Letting Go – How easy is it?

All religions without exception say one thing in common. That is, Learn to let go. Do not cling to any experience, good or bad, for long. But how easy is it to practice this virtue in real life situations? Here is an incident which illustrates my point of view:

It was pitch dark at 9pm and it was a night of AMAVASYA . There were no street lights outside our cottage. The path was uneven and muddy. Heavy thunder showers with lightning further added to the misery of people walking in the streets. It was the last day of our visit to the Hill station Yercaud near Salem. Under such conditions, I needed to go out to fetch a medicine for an emergency. Myself and my daughter went out to a nearby autostand. As you will readily agree, an auto fellow is the last person anyone would like to deal with under such circumstances. Anyway, as we approached the autostand, the drivers were eyeing us with gleeful anticipation as a hungry lion would at its prey! We knew the nearest medical shop was just 2 kms away and asked a guy for a ride. He said: 200Rs, sir. When I confronted him, he said the rates are fixed. The way he said it in Tamil – Ellam FIXED, sir, I wanted to tell him everything is fixed in India starting with Cricket matches! Anyway, ‘who fixes and on what basis’, I asked. He kept repeating: ‘It’s fixed, sir’.  Not giving up, I asked him: “You are evading my question. It is fixed alright – what is the basis? More importantly tell me whether it is fair?” He didn’t answer. Desperately we got into the auto as there was no choice. As soon as we got into the auto it started to rain again. My daughter didn’t seem to be bothered by our heated arguments and got into a normal conversation with the driver. She was inquiring whether it was normal to rain in Yercaud during that season. I told my daughter: Ippadam avan nambala ematha pathirukkan. avanoda poi enna pechu ( The fellow just now fleeced us. why get into a normal conversation with him). She said: Why don’t you let go! That incident is over – finished! Why carry the grudge. I said: “It is easier said than done, especially when you are at the receiving end. We need to protest with silence!” My daughter didn’t agree with me, though. The point is that we all know it is good to let go of a bitter experience. However, how does one let go of an unresolved anger? There are no clear-cut answers.

Well, I would like to know from the readers what would you have done faced with a similar situation. Would you let go and carry on a normal conversation with the driver? If yes, it will be interesting to know how it works. I guess one way of looking at the situation is to see the pointlessness of showing anger at an event over which you have no control anyway.

On the following day morning, I went to a Spa (in a 5-star Hotel nearby) and paid Rs1100/ for a one-hour massage service! No questions asked, the money demanded was quietly paid up. This is also fixed like the auto fare. However, my reaction was completely different. I paid up without any murmur or questions on its fairness! In fact, 1100Rs was the lowest of their various tariffs, the highest tariff being 4000Rs. Of course, the ambience was great. The massage room was an all-glass cabin located atop a hill overlooking a lovely valley below. Soft music further added to the great experience. Even so, I would say 1100-4000Rs per hour is a rip off. If the auto fellow was fleecing, what would you call this? Plundering? Looting? I guess we are okay with ‘organized’ looting!  Perhaps there is a different way of looking at this. I will be happy to hear your views.

Barring this incident with the auto, our trip was thoroughly enjoyable. It was a great getaway from Chennai’s sweltering heat of May.  Although not as glamorous as the other popular hill stations – Ooty or Kodai – I would highly recommend Yercaud to Chennaites because it is probably the nearest hill station to the city. It is an hour’s drive from Salem, which is just 5 hours travel time by train from Chennai. This makes it easy to take a holiday at a short notice without any elaborate planning . Moreover, the place has its own beauty & charm as you can see from the pictures below:

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Published in: on July 27, 2013 at 12:05 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. There is a nice prayer which comes in to mind after reading the article .

    God grant me the
    serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    • Quite true.

  2. well, an interesting question and I give my views. There are no fixed answers as each situation is different. However the rule of thumb is let anger be brought , used and then forgotten , This is why in we say “avannukku Kopam vandhirukku, which means anger (Kopam ) is not in him. It has come in and so must be sent out. Simply said it should be used as a tool for communicating. Next moment is a fresh one and must be faced separately. on the fairness of the auto driver’s charges, as long as we see this as an business transaction it is fine. If we add our emotions and rights we get into trouble. For the same/ similar job, we see people getting paid differently. So best is to ignore and move forward.
    Thank you for the photos and the suggestions. It is worth the visit.

  3. That is a good observation about anger in Tamil. In contrast, in English one says, ‘he became angry’, which seems to imply ‘he & anger merge into one’, whereas anger has to ideally come & go! Anger per se is not bad as long as one is in control instead of anger controlling us. In fact, on reflection, from the auto drivers’ point of view, it is not a big deal at all. When there is an opportunity to make extra money they make it. The second example about spa drives home just that message. Ultimately, it is all a question of demand & supply. We see it happening all the time in the market place. Very often, price has nothing to do with cost. There is a famous saying: Price is what you pay – but value is what you get!


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