In my younger days, fifty or so years ago, I was not familiar with the words like ‘stress’, ‘tension’ or even ‘bore’. These were not part of our daily vocabulary then. The only time one would confront the word ‘tension’ would be in occasional newspaper headlines that would report of some or the other national or international conflict.
Today even small children get ‘bored’ or ‘tense’ even on matters as trivial as the watching of a TV news-channel by their parents for a little longer period than promised. This seemingly inconsequential ‘tension’ has now grown into ‘hyper-tension’, a medical condition. Today almost every third Indian reportedly suffers from this disorder. Sadly enough now even a large number of youngsters, mostly in large cities, also suffer from these seemingly avoidable stress-related problems. It is really worrisome.
While sociologists, psychologists and ‘shaky-experts’ on the social-media do keep trying to find reasons and way-outs to tackle this problem, there seems to be no let-up in the prevailing situation. May be because we all look for the solution outside, while it lies within ourselves.
However, most of our day-to-day tensions being our own creations these can easily be smashed with a little effort.
The other day while my wife and I were having our breakfast, our house-maid made a sudden announcement about her going to her ‘desh’ for a week, which often would extend to a month or so. A big stroke of ‘tension’ was the immediate effect and was writ large on our faces! For finding her substitute has always been a herculean task. And self-service, in this sweltering heat and in our old age, was simply unthinkable.
As a saving grace our maid told us that she herself would provide us with a replacement. We breathed somewhat light. However, my wife did not find the offered replacement up to her mark, and refused to take her services.
Obviously the daunting hunt to find a new one started sooner than later. Since no maid was available who could match my wife’s whims, one of our past house-maids, who was currently out of work, came to her mind.
But seeking her services was like having an added dose of ‘tension’. For, this one was out of her job because of some unsubstantiated charges of being a kleptomaniac levelled against her.
Since we had no other option she was asked to take up the job, which she accepted rather happily. But we, frankly speaking, were quite tense.
So strategies were drawn by both of us to keep an extra eye, despite already having two CCTV cameras installed, on her while she works.
Every day, during an hour or so of her work, we would pretend to be normal. It is another matter that our sudden and hasty movements, every now and then, from one room to another on one or the other silly pretext, were absolutely abnormal.
After a week or so of that exhausting abnormality my wife had a ‘eureka’ moment!
“My dear”, she asked me laughingly, “why are we behaving like this? What would she steal, in case she intends to as per our wild imagination, from our house? A piece or two of cutlery from a huge and wasteful collection, or may be a decorative artefact we would not even notice, or a used piece of clothing from our stiflingly stuffed large wardrobes, or a morsel or two of food from the overloaded fridge?”
“Even if our fear turns out to be true we would not be losing as much as we now are losing by being unnecessarily tense”!
She was absolutely right. By adopting that right attitude we did get ourselves rid of the unwarranted home-made tension, instantly!(Published on 09th July 2018, Volume XXX, Issue 28)