When someone is jealous of you, it only means you have what they want. She came, she sat, she cried. That’s pretty much how I can sum up every visit of Bansuri Chaddha to my house. As bugged as I get of the very un-bansuri like sounds she makes while crying, I never deny her the shoulder. It’s not easy to be born to, and to then live in the same house with one of the most irritating men this world has seen. And talking of Chaddha ji, I’m perpetually amazed at his here’s-a-new-way-to-piss-you-off ability. Bansuri narrated, in great detail, how the whole family is now reeling under his newfound obsession with envy. So Chaddha ji, who is a property dealer, was negotiating a deal for the sale of a plot in our area. Another property agent, whose son happens to be Bansuri’s classmate, managed to outdo Chaddha ji in striking the deal. Now he’s jealous.
And jealous with such uncontrollable zeal that he doesn’t mind expressing it in the most juvenile manner. So not only is this other property agent finding strange and sudden mishaps ranging from deflated car tyres and excessive garbage around his house, Bansuri has been ordered to stay away from his son. “He doesn’t realise that jealousy is turning him into such a negative person. How to harm that other family is all that we talk about at the dinner table these days,” cried Bansuri. Keeping my mean streak from telling her that nothing can ‘turn’ her dad into a negative person, I simply nodded. Jealousy is a pretty powerful emotion… it not only consumes the person who suffers from it but also ropes in unwilling participants. So if two sisters-in-law are jealous of each other, their husbands will have little more than woes to listen to, all the time. If a colleague suffers from bouts of jealousy, his behaviour will spread nothing but negativity around the team.
In today’s column, I had a choice between addressing either the victims of someone else’s jealousy or those who suffer from envy towards others. I’m choosing the latter because a person who suffers from jealousy pangs, simply because someone else has got a better deal in life, is usually in a much bigger state of stress than the subject of his envy. Here’s the thing…
* You feel jealous because you feel life’s been unfair towards you. That you should have got what the other, less-deserving person has managed to get.
* Your mind then gets all consumed by thoughts of how you can harm that person so that he can’t enjoy what he has got unfairly.
* This leaves almost no time for you to think about how you could improve your own fortune, or better yet, appreciate what you may already have.
* Not being able to do the above leads to a further gap between the other person’s fortune and yours.
So this my dear is the dreaded term – vicious cycle – that you keep reading about. Dekho, one simple point is that you can’t really change someone else’s destiny. So all the nasty, little tricks that you may try in order to harm the person you are jealous of, can actually tick God off into giving him even more. So woh toh karo mat. Focus instead on yourself and try these…
1. Ban the word ‘comparison’ : We all have a quick tendency to compare ourselves with people who we think are in the same strata as us. So you tend to compare your marks with a friend because he is in the same class as you. You compare your appraisals with colleagues who are in the same salary bracket as you. You compare the size of your car with a neighbour who lives in the same area as you. What you forget is how superficial these so-called similarities are. Look deeper and you’ll realise that every person, no matter how similar he may be in age, looks, social standing, academic background etc, has a very different story to him. And that you NEVER know someone else’s true story. A neighbour who is flaunting a big car and a big smile everyday may be drinking himself into coma every night out of depression. The colleague who gets promoted every year, may have his wife shouting the daylights out of him at home. The classmate who seems most popular may be running around counsellors to cure his or her insecurities and complexes. If outer trappings could be definite indicators of happiness, Shah Rukh Khan would be the happiest person in the country. Maybe he is, maybe he curses his life every night before he goes to bed. Who knows? The point is simple: when comparisons are anyway invalid because they are being done on wrong parameters, why kill yourself by feeling jealous over them? It’s like reading about the state of the economy in Greece and getting all stressed-out sitting in Bhatinda. Vele ho kya?
2. Love yourself, more than anyone else: Sounds selfish but I have a firm belief that it is the biggest key to happiness. Jealousy stems from the belief that you are not as good as the other person. Now that we’ve decided to remove the other person from the scene, you have no choice but to focus on what’s great within you.
And there is always something unique and great within each one of us. We just blind ourselves to it. For a change, fall utterly, madly and completely in love with yourself — the way you look, the way you talk, the way you work. Bhaad mein jaaye duniya and the thought that you may be turning vain. We’ll control the vanity bit when it comes to that. For once, think of yourself as the best and jealousy would soon stop knocking at your door. It doesn’t like to wait for long in front of closed doors.
3. Feel happy for the person you’re jealous of: I know saadhu sant type advice hai, but try it out if you can. You’ll feel so good about yourself that it’ll be worth the try. Lemme give you a silly example because I specialise in those. If out of jealousy, you’ll keep wishing bad things and ill luck for your friends or classmates (for example wishing that they don’t get admission in a good college and you do), and if God happens to be in a weird mood and grants your wishes, do you know what will happen? When after a few years, you would want to do a reunion with your friends, you’ll end up in a gathering of depressed losers. Wouldn’t it be better to wish well for everyone and have a room full of successful, happy friends instead? This is true for everything in life. The happiness that comes out of seeing someone fall is momentary and fake. The one that comes with them walking side by side, giving you company, is way deeper and long lasting. Make a choice!
Sonal Kalra told Bansuri to discuss Shah Rukh Khan at the dinner table and stay away from jealousy. By the way, it’s an Italian dinner table. How could Chaddha ji afford it? Some people are so damn lucky.