing he could have done to change everything and get his life back. The sanctity of marriage is not dependent on money or job.
Frustration results from a lot of things. Recession and the current job scenario is just one example. We have living examples of how recession builds frustration. Frustration eventually leads to anger and anger leads to uncertainty. Some people recover from anger, while others can stop getting angry. A third kind says all the wrong things when they get angry. These things can never be eaten like the words I ate for breakfast on April 14, 2009. Recession cannot be controlled. Frustration cannot be contained. But, anger can be managed. We, collectively referring to all Indians, have a particular sense of achievement when we get angry. When two person are angry and are in an argument, it is believed that the angrier person or the one who swears the most wins the argument. We like to get angry to show that we are tough. I need to stress this again: anger can be managed. It doesn’t matter if you lost your job; it doesn’t matter if your wife is mad at you; it doesn’t matter if the car behind you is honking at your nerves; it doesn’t even matter if the same car hits your bumper and it gets dented. If we can really manage anger, none of this matters. You can sort it out.
Experts in anger management give a lot of suggestions. Some say that when you get angry, you can count to ten or hundred or thousand until your anger subsides. Some others say that you can just try to relax by closing your eyes. Islamic principles say that you either take an ablution for prayer or if you still can’t control the anger, that you observe two rakaat of prayer. All this might seem complicated when you are in the midst of an argument. But, it works. However, each of you may have a different idea for doing it. Well, that’s where we part. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (although I didn’t get a single mail to date) about how you control your anger. And, to the person who was so frustrated this morning, I hope reading this article helps. Don’t let it get you.