Just An Observation

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
all the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put humpty together again.

If you ask me, if they really wanted to help him, they could’ve.
Ever wonder what these nursery rhymes mean? We spend our childhood memorizing and singing these poems, unaware of the troubling degrading morals they portray. But this is something I’ve always pondered over. These rhyming fables can be really disturbing if you think about them.

For example, one of the poems we hear being sung to us is “Rock-a-bye baby”. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Rock-a-bye baby, on the tree top
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock?
When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall
Down will come baby, cradle and all.

We’re telling kids that the baby is going to fall. Well, that’s got to be traumatizing.
Think it’s just this? I’ll give you another one.

Mickey on a railway, picking up stones
Down came an engine and broke Mickey’s bones
‘Ah!’ said Mickey. ‘That’s not fair’
‘Oh!’ said the engine driver, ‘I don’t care’
.

WOW. So basically we’re being taught to be inconsiderate and emotionless towards other’s sufferings, particularly those brought on by us.

And we all know that “Ring-a-roses” is based on the plague. And the “we all fall down” means we’re all dead.

Chubby cheeks, dimple chin
Rosy lips, teeth within
Curly hair, very fair
Eyes are blue, lovely too
Teacher’s pet, is that you?
Yes! Yes! Yes!

Gotta tell you. This nursery rhyme is not only racist (very fair, blue eyes) but also teaching narcissism. *sigh* I can only imagine the wonderful effect this nursery rhyme would have on people. (This was sarcastic, by the way.)

And then there’s Georgie Porgie, who kisses girls and makes them cry. And how can I forget? The dish who ran away with the spoon- They had issues.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, our childhood shouldn’t be infiltrated with disturbing tales and poems like these. Everything just gets more horrifying when you grow up. Even the most childlike, innocent thing has a deeply disturbing story behind it.

If you need more examples, you can always refer to Grimm’s fairytales- The original version. And you’ll know that Snow White’s mother wanted to kill her and Cinderella’s step sisters cut their toes off to fit the glass slipper etc. etc.

Anyway, you get my drift.

For The “Cool” Ones

It’s 1:52 am IST. I’m listening to Andrew Belle’s “In My Veins”, and all that I can think of is school.
International Indian School, Jeddah- That’s the place where I studied for 10 years before moving to India to pursue further education. (I wonder why)

If you ask people from my school about me, they’ll tell you the same- Topper student. Emotionally unstable. Sensitive. Attention seeker.
But tonight, I’m going to tell you something that people hardly know about me. I was a serious victim of bullying, on an emotional level. Grades Ist to Vth were cool. I used to go through stuff, but everything went downhill when I graduated to VIth grade, and my classmates changed. I’ve always been a stupid human being and a bad judge of character. I could, and can never tell who is genuine and who is a fake pretending hypocrite. And what’s sad? People I called my “best” friends were the ones who knew how vulnerable I was, and they exploited it to their full potential.

Anyway, VIth grade brought with itself change. A LOT of change. My newer classmates were meaner, and initially I decided to stay away from them, but eventually I started mingling with them because they approached me and extended the hand of friendship and I couldn’t say no. And my biggest issue was that I opened up to people really easily, and I always tried to be a good friend. I even replaced a friend’s lost lunch money with mine because she was upset about it. And even though I don’t want to brag about it because I did it as a kind gesture, what kills me is that chick was responsible for a lot of crying-myself-to-sleep nights and she had no clue what I had done for her.

*Background score- Anna Nalick’s “Just Breathe”*

I had trouble in school, and an empty space at home. I remember even lying to a HUGE extent just to fit in. And now that I think of all that I’ve said, I feel like a fool. Because my “friends” were tools. And no, I’m NOT apologizing for calling them tools. They deserve worse names, because they might not know this yet, but poking fun, manipulating and laughing at people doesn’t make better people. Just worse. Much, MUCH worse.

