The curry effect

Recently, I fell. I fell hard. Really hard.

I did a faceplant to the ground, forehead made contact and bounced, which snapped my head back and I hit my front tooth on the cold tile floor.

My left knee helped to slow the sliding momentum as I skidded to a halt, right before the bin.

My hands, one aching from absorbing the fall, while the other scalded from the small pot of curry I was reheating.

All because I didn’t have a good grip and tried to save the pot.

The last time I had a hard fall, it seemed to happen in slow motion, but not this time. Everything happened at the same time … and the thing that went through my head was “Damn, I have to clean this up. Fish curry stains everything. Oh no … my white Greedo T-shirt!”

So yeah, in the midst of the pain, and calming mum down after she picked me up from the floor and assuring her that “No, I did not fall because I had a dizzy spell or vertigo. Yes, I was just clumsy”, I started to clean up.

Mum helped to wash the kitchen which looked like a bomb had exploded in a vat of curry.

As we were washing the floors, I got to thinking how one small ‘mistake’ can cause a ‘catastrophe’, one that required a lot more time and effort to clean up or make right.

I suddenly thought of anger and all the times I was angry. Angry enough to want to break something (and sometimes, someone).

It made me realise that from that one moment of mistake, one moment of emotion, one slip … the clean-up that has to happen after is tedious and sometimes leaves a stain that won’t go away.

We all have emotions that we will need to keep in check. Mum always tells me that I am very short-fused and that I need to just take things easy.

Things don’t always have to go my way and I don’t have to do everything to make sure it turns out right, to me.

Sometimes, you have to look at the big picture, ask for help, take a bit more time, let others try to do what you may think is easy but give them the space to make the same mistakes that you once made.

Just be ready with a mop, bucket and soap.

Just from one small pot of curry, I felt a lot of pain, and the mess was huge. If I had just let go of the pot, I would not have fallen and tossed the pot.

It would have made a mess, but not as bad.

The pot of falling curry is like the thing that you are angry at. It is something that has happened but how you react to it will determine how big of a clean-up it will be.

You cannot control what others have done or the inevitable from happening, but you can control how you react to it.

How you respond in that situation is important. Letting go may not feel right but if you hold on to that anger and respond negatively, it could possibly end up being worse – like a wall full of curry stains that will be there for a lifetime.

Just in a fit of anger, you could break something. Hurt someone. Emotionally, physically, mentally. You might even hurt yourself.

The anger trigger may just be a moment but the aftermath of one angry reaction can last a lifetime.

The very emotion that fuels you could cause the most damage, not just to the person it is directed at, but to those around them, their families, friends, their reputation and even to yourself.

So in the words of Elsa from the Disney cartoon Frozen, “Let it go, let it goooo…”

Maybe next time I will be more careful and hold the pot with both hands. This time at least, while I lost one of my favourite T-shirts, mum gained a very clean kitchen in time for Raya.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.