At times, when I reminiscence my childhood days, though most of them are filled with wonderful moments , there are those few memories which still invoke some negative feelings and make me cringe. Though I am a matured person now and maybe I should just shake it off as harmless childhood pranks but somehow I am not able to get past it. I am a dusky complexioned girl and we all know about the super crazy obsession of Indians for fair skin, well its sad that this colour bias is so prevalent in our country that even children are not spared. I had to bear the brunt of it throughout my school days. I think it started bit late as in the time I schooled, children were not that fast paced as today's generation. And to add to my woes, I wore glasses. So there comes the chasmis blackie girl. If someone said this to me today, I would give them a piece of my mind and wouldn't mind whacking them as well but when this actually happened to me I think I lacked the maturity and courage to deal with it. I kept feeling that I'm the defective piece, I am not fair skinned. Why did god give me a dusky complexion like my mother? I could have been fair like my father. And why these glasses. This just makes me more undesirable. I hardly revolted, I just tried to ignore people's comments and act as if nothing happened. But inside me, there was a turmoil, most often I fought hard to stop my tears from rolling down lest people call me a weakling and the teasing intensified.Today when I look back at all those people who made fun of me for my physical appearance I realise I have moved far ahead of them in all ways and they are the ones left behind.
When I try to think of these not so pleasant childhood memories and analyse them with the mind of a sensible adult, I think a grave mistake I made was not discuss this with anyone. I should have confided in someone whom I trust, who would have helped me face the situation and I would probably not have had to bear the brunt of this for so long. But I silently bore it all hoping that it would stop one day but that day took too long and in the interim I was the sufferer. I also hear lot of people say make your child tease proof by talking to him openly and making him understand that he is special and how to not let all these nonsensical things affect him. I am a mother today and have a 5 month old daughter who is so precious to me that even a scratch on her makes me so nervous. I know she has to go into this big bad world by herself one day, I will not be able to hold her hand forever and the first thing that's always on top of my mind is what if she's teased at school. Yes I know I will make her brave and instil the right values in her and teach her how to believe in herself and just not allow such mindless things to affect her or better still how to hurl punches in the face of such brutes (I'm contemplating this but I don't think anyone in my family will buy my arguments). But I sometimes wonder- Isn't she too young to really understand the gravity of this? Would she really be that matured that she wont let all this affect her in any manner, Sadly the answer is no. Well, I was in my early teens when I was teased and yes it did affect me . No doubt children are more matured these days, but I still think they would not be able to handle this like adults and it is bound to affect them.
Instead, why not each one of us teach our kids the right values and specially why its not ok to tease others, how would you feel if people ganged up and teased you, obviously you would not feel good about it. Each one of us is god's special child, we all are unique. Each one of us is masterpiece , so lets respect each other, learn to accept our differences be it in terms of colour, features, body or any other physical attribute. Childhood is one of the most beautiful phase in our life, this realisation dawns upon us quite late in life, but lets make this even more wonderful for all and not mar the beauty of this beautiful phase by indulging in teasing which may just sound like harmless fun(bache hai ye to karnege hi), but in reality ask the one who has gone through it and you will realise the bitter truth that it isn't harmless fun at all.
So whats your take on teasing? Do let me know your views, I have strong views on this as it is something I have experienced and would not wish that any child ever go through this.
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
A bibliophile that I always was- my favorite activity would always
be curling up in bed with a book. I grew up in a virtual world of the dark woods, enchanting castles, beautiful
princesses, and handsome knights in shining armor who would come riding on a
white horse and rescue the damsel in distress, the wicked ugly witch who tortured the princess but would meet a
horrible end. I was always an avid
reader, thanks to my Mom who inculcated this hobby in me when I was young and this
is a rare and priceless gift she gave me which has stayed for life. I can’t
thank her enough for this. I was drawn into the enchanting world of books,
where the characters danced before my eyes, it seemed so real.
Little did I
realize these books were sub consciously feeding me with stereotypes which
would become such an integral part of my thinking and personality that shaking
them off will not be easy. Have you realized that most of these fairy tales of
our times are so deeply flawed, gender biased and s…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…