I remember back in VIIIth grade when a narcissistic “pal” taped me up and paraded me in front of the whole class. I tried being a sport, but all those people laughing at my face broke me, and I stormed out of the class. Yes, I was sensitive. But they had gone too far. It has been 8 years since that incident, but even now when I think about it, it haunts me. To be in that position, and to feel that way was utter humiliation.

My oldest “friends” were also responsible for putting me in an extremely difficult position and basically sabotaging my life in the Xth grade. And yeah, maybe I’ve forgiven them, but even to this day, everything that changed in my life hasn’t gotten any better. And each time I face a difficult time, I’m somehow reminded of what they had done to me. Of course, if you ask them, they probably have no clue.

I know this post may seem really bitter of me, but if you’ve gone through what I have, you’ll understand. I honestly don’t expect you, reader, to understand what this post means to me, but know this- When you are bullied over and over again, and have no one to turn to, and when you have to hold yourself together with tape and glue, the pain you go through is heartbreaking.
And no, bullying isn’t only physical. The physical you can get over. It’s the emotional, psychological, life changing bullying that is hard to recover from. It took me a while, and sometimes I feel I’m still getting over it.

And all you people who think you’re so cool to be trampling over others- You’re not. You’re not a good human being, and I believe they say, “Karma pays back.”

And to those of you who have experienced or are experiencing bullying- Bullies are just people with no self-esteem. (Or a small wiener) Don’t let them affect you. You’re strong and you’re beautiful. Remember, you’re way above them. And don’t be afraid to talk to somebody if it starts getting really bad, because it doesn’t make you weaker.

Stop bullying.

The Ones We Chose

Friends are our second family. They’re the family we choose for ourselves, handpicking each one of them owing to our own interests. Friends can make or break a person. But most of all, they bring out either the best or the worst in us.

Over time, we learn to classify and categorise the people we are acquainted with. We label them either as enemies, friends, best friends or simple acquaintances. Me? I label my friends as my family. They’re the people who I turn to when I have no one. And by the grace of the Almighty, I have been blessed with a handful of really wonderful people who I have the honour of calling my friends, and also, family.

It’s the moments we share with these people, the laughter, the joy, the gossip, the fun, the ups and most importantly, the downs, that pave our path to our future selves. I believe that friends are as much responsible as family when it comes to how we end up as people. Our company defines who we are.

Sometimes, we end up trusting the wrong person- the kind of person who is good at faking their personalities, and are hypocrites in their true form. These people bring out our bad side, and injure the aspect of faith. It may seem impossible to figure out who is what, but don’t be disheartened when you break because of someone. Consider yourself lucky you found out before more damage could be done. And of course, it helps you to be cautious in the future.

You know the saying, “People don’t change. They just become a clearer version of who they are.”
This is partially true. I believe people DO change. Situations and circumstances mould a person as they come across them. They change either for the better, or for the worse. But as long as they have somebody to help them carve their lives onto the right path, they have nothing to worry about.

Friends give us that push to help us get the extra mile. They’re the people who you can throw tantrums at and know that they’ll still stick around.  The people who you might forget for an instant when you are busy with life, but when you go back to them, they’ll welcome you with open arms. They’re the people with whom you can check other people out with, hit on the ones you like and bitch about the ones you hate. The ones you can be yourself with, the people who matter. The people who will be there at 4 am when you need them. The ones who will break faces of the people who break your heart. The people who aren’t related, but are still family.

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.
― William Shakespeare

 

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.
– Charles Dickens

Quote

Sometimes, life…

Sometimes, life pushes us out of our dream zone. We’re forced to take up and live with things we never wanted to. For me, Medicine lies way outside my dream zone. I always wanted to be a journalist, or a writer. I wanted to go into art, especially photography.

And now, because of medicine, I’m losing my touch. I can’t write anymore. I can’t focus. And if there’s something which makes me happy, it’s photography. And I don’t have the assets to do it because sadly, nobody understands this side of me. Forget sides, I don’t even know if anyone understands me at all.

Asma and I

Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than an acquaintanceship.

Back in the summer of 2007, I qualified the Senior Secondary School Entrance Examination (Science stream) of the Aligarh Muslim University. Little was I aware, of what was in store for me.

