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Sun, Sand, Stars and Dreams

The chronicles of a misfit Indian teen

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inspirational

School, exams and other (in)significant things

So I thought of writing this today considering that the CBSE Class 12 exam results were out yesterday. Class 12 exams are the school leaving exams and altogether considered a big deal in India.

It is considered so much of a huge thing that relatives, Uncles and Aunties you never knew existed will dutifully phone you up on the result day to ask your exams and then pass some remark like, oh, XYZ got more. Even that uncle who usually ignores you on the street, the maid servant, and the flower seller lady, turn out to be terribly curious about it.

Honestly, it is a terrible time for the kids in question. Two years back, in 2014, when I was the one facing the same line of invasive questioning, it went to, ah, not bad marks, but you could have definitely scored better. I didn’t really care about it, because one, Indians are usually not prone to giving out praises easily, and two, I was on cloud nine. I had done really well, as far as I was concerned, scoring an overall percentage in the 90s.

All that happiness was literally sucked out of me, when my college application got stuck in a mound of Indian red tape, and only high-level recommendation could make it move any further. Especially considering I had planned on only writing the law entrance and getting into a law college (which again didn’t work out, as it was not fated for me) and had not given much thought in applying to Commerce/Business colleges.

That incident caused me a great deal of disillusionment, especially at that point where I realised that all those marks and merit had been for nothing.

And yet, Indian students practically live in fear of the dreaded Class 12 Board exams. That last one year of school is reduced to a haze of school, tuitions, extra coaching classes, classes for cracking various college entrance exams, and so on and so forth. The poor student is left with barely enough time to breathe, which eventually leads to a burnout. It is an extremely competitive rat race, because what is in line is not the student’s career prospects, rather a sort of status symbol for the parents.

I can still hear my aunt yelling at my cousin for not studying enough in his crucial school year, which thankfully ended now. This, considering that the poor kid woke up at 5am each day for tuitions before school, then school, and then tuitions again till 6pm, and also went for entrance exam coaching class during the weekends from 9am to 5pm.

I must confess I felt rather guilty about it, because his mother did all that so that he could get at least a percent more than I did. Because how much ever you ignore it, the Indian obsession with the what-will-others-think syndrome is very much there. The very same thing that makes parents push their children towards professions like engineering or medicine whether or not the children want to.

When I hear all these anecdotes, I cannot help but think back to my last year of school. It was one of the best years of my life. I had an amazing set of friends, I participated in a good many events and programmes, I went on day trips to many places across the city considering that it was also my last year there. I never went for any sort of tuitions or extra classes, nor did my school keep any. I went to school from 7am to 1pm, came home and relaxed. I watched a lot of movies, read a good many books, and so on. Honestly, I got around to actually studying for these exams when there was just about two weeks left. Yet, I passed, and scored as much as the one who forewent all of the above mentioned fun activities.

Maybe it was because I lived in the Middle East, away from all the pressures of India, although I did study in an Indian CBSE school and write the same exams as the ones in India.

But, I think it was more because of my parents. I may not get along well with my father, but I have much to be grateful for. They did not seem to bother much about me studying 24/7. They were more easy-going. They want me to succeed in my life, but they don’t believe that grades alone script a success story. And they do support me even now, after I decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in business, despite studying science in school. I know quite a number of friends, who pursued engineering because everyone else was, and they are miserable. I might be miserable in a way, but I do not regret not pursuing engineering.

But, what I wished to say in this post was this. You do you the best. Marks and grades do not really matter in the long run. Only passion and faith does. Good luck! 🙂

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2015.

As with everything else, 2015 comes to an end as well. It was an average year for me, not something I would love to look back on and cling on to.
Like every year, it had its own share of ups and downs.
At the start of the year, I had made a sort of bucket list of things to be accomplished. Not a lot of it was crossed out, however. So, those will be the ones on the list for 2016. Recycling. Not that bad an idea, eh?

