Since childhood, I have adored rebels and sort of admired rebelliousness as a virtue. To be more correct, it is not the rebelliousness I like but the meek submission which I hate. “DON’T” does not sit very well with me. And I can’t say how that trait developed in me. Perhaps, it comes from the genes, perhaps I read too many such stories in the age when they formed an impression on me. I don’t know.
As I sat thinking about it, I realized that in the littlest thing I have always tried to do what others told me not to. Of course, I have seen enough setbacks due to that. So much so, that I fear that I have exhausted my quota of going wayward in this lifetime ever again.
It started from the time when I got my bicycle, in class 5th or 6th I think. Mother told me not to take it on the main road. I did just that and barely avoided getting run over by cars! When I became a teenager, I was told not to roam on streets with other teenage friends till late night. I did just that- every single day. I was asked to behave – I did not. I was supposed to do girly things – I soooo did not. Then, came the board and stream choosing time – It was wanted that I become a doctor – I completely dropped biology and took maths. It was expected that I compete to get in the best schools and stay away from home – I did not fill forms. It was expected in school that I concede that I am secondary to a said boy – Well, I topped and he did not. Then came the next school: I was told that what should I care, I was never going to do well – I did well beyond their imagination. I was expected to be “serious” and work really really hard to get into this prestigious college – I did not work hard. I was expected to fail again and settle for lesser – I succeeded and got a better deal.
Then starts the college phase: The worst in this particular context, I think.
I was told that being a girl, I will never be able to handle mathematics (Just look at the goddamn reasoning…and they said it at my face!! Not one person – at least 4 I can distinctly remember. They suggested me I should take up more conventional stuff, which being a girl I can handle) – Guess what my branch was ?? MATHEMATICS with an unconventional degree (Most of the people don’t get it even today and I care a flying fuck about them). Then, being this short, fat, not so good looking (I am not ugly! I can be very good looking at times) person, I was expected to remain buried under the weight of my real glamorous rommate and not be recognized. She remained glamorous but I came out as prominent if not more. I became what no one suspected I could be. Then sports happened and again by the virtue of me being short and fat, people thought I could not play: I PLAYED Basketball, Badminton, Tennis, Squash, Swimming and Fatta and sometimes TT. In these, I beat everyone’s ass in fatta, played basketball better than many of my fellow taller companions. In the trials of tennis, my coach rejected me and my friend for coaching(for what reason, I don’t know till date) . We practiced, at 2 am in the night and I made the Insti team. He told me to use underhand serve. I did not use that ever. He told me to have a double handed backhand. I have a superb single handed backhand. He told me that I should not volley. I volleyed best amongst the girls. He told me I should focus on my forehand. That is my worst shot till date :). In swimming, the coach told me that I should practice breast stroke first since it was easier and me being so fat would be able to only that. I first of all learned free style in 2-3 days and then I learned back stroke, then I learned butterfly too and in the end I learnt breast stroke…still worst at it. In squash too, people told me not to use the backhand – you know now, what I must have done.
In cultural festivals, no girl was expected to handle certain areas. I went into them only. In academics, I was expected to study – I sooooooo did not.Not at all. Not even if they threatened me with worst possible consequences. And those worst possible consequences happened.
Then starts the job and social life. Boy, Am I now paying for not following the norms? Hell, yeah!! This world is tailor made for the people who walk the line made by people before them with their heads bent, doing just what they are told and expected to do, not even knowing how they might feel if they did something else. They are successful. They have easier lives. The rebels? There is a constant pain. There is a daily struggle to come to terms with different ideologies. I hope there is a better future there somewhere.