Saturday, July 30, 2005

This uncle had bought me a T-shirt when I was around two. It was a grey one with horizontal black stripes. That was the first time someone had gifted me. That was just for me. I was so excited that I put it in a cloth-bag i used to play with, so that it would be safe. Rather, I wanted to feel that it was always with me. I was warned by my aunt that cockroaches frequently visited that bag. So I resolved to guard the T- shirt from them. The next day I woke up to see that my favorite T-shirt had holes in it. I wanted to know how cockroaches bore holes in my T-shirt. My aunt held it up and said, "see this, just like this!" and pointed at the existing holes.

I thought this 'T-shirt' uncle was really nice and I liked him a lot but I didn't like taking permission from him or from anyone else.

I was at a new place with so many people around me. I was sent to a new school. There were a lot of kids around in our locality, so I found it a nice place. I am not sure I liked my school so much. It was nice, but I didn'd like studying. I only wanted to play or just sit gaping at something. My class teacher there chose me as one of the participants for a dance programme. But I couldn't dance then. She didn't select me as I was not as good as she wanted me to be. My aunt, lalitha had taken me there. She was my mentor in my formative years. She would teach me, bear my tantrums, scold me, love me and also play with me. I went back home crying as I was not chosen. But I felt I could dance.

Soon there came up a Ganapathi festival in our area. They had a mandap and ten days of programmes. I would diligently complete my homework on those days and go to watch the programme. My grandmom loved it. There were Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, Carnatic music performances. I found them beautiful. I loved the make-up on the dancers' faces and enjoyed watching their eye movements. I was wonder-struck. Could I move my eyes like that?

There was a strange thing about me. I always wanted to do everything in my way, even if I was found to be bad at something. I was terrible at drawing. I could never fill colours in the given area. But I wanted to paint in my school drawing books. My aunts would want to do it for me as there were some marks reserved for this subject. But I would insist on doing it myself as I didn't care about marks. Actually then, I didnt even know what marks meant. I used to study as i was forced to do so and didn't have any other option. Whenever I refused to study, my aunt would complain to the 'T-shirt' uncle and then they threatened to send me back to my parents. I would occassionally get beaten for not studying. One day the argument heightened so much that my uncle threw my books away and told me in anger that I need not study anymore. And I got up and happily walked towards the door to go out and play. His anger just risened, when my grandparents came to my rescue. I didn't know what I did wrong. I thought my uncle had got me right for the first time, I didn't want to study!

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