Wednesday, 3 March 2010


This is a repeat of an article I wrote in 2007. Read on:

None of us want to get an attack of Loose Emotions. We are very careful about everything we intake and digest. Indeed, we hope and pray that not only us but no one close to us would have to deal with Loose Emotions. However, every now and then Loose Emotions afflict us and leave us drained out. These can range from something as harmless as our partner’s emotional outburst to a soldier in the border areas going on a shooting spree before putting a bullet in his own head – the very hotbed of loose emotions. Even though, like AIDS and Cancer, Loose Emotions can be fatal, not enough research has been done on it, particularly in the armed forces. Hence, there is an urgent need to look into history, types, causes, symptoms and possible remedies for loose emotions.

Historically, Loose Emotions is world’s oldest known ailment as also the most widespread. It started with Adam and Eve having been shunted out of the Garden of Eden. Presumably in the G of E gods and goddesses coexisted without having to confront Loose Emotions. But as soon as A and E were dropped on earth, they left behind a trail of emotions and we are still finding it difficult to live with them; or, for that matter, without them. The Urdu poets of yore made good name for themselves and a fast buck (no, not really fast buck because most of them like Zafar died penniless) writing about this great dilemma after being afflicted by it: ”Jeena bhi mushkil, marna bhi na aasaan”.

Our greatest epic Mahabharata tells us about the consequences of having suppressed Loose Emotions. Poor Pandavas – one’s heart goes out to them – had to deal with acute sense of injustice and deprivation, chicanery and guile. They knew it was building up but then, as it is now, there was no sure cure for LEs. And one bad day, they had to face the ignominy of having Draupadi being disrobed in front of their eyes. “Enough is enough”, said Y to A, and A to B and so on until even N and S, at their relatively younger age, were overwhelmed by Loose Emotions. The rest is history, and as you know, the only known cure for Loose Emotions, at that time, followed. Loose bodies and blood lay mangled on the battlefield; those who died were rid of it, but, at an exorbitant cost; those who survived were never the same again.

Let’s have a look at the types of Loose Emotions. Like Vitamins, Loose Emotions also have various types. The total types cannot be described in a small article like this. However, let me tell you about some of the prominent ones. The most prominent, without doubt, is an LE called ‘Love’; a four letter word. This is by far the strongest and most harmful virus of LE known to man. Indeed, virtually all other LEs have their origin in this Gangotri of all emotions. Many a time, one is blissfully unaware that the virus has penetrated one’s defences until it starts spreading its tentacles within and without. Initially, the victim’s pulse beat quickens, and blood pressure rises. Soon, one’s eyesight gets affected. Many see stars and become stony eyed but those afflicted badly complain that they cannot see anything except the objects of their love. This stage is known as ‘blind in love’. The victim has only a few more days to live but, under the influence of Love, his other senses also get blinded and he starts thinking that he and his beloved can live by themselves and forever. The really bad cases of this LE ultimately chuck themselves in front of approaching trains or from a cliff or hang from ropes until they are rid of it and of course, of precious life, which is another four letter word.

Slightly less potent but even more dangerous is an LE called ‘Hate’. Many of its symptoms are similar to ‘Love’; for example, rush of blood, loss of vision and so on. But, in this case, the victim wants to do things to others rather than to himself. Hence, throwing in front of approaching train or off from a cliff is not for the one afflicted by it but for the object of hate. Historically, top of the list was a character called General Dyer. He was afflicted by it so badly that his barrage of Hate felled all those who had gathered for a peaceful gathering at Jalianwala Bagh. (One would think baghs, that is gardens, are ideally suited for (e)motions of a different kind - behind the trees, that is, but GD proved everyone wrong!). Currently, after competition in the form of Saddam Hussein has been eliminated by the reverse of Indian Rope Trick, a man called Osama Bin Laden and another called Bush are the world’s leading victims of this LE. By and large, the whole world has divided itself into two camps: those who pray for OBL and those who follow in the footsteps of GB. Amongst the followers of GB, in a ‘sanatorium’ called Abu Gharaib, a female patient called Lyndie was so consumed by this type of LE that when pictures of her having Loose Emotions were released in the media, many others had loose emotions just watching her perform another version of rope trick.

The leading Loose Emotion in the women’s world is one called ‘Jealousy’ or ‘Envy’. A television company called Onida, knowing that ‘television’ is to the woman, in the same manner as ‘golf’ is to the man, advertised its product primarily for the females by cashing on this LE called ‘Envy’. Many a man was duped into buying the telly for his wife lest she should go and chuck stones at the neighbour’s, thereby making him (the man and not the neighbour) pay for not one but two of them.

Yet another type of LE is ‘Anger’ or ‘Rage’. Fortunately, it is easily controlled both by self help and by help from others. A man, for example, sent a telegram home that he was returning home on coming Monday. When he arrived he found his wife in bed with another man. Naturally, the emotion called ‘Anger’ was let loose until the mother-in-law investigated and triumphantly came up with the plausible reason for her daughter’s conduct, “John, she didn’t get the telegram”! Needless to say ‘Anger’ was subsided!

By far, the most amusing (and consuming) LE is one called ‘Pity’ or more specifically ‘Self Pity’. This virus is instantly released when we perceive that someone has got the better of us. Outwardly, there are no signs that a person has been afflicted by it except that the person becomes quieter than ever before. The virus lies buried within the victim until released with the help of alcohol at the Club or the Mess or at an unsuspecting friend’s place. Amongst all the words that are released, two words ‘If Only’ are uttered over and over again. For example, “If only I had sucked up like A, B or C does, I would have been an Admiral by now. If only!” Ladies react totally differently to men when afflicted by it. Their eyes release a substance called ‘Tears’, which they have in large quantities. Whereas men afflicted by it may or may not be heard, women shedding tears in self pity have to be heard.

Lastly, let’s have a look at the possible remedies. Lest this article should become very long, let’s come straight to the armed forces. For quite some time, the only way in which people in the armed forces dealt with Loose Emotions was to deny their existence. Let’s say A had a bout of depression and he approached B, his superior, to ask for counsel. B would immediately call a specialist in the cure of LEs called Master Chief GI and ask that A should be helped to get rid of this feeling of depression by going around the parade ground five times, preferably with rifle held up high. For good effect B would add, “And Master Chief Sahib, if the feeling still persists with A, please bring him to me.”

But things are a changing. These days it is not rare to find superior officers and sailors take into account the emotional setup of their juniors and encourage them to release emotions every once in a while. Of course many a times the disease is passed from the junior to the superior!

Meditation is a fairly effective method of getting rid of Loose Emotions and if Swami Ramdev is to be believed the only sure cure. My own personal remedy is to think of how adversely life would be affected if I persist with LEs. For example, I keep reminding myself that there is no situation so bad in which you can’t lose your temper and make it worse!

In the end, if you ever get attacked by Loose Emotions, tell a friend about it. It helps. And, if someone close to you is bitten by the bug, be a friend.

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