Wednesday, October 8, 2014


So it happened again. I inadvertently offended someone because of my insecurities and limitations, and, once again, ruined my first impression. But I should not be affected by it in the least, given that most of my adult life I have been doing this.

Some months ago, shortly after I had started sharing my blog with people who know me, one of my cousins wrote to me saying how she was amazed to discover what an emotional person I was, because, according to her, like many others, I was an arrogant bitch who cares nothing about others. But I cannot blame her, or anyone else for that matter, for that is an image I perhaps have chosen for myself, although accidentally.

As a child I was very sentimental and naive (I still am, actually), other children would bully me, call me names, use me to get their work done and dump me. But I would be so attached to these so-called friends of mine that I would still long to be with them. I remember when one of my friends had stolen something from the class and when found out, she blamed me for it. The teachers refused to believe what I said and I was made to stand in outside the Principals office for two full days. My legs shook and my back hurt, I wept all day but did not complain, after all it was my friend I was doing it for. But when I went back to her the following day, she refused to talk to me, saying I was a thief. I will never forget that moment of humiliation. At eight I had learnt an important lesson, or not quite.

The thing with people who have very few friends is that those few become the axis of their lives, and they, like me, can go any length -- or breadth -- for them, even when not asked for. And, in doing so, sometimes also expect a little in return, which they usually do not get (ever heard of being taken for granted?). It happened with me too, all the time, and every time I was hurt deeper than before.

And so, one fine day, I wore a mask. A mask that hid my real, gullible self behind a tough, rude exterior. That I was quiet and insecure, and not naturally inclined to talk to strangers only helped.

Fortunately or unfortunately, people who meet me for the first time usually see this mask and are sometimes offended by it. But then there are also those who are able to see beyond the mask, into the eyes, and those are the only ones I really care for. The rest don't matter.

PS: The mask might have reduced the number of times I am hurt by people, but it has not been able to prevent it, even now I keep getting hurt by people I love the most. Don't they say old habits die hard?

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