Aikido is one of the most amazing martial art forms in the world.
When you watch an Aikido practitioner fight, it is a sight to behold. The more aggression, strength and weight the aggressor brings in to the fight, the easier it is for the defender to control and should he want to, defeat his opponent.
The interesting part is that the skill involved in doing so is in the manner of yielding to that moment. As an example picture this:
You throw a brick at a wall. What obviously happens is that it shatters, right? Now, you throw the same brick against a freestanding curtain. The curtain yields, absorbing the intensity of the attack for the moment and then, when the brick has lost its steam, what happens is that the brick simply slides down the curtain and drops down to the floor.
The entire purpose of making you understand the dynamics of Aikido is to simplify the process of handling an angry spouse. This is a secret that I must admit, I learnt from my wise wife.
When we got married, I was known as the ‘angry man.’ If I may say so now without any pride, I was a legend when it came to that. So much so that when director Ravi Chopra sat down for the casting of the epic TV series Ramayana, he casted Laxman even before Ram because he felt that it was a no-brainer decision. I was cast for this role (yes, I was an actor) only because, and in Ravi’s words, he’d never seen a more short-tempered guy in his entire life.
So how did the taming of the shrew happen?
The Aikido way. Much like an Aikido grandmaster would, my wife would wait till the steam went off the anger, yielding gently and letting that moment pass. Because once that moment did pass, all that was left was the true essence of what our relationship really stood for, and that was love.
The reason why all my previous relationships failed was because all the women in my life tried to control my anger in different ways. Some, even trying to break down my anger matching it with their own aggression. Exactly the opposite of what should have been done.
What you have to understand, is that anger is a desperate plea for help from a very injured soul. This is not a happy soul at all, not in any possibility. It is possessed with demons from the past and has fear as its principle characteristic.
My wife saw the good in me but knew that my anger was just me lashing out to get more attention and love. At that moment, all that I needed was a reassurance that I would never ever lose her, no matter what happened.
It has to be clarified here that she was and is, no doormat. This is the mistake most yielding women make in a relationship. They just take whatever comes and accept it as a karmic occurrence.
The Aikido way is not the doormat way. For any amount of grief that I may have given my wife, I have got it all back, right and proper in equal measure. Sometimes maybe even a month after a particular fight. At the end of the day, it’s all about timing.
When you know that you have an angry spouse, it’s not really the end of the world. If you really love that soul, there is a solution. The fact that this solution works, has me as a living example; I am the proof!
The beautiful ending to this story is that I recently got cast as Janak in the new Ramayan. Now for those of you who may not know, Janak was known as Raj Rishi. Someone who was a king but lived the life of a saint. While casting me for this role, what the director told me that the calmness that he saw in my eyes affirmed for him that he was not casting an actor to play Janak. He was casting Janak himself.
So from Laxman to Janak, it’s been a long journey. A lot happened in between. A lot of anger, a lot of learning and a lot of loving.
And to my amazing wife, a public display of affection, “Thank you my soul mate.”