This was my bucket list for 2015. A lot of memories were made and some unexpected disappointments too. So, here goes:

 

1. Read at least 50 books. – Done.
I managed to read exactly 50 books this year, accounting to a total of nearly 20,000 pages read, which averages to around 400 pages per book. Which I believe is a very good thing. I read quite a few nearly 1000 pages books too, like the entire Game of Thrones series (except book 5.2) and Shantaram. Another thing I am proud about is that I started reading quite a bit of literary fiction and loved them.

2. Write at least 30 blog posts. – Nope.
Unfortunately, blogging ended up taking a back seat this year, due to a lot of things.

3. Learn to drive a car and get a license. – Done.
Although I haven’t perfected the art of driving in the midst of heavy traffic, I managed learn to drive adequately and got my driver’s licence just two days back.

4. Go on a solo trip or a trip with friends somewhere. – Nope.
Had to happen, planned on it happening, but got postponed to 2016.

5. Go for more MUNs. – Done.
From attending my first ever college MUN in January 2015, I have attended quite a bit of those conferences in 2015 and plan on attending some more in 2016.

6. Write at least half of the novel that you were planning on writing.– Nope.
I had a massive writer’s block stretching for the major part of the year. My muse seemed throughly exhausted and I was pretty drained out, so that didn’t happen.

7. Learn Tamil. – Kind of.
I learned to speak some more, but it is still not perfect.

8. Do something productive after college. – Done.
Quite a lot of things actually. I interned with this awesome place and earned my first every pay check, went for some classes, met a lot of new people.

9. Learn to bake the perfect chocolate cake. – Not quite.
I did go for a baking class, but whether I actually learnt anything from there, is pretty doubtable.

10. Visit any other country, apart from India and Saudi Arabia. – Done.
Well, UAE is another country. Even though I have been there countless times. Some more foreign tours were planned this year, but never materialised, although I hope it will happen next year.

11. Volunteer somewhere. – Done.
Some time in August, I began volunteering with this NGO called Bhumi, where I teach English to underprivileged primary school children in orphanages. Although, it seemed like tiring and exhausting work, it was what gave me my much needed energy and happiness at the end of the work. The experience of actually doing something good, is really a pleasure.

12. Be happy.
The hardest one on the list. With one of the hardest answers.
2015 was a year with its equal shares of ups and downs, but the valleys were deeper than the hills. There were days and times in this year, when I felt that everything was lost, everything was just blank space. Really dark times and really lonely ones. Days when I was really afraid, although I seemed normal. Days I feared a relapse, days I thought I was actually relapsing, days when all I wanted to do was escape from it all.

But, for each of those days, there were a few, who stood by, who helped me up, my really good friends from school. But, when my best friends turned out to be battling demons of their own, hope seemed lost.
However, we survived. We are still strong, here to see what is hopefully a better year.
So, I have to say, what ever it was, 2015 was a successful lesson. Taught me a lot of things and showed me where my loyalties lie, and who remained and remains loyal to me.

Flaws make you beautiful.

Why is it that the one thing nearly every human being craves for, whether consciously or otherwise, is acceptance? Acceptance from peers, society, family, so on and so forth.
Why are we so afraid to stand apart, for fear of being criticised?
Why are we, other than a select few, afraid to stand up for what we believe is right, or for who we really are?
Maybe it is just the way we are conditioned. To be no more than a clueless individual ourselves, and yet make fun of those who have it figured out, although maybe not in the conventional way, and make them doubt themselves.

