People give wings to their imagination, mine is in an out of control spacecraft.
There is no way I can pass a manhole, without picturing myself inside it. What if the lid is not strong enough and I fall in its abysmal depths never to come out again! Crying, shouting for help before collapsing in a cesspool of human refuse….Will anyone miss me? Will my husband marry again? What happens to Tee! How will she manage life without me? What if she’s actually happy that she’s finally managed to get rid of me? Was I not a good enough mother to her! Does anyone really love me! I stop only after I collide into a gentleman, profusely apologize and head home with a heavy heart.
I discovered my true worth after I fell inside a manhole.
When we were just married, I used to start crying every time he left town for an official tour. In fact, I cried for three days non-stop when he left for the first time to Houston for two months. The women reading this post will understand why! We excel at imagining the worst. If he’s not picking up the phone, he must have been kidnapped by the Al Qaeda! If he hasn’t called up ten minutes after landing, his aircraft must have skidded off the runway.
Women are born worriers. Not just content with worrying about our loved ones, we worry on behalf of our neighbours, their dog, the nation and the universe. We nurture our fears like little puppies, despite knowing that only 0.009% of them will come true. We just can’t help it! We pursue our fears with single minded passion and wallow in misery.
We are willing prisoners of our paranoia’s.
If she’s watching news clips of flood ravaged Uttarakhand, or the horror unleashed by a tornado or tsunami, chances are she’s imagining herself there, alone, injured looking for her missing family. She doesn’t stop there. She blinks back tears as she thinks of the countless lives lost, the misery of those who survived and how life will never be the same again for them.
Back in Gurgaon, when my morning ritual consisted of reading newspapers, my attention would inadvertently gravitate towards the goriest of reports and soon I’d turn into a curious mix of Nirupa and Arundhati Roy. I would alternate between tears for the child who so brutally lost her childhood and cuss and gnash my teeth at sheer injustice of it all!
Pretty soon my husband started hiding newspapers from me.
It’s not as if we women love to torture ourselves with loathsome thoughts. They float in without prior warning, uninvited and simmer for hours and sometimes days, wrecking our peace of mind. It doesn’t help that we consider worrying as just another manifestation of love. I knew I had fallen in love with my man the moment I started stressing on his behalf.
So, if you turn up past midnight after ignoring her frantic calls because your phone was on the silent, please don’t look shocked when she welcomes you with choicest of abuses and hurls the flower vase at you. It’s because she cares for you.
If she insists on knowing your whereabouts when you’re out of her sight, she’s not being controlling. She just wants to make sure that you haven’t fallen inside a manhole. That’s why she hugs you tight when you get back home after a long day at office. Every time her child gets hurt, it’s she who winces in pain. She worries incessantly when Sonu scores 18 out of 100 in his Math paper and gives him motivational speeches to inspire him to reach for the 90’s. Too bad he confuses it with nagging!
She can be your biggest strength yet be your biggest weakness.
Since worrying is contagious, her heart becomes heavy when her friend is going through a rough patch. Isn’t that what friends are for! Be it acne attacks, the new boss trying to be bitchy, a nosy neighbour, the truant maid, her annoying MIL, her daughter’s good for nothing boyfriend, she has to discuss it with her many friends. Once she’s made all her friends as miserable as her and gotten unsolicited advice that she’ll never use, she sits back and sighs in relief.
Even when she’s having the time of her life, she will manage to sneak in a frown or two, sigh wistfully at the thought that this too will come to an end. When she has it all, it scares her to think that this might not last. If bad times are not meant to last, why should good times behave any differently!
The fact is, she’s always mentally preparing herself to face the worst.
Of course, the root cause of it all is her over-thinking cranium. And since the brain is woefully inadequate to keep up with her, she thinks with her heart as well! And it doesn’t quite help that what the heart wants, her brain rejects.
But don’t you worry! You can’t do a thing about it. She knows her biggest problem is her. She doesn’t need your help and certainly not your ridicule. All she asks for is your understanding. Now,is that too much to ask?