My childhood was quiet different from the conventional notion. I could never make friends easily. Mostly, the other kids in the class were afraid that being friends with me would make them unpopular. Also, I did fairly well academically, always being the class topper. So, for people, I was either ‘too nerdy’ or ‘too ugly’ to have any sort of friend circle or social life.
I blamed myself for all this.. I always thought I was not good enough to have friends. The solitude took its toll on my confidence and self-assurance. I was a clumsy mess, always nervous and scared around people. Though, I would have my occasional share of popularity when the other kids would get stuck on some assignment.
At home, under the unconditional love of my family, I was a totally different person. I would go on talking incessantly. I was as curious, playful, and cheerful, as any girl of my age. I felt most comfortable around my elder sister who would always keep me pampered. She would bring all sorts of colourful flowers and chocolates for me, and gave me all her toys to play with. We would occasionally build a tent out of saris and dupattas, in which, we would spend our summer afternoons, where she would tell me stories and stitch little dresses for my dolls.
HOME, was a refuge for me from the harsh world outside.
Things changed for better when I entered college. I found people who were less prejudiced towards me, and ready to accept me for what I am. Strange things started happening. People invited me for treats and outings, and were willing to spend time with me, something that was totally new to me. I remember the first time when I was asked for an outing by a friend. I asked her in a state of shock and amusement – “are you serious”? But I looked away before she could really understand what I just said. During our first excursion together, one of my friends said that she was glad that I’ve accompanied them.
That was a plain, blunt confession but that small sentence meant the world to me. Finally, someone was happy to be in my company.
Our first outing together is a memory I shall cherish all my life. We just had two scooties but that wasn’t enough to deter these 7 crazy souls. We were all quirky in our own way, with different eccentricities. We chatted for a long time, ate together, created a racket at a mall (we chased each other through the alleys with soft-toys as weapons) . Maybe we were somewhat wrong, because we lied at home about the 2 scooty- 7 people thing, but still it felt good to know about these people with their small habits, one liners, ambitions and their common defiance for norms :)
This incident helped me understand that I need not chase people for their acceptance, the right ones would just happen in life, who would accept me for what I am, and would appreciate me for my individuality, rather than thrust their belief of perfectionism over me . At times, you are simply with the wrong people. It helped me believe, that it was possible for me to make friends, to live life, to find ‘unconditional love’ at places other than home.
I’ve overcome my clumsiness, lack of confidence, and regained my self-assurance. I don’t get mad now when someone chooses to walk out, knowing that who are meant to be shall stay.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT DIFFERENCE YOUR SMALL GESTURE MAY BE MAKING IN SOMEONE’S LIFE…..