I remember being a person that I wasn’t, only so that I will be accepted by my classmates, my relatives. I did not recognise myself at all.
That’s when I thought, fuck it all. I don’t care what others think of me. This is how I am going to be.
After I did that, I managed to get a lot of friends, back in high school. I had a minimum of 100 good friends that I could count upon and at least 500 acquaintances.
However, after college began, I went back to being needy and desperate. I was the new, awkward foreign-kid. I turned into a stranger in a desperate effort to get accepted. I did selfish things, rude things. Yet, I still felt foreign. Honestly, I felt a lot worser. That was not me, the kind who teased the kid with the learning disability and made her feel bad about herself. I was too afraid to speak out against those who did that too, under the fear of being labeled weird and not being accepted as one of them.
In the same time, I started missing having friends from back home, as I started acting distant towards them when they called, the rude act adopted for being accepted still in place.
A semester passed and I was still miserable. I fit in with a random group of classmates, but like a square peg in a round hole.
That was when I decided to drop the act and be myself again.
I knew that I was not perfect, but I was good enough.
I knew that even if I tried to act too cool, I will always be judged for something. If not for the messy, frizzy and curly hair, then for being curvy or for being too lazy to cake my face with makeup.
I know that I am not flawless, but I accept myself for who I really am. I know that although I might not be conventionally pretty, I know that I am a good person, I try to be intellectual. I decided to stand up for what I believed to be right. One day, I finally snapped at those people who made fun of the kid with a learning disability. I started volunteering to teach English to underprivileged kids on the weekends.
I may not be the most popular kid in college. I may not be the first choice for anything in college, whether it is a play or a contest or anything. I may not have a lot of friends in college.

But I do have friends from school. They may be living kilometres away, but they are still there and we are still close.
But, what ever happens, I will not give up my identity. This is who I am, and this is whom I shall always be. Ordinary, perhaps. Pretty, no. But, a dreamer, thinker, ambitious, smart and compassionate, yes.
For those who don’t wish to accept me the way I am, I am sorry but I have nothing to say except that I don’t care.

Sometime last night, as I lay thinking, I came up to a conclusion. To have others accept you, you must accept yourself first. The flaws are what make you beautiful.

Stay magical. Stay happy.
~SunSandStarsAndDreams

Do you agree with my opinion or not? Do feel free to share your thoughts on the subject in the comments box below.

Some happiness and awesome fusion music!

Hello lovely people!

I’m back after another unintentional disappearing act. I’m much better now. I did what I thought was the best possible way to recover from another low in life: immerse myself in a lot of work.
Yes, I am a kind of a workaholic at times and pretty lazy at others.
This time, I took up a virtual internship, started volunteering at this place to teach English to underprivileged kids, and participated in this amazing MUN. But the being-busy thing did work. I am really a lot more content with life, although I can’t say that I am super happy. Things have been going at an all-time low for me. From emotional drama, to having a best friend who seems to be falling into some kind of mental illness but who lives way too far away to actually comfort her, and losing out on everything. It was a pretty bad month for me. But, it was also a month of lessons.
I’ve emerged happier though. Or at least I seem to be in a sort of happier point today.

Like I usually post, I have an exam tomorrow. Not a major one, but an exam nonetheless.

This post was actually supposed to be about the awesomesauceness of this band.
They are an Indian fusion band who have played the soundtracks of nearly every amazing thing that there is. (Harry Potter, GoT, Sherlock, Pirates of the Caribbean!)
I stumbled upon them quite randomly and I was hooked.
They don’t have a lot of videos on their YouTube channel, just about 5 or 6. But, I was swept off my feet.
There are a lot of fusion covers, and then there is the Indian Jam Project. They are totally a class apart.
I am someone who grew up in a South Indian family, though living outside India, was pretty proud of their roots. That means, I grew up listening to a lot of Indian classical music, both vocal and instrumental. Just listening to the Indian Jam Project’s covers made me relive my childhood. Especially the Harry Potter one. Two things that made my childhood, Harry Potter and good music.

I am not the best singer or instrumentalist, but I do have a weakness for good music.

I’ve been having their covers on a loop right now. All through writing this blog post and trying to study for my exam.

Okay. Enough of my raving.
This is the Harry Potter one.

Do listen to it. It’s pretty amazing! I got goosebumps and happy tears after listening to it. :’)

The Sherlock one.

