Anger, they say, is one letter short of danger. They may be right. Actually they are right, but they may be broadcasting this, sitting in the Himalayas. Bhai hum toh insaan hain, gussa toh aa jaata hamein, ab kya karein. But actually, what we do with that anger is what’s more important. Considering I live pretty far from even the foothills of Himalayas, I have no qualms in admitting that like all other lesser mortals, if someone wrongs me, my first impulse is to get back at them. But you see, the bad accountant that I am, I often fail to calculate what all I’m giving up, by simply indulging the thoughts of the so-called ‘sweet’ revenge.
This week, I’m telling you to not be that bad at calculation. Just for yourself, not for any larger good of humankind. Here’s why. Pia (not her real name), a friend of a younger cousin, used to be a cheerful, chirpy girl till last month when she found out that the boyfriend she used to blissfully describe as ‘steady’, was seeking bliss from two other sources. In other words, she had stumbled upon irrefutable proof of how the guy was three-timing her via his multiple Facebook accounts that had details of his love chats with the others. Anyway, she came to me, all tears, and fed up of life. And in full filmy ishtyle, I told her to get back at the j*** by telling the other two fountains of his joy what he was up to. Well, she did, and got herself entangled into a whole new saga of emotional complications when one of those girls then decided to stick by the guy, and together they started making Pia’s life hell on social platforms etc.
To cut the long story short, in the days that followed, I saw Pia looking more and more miserable as friends around her also got into a scheming mode, with everyone suggesting their own style of revenge. Eventually, I had to tell her to snap all communication and discussion on this topic — not because she had exhausted all her options of getting back, but because thinking about this for even a minute longer meant wasting the time she could constructively utilise in moving on.
What I’m saying is nothing you don’t know already. And I know that I come across very saadhu-sant like saying this, because in practical terms, it’s very difficult to be a pushover and digest the feeling of being messed around by someone, be it at work or in personal life. So here’s what I suggest you do, and let me know if this helps.
1 Turn very selfish
Yes, you heard me right. Ab toh I don’t sound like Sanyasin Sonal Ma giving a lecture on forgiveness, nah? Turn damn selfish, and weigh the importance of every minute of your own time. Figure out how much of it do you wish to spare for thinking about some worthless sleazebag. While you do it, just remember that the more you hold onto the thoughts about what that person did to you, the more power you are subconsciously giving to the wrongs he/she has done. Of course you are strong, and of course you have the power to take such revenge that one day he’ll feel worse than you do, but in doing so, you might be making the wrong choice between closure and keeping the wound afresh. Because it’s impossible to think about revenge without constantly reminding yourself of the misery you’ve gone through. Think of an analogy where someone shoots your family member and runs away. Would you prefer running after that person, or would your first priority be to rush your loved one to the hospital? In this case, that loved one is your own heart and peace of mind. Make it your priority. Turn selfish.
2 Have revenge fantasies, but in full
When we are really hurt, we all fantasise about hurting our tormentor really bad, don’t we? It’s natural, and normal. But please don’t edit your fantasies, to end at a point where you don’t see the repercussions. Some years back, a nasty colleague had made my work life such hell that I would fantasise about planting a bomb underneath his chair and watch him shred to pieces. But thankfully, my dream then also showed me getting arrested for it, and hence it always remained a dream. You see, I may be an extreme case but most kinds of revenge involve illegal practices to some extent. Even if it is hacking into someone’s email or Facebook, or making prank calls on someone’s behalf, or even puncturing someone’s car tyres (what fun!). They all fall under criminal practices, and have repercussions.
At the risk of sounding boring, let me suggest something safe like thinking of your opponents as gas balloons and watching them fly away out of your life. Or even write their name on a piece of paper and flush it, a la Jab We Met. You’ll feel better. And isn’t that what the ‘selfish’ you wants to do?
3 Trivialise it
Not plotting a revenge for just about everything helps you see a lot of things as being petty matters. Not every altercation or every insult is even worth taking revenge. If you’re able to tell your mind that you are not going to give faaltu importance to every louse moron that tries to take you on, you’ll feel superior and stronger.
4 Finally, understand the golden truth
Living well is the best way to get even. Show your tormentor that you are happy, despite them and all they did. Trust me, it’ll kill them. Safely, and legally, because there’s no law, as yet, that stops you from showing off your happiness, laughing like a maniac in front of a scumbag. Try it, bahot mazaa aata hai (It’s a lot of fun).
Sonal Kalra laughed loudly every time she saw a colleague who had been nasty to her. Now he’s spread rumours that she’s lost her mental balance. Can someone help her take revenge, please? Mail your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/sonalkalraofficial. Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra