Growing up I was a gawky girl with buck teeth and a shy smile. I took a while to warm up to people hiding behind my mum’s legs when strangers were around. With kids it was rather worse…I had not really had kids to play with and so I took socializing a bit tooooo seriously…It seemed absurd to me when kids threw sawdust from the play ground at each other as fun. I was a tad too sensitive and held back tears most times…I really preferred playing with pets insects and tailless lizards around the house…they were less likely to call me names or hurl saw dust into my eyes.
When I first went to nursery everything was new and exciting. I loved my tomato red uniform. My mum did my hair in little pom poms and I think I looked cute…..I had this little red box with my break tin and juice, two books and pack of 12 crayons.
My Stuff was labeled by my perfectionist mother…
Its here where I met Mrs Raja. She was a tough but ok teacher, which was to say you didn’t want to make her mad – her face turned a crazy crimson. She pushed her thick specs in then glared at you, her sari rustled and she swished her looong black hair this way and that….She huffed and puffed with many of us seriously considering scampering under our desks till she stopped ranting….Am pretty sure someone peed in her pants once when she lost her temper in class….
So I learnt very early in school that I royally pissed the teachers off when they saw me using my left hand to write and draw patterns….About 3 of us in class were lefties and the crew found this an unacceptable statistic….(by the way I still don’t know what the big deal is being a leftie…???)
So one time (and without the knowledge and consent of our parents) the school decided to “de-left” us freaks led by the “Project Leader Teacher” Mrs Raja in the flesh….The school would have us stay on in class everyday during recess for two weeks….They would tie up our left hands at the back of the colored wooden chairs and force us to do writing and patterns using our right hands.
First day I untied myself after a frustrating few minutes with my right and just finished the sentence with my left. Mrs Raja’s hawk eyes spotted me fast and out came those puke yellow wooden rulers that had a metal slicer in between it (gosh remember those???)….she yanked my left hand out and wacked me One …Two… Three on my knuckles! The other kids were so horrified they actually went on to use their right hands without further protest. I cried of course and my hand bruised badly but the next day I still broke free and used my left hand to work.
I got whacked often as I defied the orders of the “de-left” project.
On the 5th day when I could not wriggle out of the knots (they tied me real tight that day) I simply put my pencil down and said I wasn’t going to write. I looked at Mrs Raja in the eye and held my gaze! I saw her nostrils flaring and for a second I wondered if she was planning to kill me then she just came over to my chair untied me and scooted me out of class to play with the other kids…I kept looking back wondering whether it was a trick… but sure enough I was free and happily joined in with those twits throwing saw dust at each other…my two other mates came out of the whole sordid program as right handers…and even though I was relatively intact, I picked up a slight stammer then (which I have thankfully overcome for the most part).
Another time when I was a teenager, I was nagging my dad for permission to go swimming over the weekend with some school friends….I anticipated some opposition so I started very early in the week…..
I kept asking and begging “Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaase Baba let me go swim with my friends at the club on Saturday?”
….he kept saying NO.. even in different languages….but that didn’t stop me from asking again and again and when he could not take it anymore he snapped back…
“Wewe, are you asking or saying you’re going for swimming on Saturday?”
I said, “Woiye si of course Baba am asking…am beeeggggging…pleaaaase Baba…”
“Chiqy you aren’t asking your saying and even though I say no you will still find a way to swim so you better think about that stubbornness you have.”
To be honest, he was right…I did end up swimming that weekend….
As annoying as it is, once I make up my mind on something it’s very hard to make me change that resolve.
On the most part, stubbornness has taken me through shaky life moments….and waded me through flaky lifestyles and very tempting temptation…..lol…
Stubbornness reigning is what kept me up all night trying to finish some god dammed report due next day at noon…..
Stubbornness is what keeps me going with living in this dark world….
And while it won’t win me a popularity contest, let’s hope my stubbornness can get me through a new upcoming year….
Have a happy holiday y’all….hoping for good things in 2009…