~SunSandStarsAndDreams

P.S. This is the first time I am putting up a song/music video/band which I loved. Tell me what you guys think. Should I continue this or not?

Also, if there are any other beautiful covers or any music that you like, please do share in the comments box below! I would love to listen to more new music. 🙂

Conversations with the veteran auto driver.

Disclaimer: None of the views or opinions in this post are mine.

The day before yesterday, my second eldest cousin sister on my maternal side of the family gave birth to a baby boy. As Indian social norms go, we, that is my mother and I went to see the mother and baby yesterday.

But, because our driver had gone incognito and I do not have my license yet, we asked an auto driver to take us to their place. The said auto driver was someone known to my mother’s family since a long time. Maybe even 30 years or more.

A Chennai auto driver is almost what a New York taxi driver is.

So, the conversation my mother had with him went like this,

Mum (M): It has been ages now. How is your family?

Auto driver (AD): They are all good. My children are well settled, and they look after me very well. I rarely go on trips now. Just a few regular customers.

M: Settled? What are they doing now?

AD: My eldest son is working at a small bank, he’s earning well. My second son, ah, he’s really done well in life. He has a job in an IT firm, he earns a lot. Both of my sons are married. The eldest has a son and a daughter and the second son’s wife is pregnant.

M: How about your daughter?

AD: Ah! She’s good too. She has a son now. She quit working after her son was born. I support her decision and I think it is great. I’m telling my daughter-in-law to do the same thing. My son is earning well, why does she need to work now?

Me: Maybe because she likes working? Or that she likes having a great career?

AD: No. See, she can start working once her kid starts going to school. It will be very difficult to take care of the kid and work as well. A woman’s priority has to be her kids. It will be difficult for the kids too, not having enough of their mother’s attention.

M: So, we have moved back here and honestly, I find it very difficult to adjust. It has been more than 20 years since I left this country.

AD: Indeed! You were living in Dubai, right?

M: Yes, for a little time. Then, in Riyadh, somewhere close by.

AD: Oh? This Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and all are near to Riyadh?

M: Yes. Somewhat near. But, they are different countries.

AD: I know why you find it hard to adjust here, then. My second son was working in Dubai for some time. He took my wife and me for a tour of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Very nice places they are. Even though it is hot, there are air-conditioners everywhere, very clean surroundings, friendly people, and everything available nearby.

M: Yes, yes. My niece, the one who gave birth to the baby boy yesterday, she lives in Singapore with her husband. That is a nice place too.

AD: Her husband has a job there? That is nice. He is from another religion, right?

M: Yes, he’s a Muslim.

AD: A Hindu girl married a Muslim boy? That’s scandalous! At least if it was a Christian, that’s way better than a Muslim. Now, what will they name this baby? Will he be a Muslim or a Hindu? It is a good thing that this girl’s sister got married before her. Because she wasn’t, no one would have wanted to marry her sister either.

I’m glad that my children don’t believe in all this love-pove nonsense.

Me: So, now that your children are well settled, how long will you work?

AD: As long as I can. I spent a lot on my children’s education and marriages. I don’t really have much for my wife and myself.

Me: Do you regret that?

AD: Spending on my children? No. Absolutely not! I’m happy that at least they are able to lead a better life than me. Driving auto and all.

Me: Do you enjoy your work?

AD: No. Not really. But, this is all I know to do. I am a loner in the auto-driver circle, I don’t really like them, especially these young men who are so rude, vulgar and uncultured. I am really glad that my sons work in offices and drive cars instead of autos.

Me: Really?

AD: Yes. Both my sons bought their own cars in the past year. My daughter’s husband has a car too. They drive to their offices.

Mum: Can you drive a car?

AD: No. I don’t know to. Never got around to it. I am scared of driving a car. I don’t know why, but after all these years of driving an auto, a car scares me. *laughs*

P.S. This is a first attempt at some kind of an interview. Do excuse if any mistakes are found. I’m an amateur. I’ll definitely love suggestions or comments on how to make it better! 🙂

In memoriam.

Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam passed away yesterday. For those who do not know who he is, he was a former President of India, a scientist and a great man.
I believe that he was the greatest Indian President that my generation has ever seen. I considered him to be a kind of role model ever since I read his autobiography in my 6th grade, when I was in an aeronautical scientist phase.
Even after I grew out of that, I admired him for his courage, his genius, his simplicity. He was a true role model. When he was to take the oath as the President, his special invitees were a cobbler and a small restaurant owner. Here are some more incidents that show how kind and inspiring he was.
He passed away yesterday, doing what he loved best, teaching a couple of college students. I did feel a little sad, but what annoyed me was other people’s reactions. Namely, my classmates.
Yes, I know that my classmates at college are a shallow, ignorant lot. But, even I couldn’t believe the depths they could go to.
When the news broke saying that the former-President has died, instead of having the courtesy to offer sympathy, the first thing that my classmates ask for is a holiday. The class group on Whatsapp went crazy with nearly 200 messages asking whether today was going to be a holiday or not.

When will they realise that when a person dies, it is not courteous to be happy about getting a holiday? What if the person who died was a close friend or relative?
This behaviour has disgusted me beyond the limit. How can people be so insensitive or immature?

“If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.” 

I dread the day when people like these become the father, the mother and the teacher. The world shall be doomed.

Dysfunctional? Nope. Not my family!

Three things inspired me to write about this issue. And those are:

  1. A family reunion at my father’s ancestral village.
  2. Watching quite a bit of South Indian films.
  3. A certain incident that happened today, which involved an alcoholic neighbour and his son.

This topic is a slightly touchy one, especially in the Indian context, where respect to one’s family is deeply embedded in our culture. It is something which hits a bit close to home for me. What I’m talking about are dysfunctional families.

Families are supposed to be the bed of support and encouragement. True. But, dysfunctional families exist in every part of the world, although I’m inclined to think that it is much more so in the Indian scenario.

This vacation for me, was one of learning, in all sense of the word. I had an amazing time in Dubai, visited some heritage spots in Saudi Arabia (That could probably comprise of a separate blog post in itself!) and went on a trip to my father’s ancestral village, for a reunion of sorts. This post has more to do with the last one. To do with family.

So all families have some skeletons hidden in their closets, and so does mine. But, this doesn’t concern that. This has something to do with a much deeper problem. The closer family. Parents and all.

Now, most Indians, if asked about dysfunctional families, will shrug and say that it is all due to globalisation and influence from other countries. They’ll say,”Dysfunctional? No! Not my family!”
This happens all the while, where the serious issues are just swept under the carpet, and pretended to be forgotten.

If you do belong to a typical Indian family, it is most likely that you have come across at least any one of these scenarios:

  1. Parents who can’t stand each other, and yet will not divorce because of the what-will-people-think syndrome which is very common in India.
  2. Divorced/separated parents. (This is pretty much a continuation of the first one)
  3. Abusive parents. This can be physical and/or sexual abuse or it can be emotional abuse. Constant taunting, comparison to others, etc.
  4. Parents with an addiction. This can be alcohol, cigarette or any other substance.
  5. Narcissistic/self-obsessed parents who breed neglected children.
  6. Extremely strict, restrictive or autocratic parents.

Okay. So it is the parents, what have the children to do with it, you may ask.

Let me narrate an incident that happened today.

I live in a pretty affluent neighbourhood in India, where everyone around are people of a well-to-do background and considered decent. Every evening, a group of young boys in their pre-teens, assemble in the garden of the house next to mine, and play badminton. Today, as I was sitting in my balcony and reading, I noticed a middle-aged man was struggling to walk down the road because he was so drunk. The group of boys started teasing one of them by saying that his father was so drunk by 4 pm itself today. The rest of them laughed. From that, I realised that it was not a one day occurrence. When I mentioned it to my mother, she said, “Yes. That man is so irresponsibly alcoholic. He stumbles around drunk nearly everyday. They have asked that family to move out of that house because of him.”

