Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Fafda Files: Anger Management

This has been the new buzz term for the last decade.  In all areas from work to family to interventions, legal professionals have made potfuls by just hissing Aaaaa Mmmmm accompanied by air quotes. I suppose it’s the status quo. But, I feel one must draw the line when Veterinarians not willing to be left out of the gold rush, jump in and prescribe therapy for your pets who may demonstrate overzealous behavior such as humping the alley cat or the Lladro figurine on your coffee table.

I defer to your logic in cases where an employee sees fit to throw a laptop at his boss for  suggesting that the budget report may need to be tweaked for the tenth time.  Or, for that matter, when a husband adds half a cup of salt to an otherwise perfected Tarla Dalal chili Garlic Paneer.  Precursor to such gusto are the wife’s persistent snide references to his zoom call meetings with Sarah in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This in itself may not require an immediate need for a therapist. However, what follows when he lovingly asks her if she would like his mom to come over and help refresh her culinary skills might be the clincher. 

To the above scenario, based on the responses of focus groups, the onslaught of WMD’s at a fast retreating back qualifies for a crash course in anger management.  Now that I have successfully laid out the parameters for anger management, let me also apprise you of appropriate responses that may help reduce the number of weekly meetings with a counselor.  

Unable to gauge the IQ of my readers, I am apt to simplify cheat sheets in the form of scenarios that you could pen on the palm of your hands.


Scenario 1

Counselor: Mr. Iyer, this is our fifth session, how do you feel about your act of retaliation and short-lived euphoria at work?

Mr. Iyer (showing due remorse): I was having mental issues because my mother-in-law had come to live with us. 

This response will cut down weeks of counseling and earn you a sympathetic nod if the counselor is a male, otherwise you will have earned another four weeks. So, I caution you to use discretion.  In any case the absolute incorrect answer would be: “just wonderful, I now come to work with a smile and the gait of a young strapling.”


Scenario 2

Counselor: Mrs. Chatopadhyaya, do you now agree, that your husband’s actions were justifiable against your jealous behavior? And, that the appropriate use of a rolling pin or a broom is for cooking and cleaning and not to be used as missiles?

In this case, heed these words of caution – what should we refrain from verbalizing? 

  • Your son is a deviant 
  • You are  the reincarnation of a bhootni
  • Sarah belongs at corners under street lamps


Think about the below as a possible answer;

Mrs. Chatopadhyaya (with folded hands): I was wrong, Sarah is welcome to spend days and nights with my husband and I will start taking cooking lessons from his mother.

Immediately a report to discontinue all therapy will be signed especially since the counselor is your mother-in-law.


Scenario C:

Counselor (admonishing Ananya and the Labradoodle): Do you agree,  Laddoo, that you were being temperamental when you grabbed the bhaiyya’s ankles for diluting milk and it was inappropriate of your mistress to ask you to bite him?

Under no circumstances must you ask Laddoo to snarl at the Counsellor, while chewing the report on his desk followed by chasing him around the room, out of the office and directly to the jetway on a flight leaving for the Andamans, never to be seen again … (author reminiscing silently…and, again why not)?

Child and man’s best friend, society requires that you try the following response

Laddoo (eyes downcast): whimper, whine, whimper

Ananya: I will drink adulterated milk henceforth and reward the bhaiyya monetarily for his mis-appropriations.

The counselor will not be deceived but at the least your weekly parole visits will not  increase 


I am assured that the above guidance will serve you well.  I strive to teach my fellow beings through lessons learned from past mistakes. I do hope your forte takes kindly towards constructive criticism and mother-in-laws, otherwise, like me you will be destined to spend your remaining years at the mercy of folks deemed to be wise in the art of dispensing advice, while half your nest egg pays for their Dom Perignons, and extra curricular activities called Chamelis or Lotharios.

Minoo Shah
Minoo Shah, a resident of Texas, USA since 1976,  is a former journalist and has served on many community boards. She is currently studying towards her Ph D in the liberal arts and humanities. She writes on SeniorsToday.in every Saturday. Her views here are personal, and the Editors and Publisher of Seniors Today do not necessarily endorse her views.

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