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Stuff I have written previously published elsewhere.

That Thing Called Anger Management

I wrote this back in 2011. Reposting! 
I think I got to know of the phrase ‘Anger Management’ after watching the Adam Sandler movie a few years ago. It was funny and I also realized somewhere at the back of my mind that angry people do need some kind of help. This is not glaringly obvious to the person who gets angry but to those around this person or the recipients of their wrath.


Anger is a deluded mind that focuses on an animate or inanimate object, feels it to be unattractive, exaggerates its bad qualities, and wishes to harm it. Check this out – when we are angry with our partner for example, at that moment they appear to us as unattractive or unpleasant. We then exaggerate the bad qualities by focusing only on those aspects that irritate us, in the process completely ignoring all the good qualities and kindness, until we have built up a mental image of an extremely faulty person. We then wish to harm him in some way, probably by criticizing or disparaging him.

And that’s when the fight started…

It’s a shame when two people who say they love with each other can fight so much that they come to a point where the bickering never ends, the blaming never ends and then comes the silent treatment and sometimes people just end up cutting each other out of their lives. From siblings to kids, from grown ups to lovers, peoples’ lives can change so drastically just because of words or actions that are said or done in anger.

So how can you control it? Don’t under-estimate the power of slowly counting to ten and if need be increase to twenty. You need to slow down and THINK before uttering something that could end up destroying something so precious. People generally tend to remember the horrible and harsh words uttered to them more than loving ones. Try not to be the reason of someone’s visit to a shrink. 

You may cool down eventually and forget the incidence that triggered you to utter harsh words but some people are like sponge personalities. They absorb everything and cannot let go until someone else squeezes it out of them. Learn how to express your feelings and needs assertively in situations that make you feel angry or frustrated. Do that in a non-aggressive way. Assertiveness has nothing to do with aggressiveness. Assertiveness includes respect for yourself, and respect for others. BIG difference and no one needs to lie down on a couch for an hour talking about their issues to someone who is being paid astronomical fee by the hour.

Also learn to say sorry. It really doesn’t kill anyone to apologise for something that is wrong. Your ego may not allow you to apologise even if it’s not your fault but if you’re really going to rise above it then just say sorry and allow yourself to move on. And saying sorry doesn’t mean that you will bring up the same incidence in a later argument. Saying sorry means you are ready to let go of it completely and be positive. Yes I know – easier said than done but once it becomes a habit it’s not hard at all.

Control your outburst and mean, venomous words that you spew out when angry. The damage can sometimes last a lifetime and it will be your loss. If your anger is accompanied with violence then you need to seek out someone who charges by the hour and makes you lie down on a couch and talk about what is the root cause of your anger. List down your triggers, start looking for warning signals within by being aware of what makes you angry and walk away from the situation until you are calm enough to tackle it. I tend to switch off but not many people around me like it when I do that. In their minds I’m supposed to be a happy, jolly person who is supposed to be laughing and joking and making everyone laugh at any given moment.

Well, piss off. I can’t do that all that time and I’m just as human as the next person.

 

(Article written in the waiting room of a person who will make me lie down on a couch and charge me per hour to help me with anger management.)

Hello I’m Kamal Kaur and I’m a hypochondriac


I have just stepped in the world of hypochondria and I don’ like it one bit. It has taken over my thoughts, my aches, my pains and is the reason I can’t sleep well at night thus giving way to a condition call insomnia and then I’m back to square one because see…? Insomnia is not a fictional illness! It IS a condition!

Let us start from the top. Every story has a Once Upon A Time and this one is no exception. To while away my evenings after the kids have gone to bed I usually just plonk myself in front of the TV and multi task doing my nails, checking my emails, talking on the phone with the TV switched on for company. One fine day I channel hopped and came to the Series Channel on DSTV and there was Hugh Laurie who caught my eye. He had a walking stick and he was talking in an American accent instead of his regular British one. I stopped long enough to realise it was a medical drama and he was the head doctor of a team and his name was House. And THAT is the exact point when my hypochondria started.

I got addicted to the series. I couldn’t wait for the designated day for the next episode to come fast enough. Then I realised the Hallmark channel (now known as Universal) ran daily episodes of a past season. I’d be glued to the TV every single day and then I made yet another discovery. Not the Discovery channel… I know about that one! I found out that Diamond Plaza housed a shop (no pun intended) that sold whole seasons of House! I bought four seasons and rushed home to start watching them. I got glued to the TV. I moved the TV and DVD player into my room to start watching House at any given moment. The kids were disgusted I had taken their TV from the playroom where they’d watch their movies and put it in my room.

While watching the series I’d have my laptop with me and I’d Google the symptoms to see if I could diagnose the patient. When I failed miserably at that I decided it’s safer to be the patient than the doctor so thereafter any twinges or aches or pains I’d have would get Googled and I’d do a self diagnosis. Dr House is so damn good looking and his rude bedside manner is so enchanting that he managed to bring the hypochondriac out in me. He made me want to be ill and get treated by him.

Anytime I’d relate this to friends of mine I’d get strange looks. Silly women should have taken these as warning signs and told me to snap out of it but I was indulged in giggles and weird looks behind my back (I caught a couple of them) and then decided to become reclusive – like any person with an addiction who is not understood. Addicts get a high from their so-called chosen euphoria. If not dealt with in the early stages it becomes a full blown addiction.

One thing in defence for me is that every time I have self-diagnosed something the doctor has always told me the same thing. I don’t treat my afflictions but I get this great self-satisfaction that I wasn’t wrong. And if I were to be buried after I kick the bucket, I know the tomb stone would read ‘I told you so’

Right. I’m off to see my GP. I think I have DVT.

 

Gina Din – With a Pinch of Masala!