Still say that the parents’ life doesn’t concern the children?

Another anecdote.

A is a close friend of mine. His mother found out that his father had an affair and after an immeasurable amount of arguments, separated. His father blamed him for splitting their family up, cut him off financially and disowned him. At that time, he was only in his 2nd year of college. After days of crashing out at friends’ places and borrowing a lot of money from people, he has slowly tried to get his life back on track. But, he still remains a cynic and has severe trust and self-confidence issues.

So, the second thing on the list. Films. I’ve been watching quite a lot of South Indian films because I did not have WiFi for the past couple of days that I spent in my father’s ancestral village. The hero/heroine in quite a few films belonged to a dysfunctional family. He/she did not speak with his/her parents or had other issues relating to family.
But, the films, they romanticised the notion. It made it sound like it was something cool. The characters were people who were cool people with a dark past/childhood. It made it sound like it was something mysterious, the deep sadness within them.

Unfortunately, the truth isn’t nearly as romantic. Parents arguing in front of their children have a severely negative impact on them. They have problems in trusting others, and often end up having failed relationships themselves. Also, when the ones that the children ought to trust are the ones who are the villains of the story, they are lonely. They believe that they don’t have anyone in the world. That it is then versus the world. They are often victims of depression, anxiety, alcoholism and often fall prey to suicidal thoughts.

But what made me write this post is the complete lack of support groups in India. Or just support in general. Most people do not even realise that there is something wrong with their family. Or even if they do, they do not know whom to turn to, or how to speak about it to others, for fear of being ridiculed or being an outcast in the society.

This is just to say that there is someone out there who understands, just don’t give up. Be strong.

~SunSandStarsAndDreams

P.S. I’ve been there and I know how it feels. So, if you do need someone to talk to, do feel free to drop a line at sunsandstarsanddreams@gmail.com.

Validity of dreams.

On noticing a sudden flurry of articles about women in the newspapers and programs about them on TV, I wondered what the fuss was about. Then, I realised that today was Women’s Day.
On one hand, there is a lot of things about how women have progressed over the ages and how they reached positions of power.
Than again, there is the BBC documentary India’s Daughter, which infamously got banned in India. It had a man accused of rape and murder, in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case of December 2012, expressing his views about women and that Jyoti (the girl) shouldn’t have fought back and that they did it to teach her a lesson to not roam around with a boy at night, because ‘good’ girls don’t do that.
What was even more shocking was the views of the defense lawyers. They made extremely outrageous remarks as well.

The main problem with India is the mentality of the people. The idea that a girl should do this and shouldn’t do that. What gives an unknown man the right to ‘teach a lesson’ to a girl? Isn’t she human too? Doesn’t she have the right to express her views, dress how she wishes, do what she wishes to? Because, news flash! It is her life!
And no one has the authority to tell her how to live it.

When I read stories of powerful women, I am inspired by them. To break all the odds and emerge as the winner when no one expects you to.
That is what true courage is all about.
I respect female CEOs, heads of organisations, entrepreneurs, defence personnel, police and law enforcement officers, doctors, teachers and lawyers. But, not just them, even the female auto and taxi driver, the fruit seller, the ironing lady, the maid, the grocery shop owner, the construction worker, and every one of them.
Because it is not easy to be a woman. Women are put down in way too many things, from the board room to Bollywood. In fact, when few movies (Queen in Hindi, How Old Are You? in Malayalam, English Vinglish in Hindi/Tamil, for example) and a few directors (Gautham Menon in Tamil, for one) show women in a positive light, it is highlighted extremely, because of the state of the other movies.
She is not a diamond or a flower, she is a fellow human being. Every one of them deserves respect.

Not only today should be women’s day. Every day should be women’s day.
This is an ode to all the wonderful women in my life.

