To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Monday, March 25, 2002
I have always been reserved by nature. In my childhood, it used to bother me. People would say, "Why doesn't she mix around with the other kids?" and I would wonder why they wouldn't let me be. It didn't matter to me what they thought or said, but to my parents, it did. They wanted me to be a model kid (like all parents do) and opinions mattered.

When I would go to Mangalore every two years, amid the usual exclamations and protestations, there was no mistaking the familiar, " Our Preeti is as shy as ever". I was the darling of the house and the words were spoken with affection…

But they would hurt nonetheless. Perhaps it is harder to take criticism from those you love and I couldn't help but see it as criticism. I wished they would love me as I was.

When I became responsible for myself, it was easier. I wasn't as shy or as reticent as before, but apart from a few close friends, everybody else would have labelled me as reserved. Strangely, people who would have a certain impression of me when they first met me, would later, on deeper acquaintance confide to me that I was nothing like they had imagined. But then, in the same breath, they would also ask, "but why are you so reserved?" For a minute I would be lost for words. I couldn't feel the same warmth I had felt a moment ago and would matter-of-factly mutter, "Oh, that's how I've always been " as if explaining away some chronic disease.

I failed to understand why people couldn't accept a person as he/she was. Why couldn't they realise that that was the way they were just as you are the way you are. If you don't like the way they are, move on, but why extend your hand and then deal a slap.

Friends are as much a product of chance as of choice. A friend of mine (I always admired her energy and vivacity) never could let an opportunity slip by without telling me that I didn't know how to live life. The more I tried to tell her I was happy as I was, the less convinced she would be. It was like a personal affront to her; that someone who did not partake of the same pleasures that she did, could still claim to be enjoying herself. She didn't believe a word of it and said so.

If my saying I can see is not proof enough that I'm not blind, I don't know what is. I let the matter rest there.