When you are angry with your beloved one, you are kinder with everyone else.

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I was travelling from Bikaner to Mumbai. A Gujarati family of seven members were co-travelling with me. Four gentlemen and three ladies having experienced all shades of life were enjoying an excursion away from home. The average age of the members appeared to be over 50.

I was sharing the same compartment with them. Initially, I kept myself aloof from their discussions. But the journey was more than 24 hours long and I had nothing better to do, so I started eavesdropping.

One particular lady in the group seemed rather displeased with another man, presumably her husband. From their discussions, It appeared that the husband hadn’t fulfilled one of her shopping wishes.

As the journey progressed, casual enquires about the destination, exchange of food during lunch and dinner, card games, etc. started taking place.

The lady was being overtly enthusiastic about serving food to the members of the group, actively taking part in the card games and interacting with everyone with kindness while still maintaining coldness with her husband.

Being a reflective eavesdropper, I started analysing her behaviour while connecting and relating it to my personal similar experiences.

Her overt acts of kindness to other people were nothing but a compensatory behaviour derived from the guilt of being angry at her husband

Arvind is a Professor of Computer Engineering in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University Lonere India.

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