Just Emkaying: Growing up

Apr 18, 2012

Growing up

Everyone has a growing up story. I really have short stories, because I was in this growing up phase in different places at different times. But the most important lessons are always learnt at home, no?
As middle class people, my parents didn't have it easy. I don't think many did have it easy in that age, but as parents they never let kids know. I realized it much later once I had the luxury of sitting down and observing life.

As any parent, my parents always wanted me to do well. But it was never stated or drilled into my head that I had to be the top or the best. Marks did matter, but it wasn't like I had to get a hundred. Anything that was a good score was good enough. But what they did instill in me was a sense of not being a brat, and of the importance of honesty. It was important to be courteous to guests, to always offer before taking, to say Thank you and Please, and Sorry. I think the importance and power of these things are lost these days.

There was this one time, when I scored a 9/10 in a class test. I had to get my Dad's sign on the test book. It wasn't something I'd be mortified about, I'd just keep it on the table, and he'd have a look and sign on the way out. But for some reason, I forgot to get his signature. Day 2, ditto. On Day 3, the class teacher makes us all non-sign-getters to stand up and threatens a trip to the headmaster. Now, Junior me, scared as shit, gets a brain wave. He decided to sign it himself!!! So I do it, a ditto forgery, and am saved!!! But, the guilt starts building and building, and by the end of the day, another brain wave. I decide to white-ink the forged signature, and get Dad's original signature. Like a consolation of types.

But when I did show it to Dad, I discovered another thing, That if you look at the back of the page, you see what was "white-inked". Needless to say, I got the whooping of my life. I was in 4th grade.

Have hated that feeling of  "guilt" ever since.

They also taught me to respect and be nice to people, no point hating eh? I took that on a slightly different note, writing my first "appreciation note". In 3rd grade!!! The girls name was Deepti and she was a Punjabi. She had these cat eyes and a very doll-like face. The "note" fell in to the wrong hands, and I have to rate the humiliation as one the top of my embarrassing moments list. I guess that's why am so into "writing " :-)

My mum has always been suggestive in the pursuits I took up. They got me a piano, not because I wanted one or that they wanted me to learn it. But because I used to play a small pencil box piano all the time. They got me basketball classes, because I wanted to get tall and hated the monkey bars in the parks. A Walkman, because that's what other kids had. The only thing I ever asked for would be some or the other kind of toy, before I came to India to complete my studies around 7th grade. Am still fascinated by Lego and remote controlled monster trucks!!!

I got swimming classes, because I loved the beaches ever since I was a baby, they were my favorite haunt. None of my courses were ever chosen by my parents. I have been self reliant through out. The decision to send me off to a hostel must have been very hard on them as it was on me, but today, I can proudly say that I can survive anywhere. I may not want to, but I can. In the whole scheme of things, I've also done public speaking, acting, singing, dancing, painting and photography, the school band all in school and college. Never stuck to anything long enough though.

They've given me a lot more than I could ask for. It's a different thing that I screwed up here and there, but all part of the larger scheme of things - I keep telling myself. They're last worry is  on getting me hitched ASAP. Which I have assured them is not going to happen any time soon.

Of course, having stayed away from them for almost 17 years, I missed out on the Advanced Life handling courses. Like the one where you experience how the world is genereally not very welcoming. Or the one where being selfish is the only way you get what you want. Or the part where it's okay to screw around with people you love/ who love you. And of course when relationships can be turned on and off like a switch, or when a bro can become a non-bro. And where friend is just another button away on a stupid website. (the one which I am super active on)

But then because you have such fundamentals, you're on this path that you hold on to dearly, but so want to dump and experiment. And you're caught in between, which honestly is the worst place to be. But you learn every day, with everyone, and keep it going. We're still growing up.

I owe a lot to my buds who've been a part of very important phases of my life. Guess they're more like true bro's (and female equivalent) than any.


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