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COMPETITION

                                       ALL ABOUT ME & WHY this education channel? 

People think and say that competition with other people at every step of the way makes people work hard and WANT to achieve more. ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLY TRUE. But where does competing with others take you? It takes you to much much more competition forever and nothing else. I think its competition with oneself, social skills, hard work and personality building makes us successful. I really don’t think that’s the way to excel at all. “Don’t be afraid of competition” is what I have been hearing since I was a child.

But when I competed and failed in several things at school, I wasn’t afraid. I was so dejected and disoriented about everything. I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I just thought they were out of my league. They were laughing loudly, talking loudly in corridors, laughing at somebody all the time. As we stood in queues, I would get jostled every time. I didn’t even see myself as a victim. I did not feel sorry for myself but I did feel I was invisible.  I thought nobody could see me, hear me or understand me. I did not blame them. I was very soft spoken at school. I spoke a lot at home though. My parents, my sister and I would dance, sing, watch movies together, hang out with relatives and friends a whole lot. I was so loved at home by my aunts and uncles. They would bring gifts for me everytime I was unwell. They would make me feel so important.

The opposite was happening at school. I saw everyone else around me at school to be sharks ready to bite each other & at times me If I dared to speak. I was scared of some of them. I was scared they might notice me one day and then the judgements will begin. They made a lot of fun of each other.  I was so preoccupied with what the other kids would think of me, that I couldn’t focus on my own strengths, talents or skills. I dont blame them. Some of the issues were created in my head coz as an introvert you dont understand how someone else can speak so freely.

    Painting at home alone gave me immense inner strength. An introvert needs his or her own passion to remind them that they exist in a big way and can add value to many people’s lives without talking loudly or making everyone laugh! I felt that painting was one space nobody could interfere. Nobody respected art that much at our school to even look at what I would paint. It was my secret corner. My secret hideout. I was also a big dreamer. I was labelled as one at school and sometimes at home too. The difference was at home it was with love. At school, it felt like an accusation. But dreaming was my escape. Just imagine how bad some kids around me made me feel that I needed to shut them out.

My parents never compared me to the other kids. They always encouraged us to have fun, have friends, supported me through the subject areas I was weak in. Of course, they had no clue what I was good at. I didn’t know that myself through all ten years. I thought I was awesome in my fantasy world. I was good at the arts & humanities. At school, those who had an extrovert personality were always picked and chosen for the fun things! I see that happening even now at several schools. Kids that are bold are given the mic…whereas kids that are quiet are just used as props. Why do people have to fight for the front stage? Why can’t everyone be given an important role?  Introverts did not even exist except for when the teacher would say out aloud ” Neeta Bedi are you dreaming or scribbling again?” In a loud echoing voice! I would dream to avoid boring monologue lectures. I was also terrified of authoritative voices. I would want to hide under the table if my name was called out.

 I may have had several learning differences! Thank god I didn’t know of them. I had such a major complex that I would have dissolved like an Alka Seltzer in an opaque glass of water if I was labelled anymore. I was called a dreamer, slow, weak sardarni, chasmis & mouse. I don’t think anyone meant anything in a bad way. But that’s just the way we human beings are all about. “Pitiless victims of habit.” We label each other and ourselves until we become what we are labelled inside out !! 

College friends were amazing. They helped me drop my inhibitions. I became bolder, took part in all the fabulous events. My grades went up too! I felt like a different person. Teachers were too busy with their monologues to notice me. That was good. Kids noticed me. I looked cooler without the binding dull uniform! I cut my long tresses of thick beautiful sardarni hair to look and fit in like the rest. I found that a big big big relief. I was shining like a star at St. Xavier’s college. I had valentine heart balloons gifted to me even when there was no valentines day. My parents thought I had gone absolutely insane with all the spotlight in my head! Confidence made me enrol enrol enrol in every cultural event! I do wish there was a career counsellor who we had to see, to find our true selves, our skills and the subjects we chose. Art saved my life and I found solace in creativity. I learnt math, science through art projects I created at home myself. I tried to make sense of whatever I WAS STUDYING THROUGH colour. But I felt alone. Even in college being so popular, I was still alone coz it was not permanent. I was acting like someone I was not. I was acting super cool whereas I was an am a nerd! I can write for hours, I can read articles of people’s stories for hours and hours. I can sketch & paint all day and all night. I can be in my pyjamas forever. I can tie up my hair with oil in it wear glasses and be invisible. I love it that way!

BUT I CHOSE TO MAKE VIDEO INTERVIEWS SO THAT PEOPLE SHARE AND COMMUNICATE MORE. I DONT WANT ANYONE TO FEEL THE WAY I FELT AS AN INTROVERT AND AS A NOBODY. MY STORY IS MILD. tHERE ARE MANY OUT THERE WHO HAVE HORROR FILLED STORIES. WANT THE EXPERTS IN THE FIELD TO MENTOR AND GUIDE THEM AND THEIR PARENTS.

EDOOISM IS A COMMON GROUND FOR PARENTS AND PSYCHIATRISTS & COUNSELLORS TO MENTOR EACH OTHER. IT’S FOR KIDS TO SHARE & TEACH WHAT THEY KNOW BEST AND TO FEEL EMPOWERED. EVERYBODY CAN LEARN EVEN THAT PERSON WHO FEELS HE OR SHE KNOWS IT ALL HAS TO LEARN.

Just as ANN HATHAWAY used this example” All races orbit around whiteness ” I choose to say that people think ” ALL KIDS ORBIT AROUND EXTROVERTS & EXCELLING KIDS” This is a myth. ABSOLUTE MAN-MADE BULLSHIT. There is a place for everyone. I am an example of that and many others are examples of that. If guided right, with my talent I could have studied commercial art instead of the various arts that I studied. I could have had a masters in art and a job as a commercial or fine artist at a good firm. I am doing much better than I ever thought I would. My art sells. My articles are read. My interviews are watched. I am a good mother, wife, daughter, sibling and friend! To me I am successful! If it weren’t for the encouraging people in my life I wouldn’t see anything beyond sharks ready to bite me if I came out of hiding.

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