When I joined the school in August 2007, I made acquaintances with a couple of people, particularly the back benchers.  One of them was my roommate in the hostel and the other 2 were old friends. As time passed by, I became friendly with the entire class. One of them was Asma Khalid- a perky girl from Calcutta (present Kolkata) who I secretly admired for being fluent in English. The 2 years we spent together in school, were good. Me and Asma were good friends. We had fun when we could; we were even “punished” by a newbie English teacher who we called ‘Fatto’ (which was short for Fatima. She wasn’t fat.) We shared the same passion for stick figures and doodling. We even opened up to each other once in a while when things weren’t all that great.

In 2009, we graduated and went our separate ways. We stayed in touch, but not too often. Each was busy preparing for their next biggest hurdle- The PMTs. After a year or so, in 2011, thanks to WhatsApp, Asma and I got in touch. We started talking more- about life, about old “friends”, the bitching, the backstabbing, the personal affairs, the works. And I realized what I had missed out on in        XIth and XIIth. Asma wasn’t just some chick who was good in English, she was by far one of the most amazing human beings I had the honour of knowing.

I could talk to her about things I couldn’t with anyone else. Not only because she was a good listener, but also because I knew I wouldn’t be judged, and if I were wrong, I would be corrected in the right manner. And the topics we talked about could’ve been as obvious as boys or as arbitrary as Dolan duck’s boner.

At times, our conversations are so supportive and heartfelt that I regret not being better friends with her in school. Both of us would’ve been spared of our fake friends.
But then again, I know her now and although I really wish that we were in the same city, I can’t love and appreciate her enough. I really do hope I get to see her someday.

And Asma, if you’re reading this and I’m pretty sure you are: Plz.

We’ve All Been There

NEET. IIT-JEE. AIEEE. CPMT.
These are the most important exams in an Indian student’s life. Our future (along with our family’s and our neighbour’s) depends on it.
Our educational e is decided from the moment we are born. And when we reach the tender age of 18, a pre-decided question is thrown in our faces- What’s it going to be? Medical or Engineering?

This is the question we all despise. Not only because we don’t have a choice but also because our hearts are inclining us to possibly a different field. But nonetheless, we are forced to opt for either one of them.

When I was first commanded to prepare for the Pre-Medical tests, I very well knew what I was getting myself into. I also knew that no matter how much I begged and pleaded, journalism or literature was a “poor man’s job”. Medicine had respect, it had honour. What they forgot to add was, it also had responsibility, where you held people’s lives in your hands.

I gave the exams. Much to my parent’s disbelief, I failed to qualify. I was “asked” to drop a year, and though I really didn’t want to, the idea of extending my route to become a doctor was much more tempting than taking admission in a medical college right away. So, I complied. That one year from 2009-2010, I went through emotional and physical pain. My already bad health deteriorated and I was hanging on by a thread.
I didn’t qualify the exams next year, either.  And in came hurling the taunts and the disappointment. My parent’s insisted I take admission. And I did the “mistake” of opting for ONLY BDS in my form, which when my parents (and particularly my grandfather) found out, they were furious.

“BDS is useless. It’s no better than BA.”
But they couldn’t do anything about it. What was done was done. After finally accepting my decision, I took admission in Dr. Ziauddin Ahmad Dental College and Hospital, AMU in the BDS batch of 2010.

Almost 4 years later, even now when I’m at my gramp’s place and we sit down for dinner, we have “The Great Indian Debate” in which they tell me what a stupid decision I made and how I would regret it for the rest of my life.
But here’s the thing- I won’t. Because even though I never wanted to be a part of medicine, at least I don’t have the responsibility of a life. Coming from a family of over-achievers, I don’t expect them to understand that.

 

And the reason I wrote this was for parents- Please don’t force your kids into a stream they do not want to get into. You don’t want them to kill somebody, do you?
Open your minds to all the other possibilities, all the other courses. Let your children be who they want to be and don’t hide them underneath your shadow.
Because what doesn’t kill them, will surely make them miserable.