I had the pleasure of meeting this down to earth lady a couple of weekends ago and thought she’s just amazing. It takes a lot for me to get star struck so you’ve got to be believe me that she has a lot to strike anyone. Cool, calm, poised, well-dressed were the first impressions and as the evening progressed I established that she is a genuinely warm person. No airs and graces and lovely laugh to match! So I got hold of her and asked her a few questions to find out what makes her tick.

*Gina Din*

Describe yourself in 4 words

–       Caring, positive, impatient, feminine

If you could come back in another life, would you be male or female?

–       Female! I love being a girl.

What was your Plan B in life?

–       This is my Plan B.  When I was growing up I planned on having 6 kids and not working!!  On the work front, I feel very lucky that handling so many of Kenya’s blue-chip companies gives me a great perspective to the inner workings of many of the country’s most succesful companies, across the entire private sector and the incredible minds that run them. I am lucky to have learnt so much from my clients. Indeed most of our clients are the very engine of Kenya’s economy so I feel really lucky to be part of them. I totally love the diversity of what I do for routine would bore me to bits. Its great just being part of a different company every day. I am really proud of the Kenya Red Cross and the great work that they do. As the goodwill ambassador, the only one in Africa, its so satisfying to be involved in such a well run and independent organisation. I am really enjoying my role and want to spend more time raising awareness of the different programmes.

What do you think happens when we die?

–       We go to Heaven

When was the last time you really got angry?

–       I don’t get angry often………….but when I do, oh! Boy.   I cant remember when I did.  Probably when I saw the lack of fire equipment in Nairobi City

What are you most proud of?

–       I am most proud of my two kids.  Natalya  and Naythan. They are my pride and joy. I love to see the kind of people they are becoming and their values and aspirations. They are both great kids and wonderful friends.   I am also proud of my company and what we have created as a team

Do you spend a long time in front of the mirror?

–       I don’t spend a long time in front of a mirror but I do spend time lazing about before I get to the mirror

What was always written on your school report?

–       ‘Gina is wasting not only her own time but the time of the teachers as well.’  I was not a great student! I wasnt the sharpest tool in the shed at school and didnt enjoy school at all. So I tend to place more focus on people as a whole and not just their academic qualifications. Its takes a lot of different aspects to make one interesting but I have loads of respect for those that are completely clever and do enjoy studying.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

–       I would love to be more patient …………….I have little patience with people wasting my time and I wish I could be more accommodating

When and where are you the happiest?

–       I am happy most of the time.  I find it hard to not enjoy each moment.  Life is such a gift so I just don’t dwell on things that make me sad.  I try very hard to remain positive and grateful for my life and for my children.

Carjacked! Well, almost!

carjacking.jpg (376×345)

So I’m thinking it’s not really been my week. Shall I start from the top? Well last week I had my house-helper rob me and not a week had passed when I have another incidence. Last week I said I was robbed but it wasn’t one of those gun-wielding incidences. I must pay more attention to my son when he says ‘Mummy there is power in the tongue’ because I had a gun wielding incidence too.

I woke up on Sunday morning at around half past six. I know it sounds abnormal but I was working that morning so it was out of necessity. It had been pouring all night so I was pretty reluctant to get out of my warm bed. Anyway, I got up, had a shower, did my prayers and within thirty-five minutes was ready to leave the house.

After some instructions to the gardener I sat in the car and started fiddling with cleaning out the rubbish the kids had left on the back seats. Eventually I drove out and took a shortcut I usually take that passes a quiet road and a church just behind my house. There was a slight drizzle and I had a CD of hymns playing in the car and I was reciting along with it. I got to a T-junction and on my right I saw a white Toyota Corolla parked haphazardly and my first thought was that the car’s probably been left there by the owner because it probably had water choking it because of the rain or someone probably got carjacked and the car has been abandoned there.

I’m driving along as I’m thinking this when I see three men walking in the middle of the road about fifty yards away from the car. I didn’t give it much thought. There are many people in Kenya who just walk in the middle of the road for no damn good reason so I just hooted lightly to attract their attention to get them to jump out of the way.

Next thing I know they defiantly stand in the middle of the road and the guy in the middle reaches into his jacket and pulls out a gun and aims it at me! At this point I was still reciting the hymns and I later realized as all this was happening in slow motion I was yelling out the prayers non-stop! Back to the thieving bastards, the one in the middle is pointing the gun at me while the other two tried to jump at my car. I started hooting madly to attract the attention of the domestic askaris at the nearby houses. It was a narrow residential road with houses on either side and I thought attracting attention would be the best thing to do. I also revved my car and did a 70kmp/h in 0-5 seconds. I just drove straight at the bloody bastards to knock them down but two jumped to the right and fell into the ditch and the one on the left moved out of the way. I drove off really fast and I’m lucky they didn’t shoot at me.

I know that when you’re being given anti-carjacking advice the first thing you’re taught is not to resist but instinct and reflex don’t seem to realize that when push comes to shove. I know I got lucky but I also know had I reached that T-junction 2 minutes before they would have definitely pounced on me and shot at me. I was just very lucky.

I went straight to the East FM studio as I was supposed to be on air by 8am and Pete Sinclair the group programme controller was really very nice and sympathetic and made me drink lots of sugary water to stop me shaking and retching with fear. He also told me I could go back home instead of doing the show but I just chose to stay there and continue with my work. Truth be told I was still shaking and continued doing so for at least 2 hours and was really scared to go back.

So in a nutshell it hasn’t been a fabulous time for me and I hope this spate of bad luck diminishes completely soonest! Send me car-jacking tips if you have any. I need to condition my mind and reflexes to be more careful and extra vigilant in case it happens again to me. I’m still SO SCARED!