There have been incidents when I’ve been deliberately wicked. How did Itching to write ever come to know of it? The sixth sense at work perhaps? She’s tagged me to reveal the evil ‘me’ so here I go.
My husband once blasted me for not being able to find a comb to comb his receding hair or whatever was left of it. All the while the comb was lying right in front of him. I decided then that he should go without a comb for the rest of his life. I hid every comb in the house including the pocket combs that I got for Navaratri. The poor man cannot ‘see’ things that are right in front of him. From where would he find a hidden comb? He’d find my hair combed and tied up but could not bring himself to ask for one. He simply ran his fingers through his hair and looked around to see if by some magic a comb would fall into his hand from nowhere. I was certainly not relenting. This went on for 3 days when unknown to me he noticed me extracting a comb from my purse. The next day I saw his hair in place and realized that he had indeed outsmarted me. I still wonder why he didn’t go to a nearby shop and buy himself a comb? Wouldn’t it have been better than pulling a long face as if the whole world had turned against him. I would have done that if I had been in his place. Another gender rule I suppose. ‘Do what you want all your life, when things go wrong blame your wife.’
The former Principal of our college once withdrew the facility of using the telephone from her office even in emergency situations. We finally agreed to pay and use it. She kept a small ‘hundi’ near her table and staff members would drop two rupees into it before using it. Many self respecting staff members preferred to go to a pay phone booth to using the telephone in her office. Those were days before mobile phones had become popular. I’d deliberately go to her office, dial up a non existent number or insert a 25 or 50 paise coin and talk for at least 10 minutes.
When I first learnt to drive a car I used to get nervous when people overtook me without a warning.So when I gained confidence I’d make it a point not to give a pass to any one who wanted to overtake without indicating. ‘If you want to overtake, you better take my permission.’ I’ve gotten over that phase now.
When my brother in law visited us he’d listen to loud music of his choice on the internet till about two in the night. I deliberately disabled the connection and the poor man did not even suspect foul play. I felt lousy for being mean and enabled it after two days. That is also a problem with me. I start feeling bad for the target of my wickedness and end up relenting.
There have been other occasions when on an after thought I’ve felt that I should have retaliated in this or that manner when I was at the receiving end of atrocious behavior. But I never really have been able to do so. An acquaintance of mine often cites the following example-
A dominating relative of his would often visit them, have her way in everything, act mean to the entire family and leave everyone depressed by the end of her visit. The moment she left there would be a buzzing sound in the house. People would form groups and the conversation would be something like this-
“It would take me a minute to give her a fitting reply. I just controlled myself.”
“I almost said ‘this’ or ‘that’ but I kept quiet. Then what would be the difference between me and her?”
The truth is that most of us are happy being good. It is so much easier. We take the liberty of being wicked with those who are either very close to us or those who don’t matter at all. On the occasions mentioned above I did get a sadistic pleasure at least temporarily. It was like being someone else. Have I told you that I liked Ravan’s acting better than Ram’s in Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan? I do hope the real Ram was not like Arun Govil’s lifeless depiction of the character. Remember, our mythological character was not only a good and just king but also a valiant soldier. And with his plastic smile Arun Govil hardly looked either of them!