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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

A Calmer You: jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai?

Sonal Kalra, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 15, 2014
First Published: 20:20 IST(15/3/2014) | Last Updated: 20:23 IST(15/3/2014)

Please feel sorry for those who ask this question. They need help!

You think I’m being ­sarcastic? Tsk tsk… I have such bad reputation in your eyes. I’m serious. I will start a campaign in aid of all those who suffer from ­mysterious bouts of amnesia and have to ask who they are or who their dad is, especially if their car bumps into someone else’s. I saw such a person outside a ­shopping mall this weekend. He was reversing, someone else was progressing (I know it’s wrong English, just sounded funny, thanks). His car brushed the ­other’s bumper, very slightly, in a peck-on-cheek-of-a socialite-at-a-page 3-party way. I wouldn’t have even noticed had I been in that car because, you know, God ­blesses some with stereos which have a physical disability and you can’t reduce the volume.

Anyway, that ‘gentle’man noticed and how. He got down. Inspected the rear of his car by bending at various indescribable angles. And then. SHOUTED. Shouted so loud that even the birds mating on the nearby ­electricity wires decided to get a room. “Oh teri…(inappropriate).” “What the…(inappropriate)”, is how it began and went up to a stage where every word would have to be beeped out, hence not reproducing here. The guy in the other car also got down. He was trying to explain, very ­unsuccessfully, while this one had started hyperventilating, pointing to the almost non-existent dent on his car.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/3/pg-4-city-pic.jpgWaiting for my own car to arrive, I, along with all other­ typical Delhiites present, were watching the scene with keen interest. Am sure some had even thought of ordering popcorn and Pepsi. I was thinking what a crude man… all those abuses for a small dent on the bumper? And then he said it. Loud and clear. “Do you know who I am?” He then turned around menacingly towards the mall parking ­attendant. “Oh, do you know who my dad is?”

Suddenly I felt this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. We were cursing this poor man, judging him merely because of his colourful language. When he had suffered a loss of memory because of the accident. You tell me, who deserves sympathy… the guy who can’t even explain why he decided to let his car greet the other’s so physically, or this poor man who has, because of an obvious shock due to the dent on the bumper, lost all ­memory of his identity and was left asking strangers. I asked a fellow by-stander to help him and take him to a doctor but he gave me a weird look. Lots of people do that these days.
Anyway, here are my three tips of dealing with such forgetful creatures as the man in the ­parking lot that day.

1 Remember that the louder a person shouts in an ­argument, the more insecure he is from inside: Aur kya. If you have to depend on volume to make a point, there must be something wrong with the point nah? Don’t get intimidated by raised voices. If someone, ­specially in a road rage episode, suddenly becomes loud and ­abusive, look him in the eye and say ‘let’s sort this out when you bring your voice down.’ And go stand in a corner. Haan, it’s another thing that in places like Delhi, he may just pounce on you for saying that, but take your chances.

2 Remember that saying sorry can prevent a lot of regrettable drama: It is hard to keep screaming at a person who is apologising profusely. Isn’t it? In traffic situations where ­vehicles are being driven bumper to bumper, it is highly probable that cars or two-wheelers touch each other. Sometimes just a wave of hand from inside your car, acknowledging and ­regretting it, can save a lot of needless shouting and screaming later. Don’t let ego come in the way, even if it wasn’t your mistake. Think of all the time you’ll waste if a monster decides to descend from the other car and vent all his life’s ­frustration there and then.

3 Remember that in most cases where the person is shouting ‘contacts’, it works to call the bluff: “I will make one call and then you’ll feel sorry,” is a sentence we often hear. Ask him/her to go on and make the call. Meanwhile, you also ­furiously start keying in random numbers on your cell phone. Dial your dry cleaner if you wish, but it is the expression that matters. Even if that guy happens to be a relative of the Prime Minister, it’ll be tough for him to get undue support. Bhai, Aam Aadmi Party ka zamaana hai… even those in power are scared of using their influence unethically. And most importantly, remember that if you are right, you will have the conviction to face anyone, ­anyway. Don’t think too much before calling the cops if it starts to get bad. We have a false notion that involving cops would mean dragging the matter. Their ­presence may just help to keep things under control, and believe me, they too prefer to settle a ­matter amicably than filing reports as it adds to their own lawlessness statistics. And no, they won’t ask you for bribe. It’s wrong to generalise, and paint all cops with the same brush. Keep an Aam Aadmi cap in the car anyway. It helps.
 
Sonal Kalra wonders what happened to the guy in the mall who forgot who he was. Hope he reached home safely. Would you pray for him? Mail her at sonal.kalra@hindustantimes.comor follow on facebook.com/sonalkalra13 and twitter.com/sonalkalra


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