I am a seventeen year old Indian girl, and I’m a dreamer. I have big dreams for my future, like any other girl. I ought to have the right to be able to fulfil those dreams and not let rapists, acid attackers and various other monsters stop me from it.

I dream of the day when I can walk on the streets, without the fear of wondering whether I can reach home in one piece.
I dream of the day that I can travel to places all by myself, maybe even make a world tour.
I dream of the day when I am not judged by outer appearances or the society’s perception of beauty, but rather by who I am and what I can do.
I dream of a brighter future, of not having to give up my ambition and career when I get married.
I dream of wanting equal opportunities, in the house and in the office. And most of all, I hope to have those dreams become reality.

Who gets to decide the expiry date of a woman’s dream?
My answer is her. She herself.

Curly Hair Conundrums

I have curly hair. So, there! I said it!
I have black, shoulder-length, curly hair, which is frizzy. And by frizzy, I mean that it is a mass of hair that puffs up way above my head, adding a few inches to my extremely short self.
It looks like a bird’s nest, only if the bird made its nest out of black stuff, instead of brown twigs. At its current length (about shoulder-length) the edges frizz out and makes my head look like a triangle, or as Princess Mia (from the Princess Diaries) would say, like a triangle road warning sign.
Each single hair is not curly, in itself. It has more of a half-curled, half-wavy texture, which makes me wonder whether I should call my hair wavy or curly. But, when it groups up, it is a mound of curls.
It tangles in seconds and I can barely brush my hair without the brush getting caught in them. Also, bangs are an absolute no-no!

IMG_2321.GIF
Since it tangles more when it is left open, my hair’s forever pulled back in a ponytail.

Many people, from the time I was back in the Middle East, used to exclaim things like, “Omg! How do you have such hair!” Or “Look how thick your hair is!” Point to be noted, it is NOT thick, the tangly, frizzy mess gives an illusion of thickness.

But, what bothered me was this. I was the only one I knew with hair like this. Apart from my mother, that is.
Every other person at school used to have this sleek, glowing straight/wavy hair and I was the only one with the tangled mess.
So, one fine day, in Year 11, during a routine haircut, I had a bright idea. I asked the salon guy to straighten it. Permanently. I thought it was going to be brilliant.
My mane would be less of a mane, and more of beautiful hair.

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But, that was only till I got home. My mum was furious, because I had gone and ‘ruined’ my ‘beautiful’ hair. My poor dad, nearly had a heart attack, on seeing the sleeky straight haired stranger.
In fact, when I woke up the next day and had a good look at the mirror, I was shocked. I looked different, maybe even pretty.
My parents got over it, but my friends didn’t. They kept saying things like, now your hair looks limp! In fact, the bushy hair suited you.
Then, I was confused. I slowly started getting bored of the stick-straight hair. Especially when it grew longer and the roots turned curly and my bangs grew out curly.
I started missing my frizzy mass of hair.
On another impulse, I went and got it closely cropped. That felt like the best thing in the world.
Now, it has grown out again, to about shoulder-length.

In my college, filled with pretty airheads, I’m again the only one with curly hair.
I’ve endured comments about how much better I’d look if I just get it straightened or at least smoothen it, so that only sleek curls remain.
But, it doesn’t bother me anymore.
I know it is a pain. I know that I can’t get my hair to behave. It is not possible for me to try out all those pretty hairstyles not have bangs. Not those long bangs anyway.

But, I’ve learned to live with it.
No! That’s not right. I missed it when it wasn’t there.
I learned to love my hair.
I love its massiveness, where I believe that I could actually hide a book if I want to!
I love how it behaves like it has a mind of its own.
I love how it doesn’t care about what others think of it.
I love how strong it is.
I love my hair for what it is.

Have you had any hair-related experiences? Or have curly hair? I’d love to hear about it! Do share your stories in the comments box below!

~SunSandStarsAndDreams

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