I live my life bindaas and free,
When I was young ( 4-5 yrs old ), I used to be quite scared of my relatives, in an overwhelmed sort-of way. They were more well to do than us ( or perhaps it seemed to my mind ). For instance, while my father rode a bullet motorcycle carrying my mother, sister and me in it, my relatives drove around in flashy cars; while we shifted from one rented home to another, they had their own sprawling bungalows; while my cousins had tonnes of comic books, music collection, designer dresses and fancy stationeries etc, we could only stare in wonder, thinking if we'd ever be lucky to own any.
Well, the differences in the lifestyles were so obviously stark, that whenever we were in any of their houses, I'd feel extremely uneasy, suffocated and suffer from inferiority complex as though I was some low-life creature. I'd never look up at them in the eye, had my head bowed down always. Not a word would come out of my mouth. One day, I don't know from where, a little voice came from inside me and nagged at me - it said, 'so what if they are rich. You don't need to be so overwhelmed by them. You are also an inhabitant of this world, having your own rightful place - nobody can snatch your space from you. The same 'God' has sent them on this earth, as the one who has sent you. They aren't any more special than you are.' I was quite tiny then, hardly in my 1st standard but the voice was quite persistent and strong. Finally, one day, I dared to look at my relatives in the eye. The day I dared, they seemed quite small to me, which was in total contrast to the awe I had, all this while. What was all their show-off for, I thought. I'm not impressed, I decided. And from that day onwards, a 'new' me was born. I had my own space in this world. Nothing and nobody can make me feel small ever.
With that, my confidence was boosted for life; and I carried that same attitude throughout my life even now. It was perhaps my inner-soul speaking, but I'm thankful that I understood my own importance. So, even if others had more - it didn't matter to me. I couldn't careless. I understood, if you show overwhelm or awe then other's ego might get inflated, so just be indifferent. This not-care-a-damn-about-others attitude defined me totally. It helped me tremendously in my growing up years. Everyone was aware, I had this attitude in me - and their 'awed' approach towards me was flattering.
Needless to say, I grew bit of a rebel, which could mean 'trouble' in a conservative middle-class, small city home. There were lots of things we were indeed denied to do by our father, who was very strict. For example - he was against us learning music, sports or any other outdoor activity. For him, having two girls meant - help mother in kitchen OR do household chores. To a large extent, my sister abided by rules of the house ( though she did learn music at my mother's insistence ). I went ahead a learnt almost everything - music ( instruments ) AND sports ( batminton/table-tennis/tae-kwon-do ) AND fashion designing course AND computers AND kept showing interest in learning new stuff all the time, much to his annoyance. When our college announced study-tours, and I wanted to go with them, I was flatly refused the money required. I had to make quite an elaborate plan to finally arrange it. Nobody could stop my dreams, not even my father!
When I demanded to learn driving, I was nearly grounded. But again, I stubbornly went ahead. When I wanted to live independent, I faced massive opposition; a girl has to marry and settle down, my parents ordered, but I moved out ~ to another city AND pursued my dreams. I lived in a friend's house, then in working-women's hostel, and later bought my own flat; did corporate job AND started writing AND did music AND traveled places too. I did whatever I wanted. So, yes...even though I wasn't given permission outright, I still went ahead and did the things I wanted. I've learnt so many incredible things on the way, that's made my 'journey of life' an enriching AND a never-ending unique experience full of ANDs! And this incredible journey continues...
My freedom and independence matters to me, they define who I am.
GILLETTE - THINGS THAT DEFINE ME