“Free your mind and the world will follow” I remember hearing a song that went somewhat like this. I can compete with a Goldfish when our memories are concerned.
I have always believed in freedom of speech. Perhaps one of the most “customized” of the fundamental rights we Indians can be proud of. As a little girl, I was always told at home and at school, young girls should be seen, not heard, which meant I could not slurp my noodles loudly, I could not drag my feet on the staircase and of course, I need to stop laughing like a Hyena.
I dint stop either of the above.
Studying in a Convent school meant extreme importance given to your English language, the diction, vocabulary and all the trims and tassels. In particular, my favorite subject was English Language which chiefly focused on ones “own knowledge and efficiency” with the subject. I am sure all of you remember writing essays, or stories which would give you a score of about 20. The authror(wanna-be-author) in me was blooming at age 13 so at one such given paper, I chose to write about “my beachside experience”. Being immensely influenced by “Jaws” I knew this would be an the perfect outlet for my creative insanity featuring a shark attack, me, a night devoid of stars and a shark food boyfriend. Needless to say I was summoned by my then teacher , and asked the cause of this “absurd essay”. I remember saying “Teacher it is a test for my proficiency in the language, use of words, ability to narrate an event, which I did in the essay and should be judged purely on that. Also I choose to swim against the current hence my essay was different”. My teacher, whenever she meets , 16 years after that episode asks:How are the Sharks doing “ and all I can do is smile and bless my stars for the 17 I scored in that essay. I lost the 3 because the shark ate my boyfriend.
I moved out of my home at the age of 17, moving into a new city, studying English, reading works and thoughts of great writers and poets. A thought I personaly go by always is what Gandhi Ji said “Be the change you want to see” Like my tongue which flies around irrespective of authority, my hands too have a mind of their own. I was travelling to work in the morning local and as always was alte.In a rush I got into the general compartment, knowing need to keep my huge handbag In front to avoid any “by mistake se ho gaya “episodes. As I tried fixing my ear phones I felt a hand move down by body, very unpleasant feeling, I MUST SAY. And the very next minute my hand flew into a fit, slapping the man behind me, who turned out to be a middle aged guy. What happened in the next few minutes was a barrage of abuses (yes I have been raised in Bihar) a few tight slaps, with the desired sound effects and of course the regular collar tugging. I dint tell the man about his relationship with his sister or mother or nurse because I know that’s what all of us do. I conveniently left him a few sharp abuses, in front of all the commuters and stepped down at the next station. Looking back I think that’s one of the best instances of me “speaking up for myself”. No it was not a dialogue, it was not a thought provoking message but pure “freedom of speech”
I am putting this as an entry for a contest on Indiblogger, I know a lot of you girls and boys out there with a mind of their own, so thought of sharing this with you