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Waiting... waiting...

I’ve witnessed a lot of friends getting very stressed-out while waiting for someone to arrive, or the phone to ring. Sonal Kalra suggests some useful tips.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2009 20:46 IST
Sonal Kalra

It was 5:28pm and my little one’s first ever stage performance was about to begin in two minutes. And I was outside the auditorium, waiting anxiously for my hubby to arrive as he was carrying the entry passes. While the poor man (I’m sure no married man could disagree on being called that) was stuck in bad traffic, I must have looked at my watch at least hazaar times and given him a million calls asking him ‘where exactly had he reached’.

An ice cream vendor, who must have been watching me pace back and forth like an anxious newly-caged beast, suddenly said, “Ghadi ko ghoorne se time ruk thoda jayega madam, kyun apna BP badha rahe ho,” (you’ll not be able to stop the clock from ticking by staring at it. Why are you bent on increasing your blood pressure).

I gave him a what’s-your-problem look wondering if there’s something in me that prompts people everywhere, even strangers, to offer their pearls of wisdom. But come to think of it, the man was right. I did feel as if my blood pressure was on the rise as I was getting majorly stressed while waiting.

Looking back, I realise I’ve witnessed a lot of friends getting very stressed-out while waiting for someone to arrive, or the phone to ring. In most of these situations, there’s nothing they can do to hasten the process and end the wait. But looking at the watch innumerable times or calling up the person who’s on the way incessantly can only result in the stress levels rising — for both you and the one you’re harassing.

The calmness trick for this week is to beat the ‘waiting stress’ by making fun-use of the waiting time. Try this: if you are on the road waiting for a friend, a colleague or a spouse, instead of giving a growling look to every car that comes your way, park yourself in a corner, buy a cup of tea from the roadside vendor and enjoy some moments of peace. Don’t think about what or who you’re waiting for. Just observe people- perfect strangers going about their daily chores and soon you’ll sense an amazing calmness descend over you. Why, you may even start noticing interesting patterns or things about how people dress or conduct themselves.

For those who can’t think of anything but work, can effectively use this time to make ‘to do’ lists on their cell phones for pending stuff that requires attention. Call a friend you haven’t had time to say ‘hi’ to, in ages. Or keep a small sketchpad and pencil handy in your bag to try your hand at drawing and you may discover a hidden genius. Do whatever you like, but don’t go crazy and make your body pay a price for an over-anxious mind.

Sonal Kalra decided to stop harassing her husband by calling endlessly while she waits. Yesterday he forgot altogether that he was supposed to meet her somewhere. It’s war-time at home now. Send your calmness tricks to her at sonal.kalra@hindustantimes.com