I am a staunch believer in revenge. As in, I think it absolutely makes sense to return the malice or hatred someone doles out to you intentionally. I also believe in Karma, but for an impatient soul like me, waiting for her to strike back at morons who do bad to me, doesn’t cut it. Also, the poor thing has so many people to get back at, I believe in lending her a helping hand and doing the dirty work myself.
I am also very particular about giving back the exact same portions of ‘love’ to the one you’ve received it from. For me, ‘an eye for an eye’ is the concept that rules my actions. And to the additional piece of wisdom doled out by Mahatma Gandhi (or as Sonam Kapoor said – Robert De Niro), I would just say that I would obviously prefer a blind world to one where I am sitting moping in a dark room, while the evil guy who poked my eye is watching a movie and thinking – Thank God for Gandhi. Erm, thanks, but I don’t think so?
Fortunately, for the recipients, life hasn’t given me enough opportunities of physical reciprocation and most of my getting back has been bitter (albeit classy, ok, sometimes not so classy) remarks in response to personal comments that I do not appreciate. Words I wouldn’t utter otherwise, things I wouldn’t say. Things I believe are true but too nasty to mention. Things I do not believe at all but saying them seems right because the person who hurt me deserves them. Sometimes immediately, mostly as an afterthought, because God hasn’t granted me a quick retort system.
But there have been a few cases where I have actually gotten back in action.
One such situation I remember very clearly, more so because my mother does, and quotes it every time she thinks I have rage issues, which I don’t, is from when I was back in the B-school. So our hostel being in Kerala had those sloping, tiled roofs, and on the highest level of each hostel building was the washing area. By which I mean 3 fully automatic front load washing machines were placed in this area (very posh and smart investment I think) and also several clothes lines to dry the almost dry clothes that came out. These 3 machines were to be used by the 40+ students residing in said building.
Anyway, the process we followed was, take your clothes and detergents to the top, load the available washing machine, start it, and then place the empty bucket next to it before leaving. Reason being, the cycle would go on for about 90 minutes, and most of us would put the clothes in before leaving for class. In the meantime, if someone else comes up and the run has completed, by default, they would put the clothes out in the bucket and load theirs. You could dry your set when you were back. All fair.
Back to said day, I had put my clothes for a run first thing in the morning, when all the machines were empty and there were only day old dry clothes on the clothes line and left for class. I returned probably around 4 hours later. Now on a regular day this would mean that assuming someone else walked in to wash their clothes after mine were done, my damp clothes would be in the bucket. But no.
My clothes were on the floor. And they were not damp, they were soaking wet. Which was weird, because as far as I knew you could not unlock the door, until the cycle was complete, till the drying bit. But someone had managed to open the door midway through my wash. Not only that, they had unceremoniously dumped my clothes on the ground instead of in the bucket.
I swear I saw red. I say this because the next few minutes passed quite fast. So I did a quick survey to see that at the moment, the other two machines were occupied and running. Also, the machine I had used was empty. Which meant that the person who emptied the machine had used it (most probably) and had also removed their clothes. Probably.
Which meant said clothes would actually be on the clothes line now. I did not wait to analyse any further, but blindly pulled down all the clothes in a semi dry state off the clothes line and dumped them on the floor which was quite wet. I then took additional pains to crumple them, stomp on them, and only when I felt a bit relieved did I stop to put my clothes back in the machine for a second wash. This time of course I kept time.
I really didn’t bother to find out who did it, or whose clothes I screwed up, or if I was right in my half-baked theories to assume the attacked clothes were actually the right ones. It was more for satisfaction for the moment and it worked amazingly well.
Moral of the story is there is no moral of the story. The thing is, I still think what I did was right. The thing is that if the same thing happened again today, I would do exactly the same thing, perhaps a little better because now I know the situation. The thing is when Zo comes back and tells me someone hit her at school, my first reaction is to ask her if she hit the kid back because God forbid she gets bullied, but I bite it back and ask her if she told the teacher. And when she says she did but the teacher did not say anything (which could be true, or not), I ask her if she hit the kid back anyway.
I wonder if that makes me a bad parent, but honestly, I don’t care if it does. I know, one might think that is wrong, this is what is wrong with the world. But no, as long as we are venting out at the person who caused us pain in the first place, it is justified in my case. Because how much ever Zen you are, what goes in, will somehow come out. Better hit the person it is intended for, than a random by passer. And yes, while I understand that stooping to low levels just because someone else did doesn’t make sense to many, if it hurts me personally, I would rather get it out of my system than bottle it up hoping and wishing that in some manner the universe will fix things for me. It’s just so much faster, and more convenient.
And it’s also the only way I can sleep peacefully at night.