March 28th, 2016
Don’t behave like me!
This happened a few years back. It was a sunday and we had gone to Dilli Haat. At the car park, I got into an argument with a driver who was was trying to sneak in and occupy a hard to find car parking slot that we were parking into. He was wrong. He was rude. He was defiant. And I could not control my anger. It soon turned physical as we started trading blows. I was enraged. I was not in control of my senses. I lost my mind. I punched him a few and he badgered me many. My horrified wife stepped in and took control. I was forcefully taken back to the car. In the car, I saw my 8 year old son shaking. He was scared. He looked at me as if I am an alien.
We dropped our plans for the Sunday. Back home, I realised what I have done. I cried. I was equally rude, if not more. I behaved unbecoming of what I am. I set a very bad example to my son. My son saw me punching people. My son saw me being beaten and badgered. I am no longer his hero. And then, me and my wife decided – Never again will we let our rage overtake our senses. In such times, there is nothing called right or wrong. Devilish instincts take over. We behave unlike what we really are. In such times, we need to take a step back. Now, when we encounter a adventurous driver on the road, we smile even if he was wrong. We give way. We stand aside. We diffuse the situation. We apologise. We smile.
I write this experience as this week in Delhi, another rage incident claimed the life of a 40 year old dentist, Pankaj Narang. He leaves behind an 8 year old son. They dragged him out on the road and beat him with hockey sticks, bats and rods till he died. Mr Narang fell to the ground and hit his head against the road, but the men did not stop, hitting him repeatedly on the head”. This is rage. This is devilish. This is losing control of yourself. And the 10 people involved in this sick incident include 6 minors. All of them have been booked for murder and rioting. Now that Delhi Police has clarified, let us not give it communal color. There were more Hindus in the mob than Muslims and the Muslims were not from Bangladesh.
I could have been in his place at Dilli Haat. My son was 8 years too. In fact, it could be any of us. One road rage incident leaves behind an 8 year old boy losing his father. And 10 sets of parents losing their children to law. And 10 children losing their future. Every one lost. None won. RIP Pankaj Narang. It should also be a time to give up anger and rage. It is time to let Peace and your goodness take control of such situations. It is not always about winning. It is about winning life. It is about spreading goodness. A smile and an apology can win what your rage wouldn’t.
Don’t behave like me. Please.
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