It is a privilege when someone allows me to post their honest reflections on their life.
We all have an 'upstream'.
We have all had a journey.
We are are still on our journey & we can learn from others spilling - not only Royalty (Prince Harry recently)
We all can learn from sharing our story - AND it is good for us too - I firmly believe.
'Level Five' communication - I call it.
FEEL this with me .................
I grew up in the Southern state of India. Growing up in a conservative family back in India was not always fun.
For my family, getting a good education and top grade was always the number one priority.
My mother’s belief was that children who get involved in sports activities will never do well in academics.
So she would threaten to punish me and at times did punish me if I played during my lunch break or after school. In her defense, my aunts from my father’s side where all high school basketball players and no one successfully completed their high school courses. Mother always compared my grades with my younger sister and even with other close friend’s children. At times I would regret taking my report card home for my father to sign.
It was not a good feeling when you are not the top student in class. To make the matter worse, my younger sister and other children we know would always get top marks in exams. With limited opportunity to enjoy and exercise, I became one of the obese kid in my class.
My problem did not stop there. Being one of the obese person in class, fellow classmates used to call me all sorts of nicknames and was subjected to bullying. To make the matters worse,none of the fellow classmates wanted to pick the obese person to join their team during PE sessions. It was not fun to feel not accepted by your classmates. I felt singled out and ashamed. I could not hide my weight in order to fit in with my classmates nor I could not hide my grades from my parents.
Being suffocated at home and experiencing bullying at school, I decided to ran away from home and from my community at the age of 13. Using the money from my savings account, I took a long overnight train ride to my neighboring state.
Living on the street corners and bus shelters in an unknown place without knowing the language was a scary experience. However having a knife in my waist belt gave the courage to survive and face other predators. The money that I took from my savings account slowly started to deplete. Keeping that in mind I decided to return home after a week. I was not sure what to expect, but I was ready to face my consequences.
The treatment I received at home upon return can be compared to the biblical story about the return of the prodigal son.
Not only that, with the help of a counselor I was able to convince my mother about her misconceptions.
From that day forward, my mother never punished me for playing during my lunch break nor she worried about my grades. However, one thing I realised from those experience was that I remained the prodigal son whom the society could not accept. I was seen as the bad apple in the community including other family members and friends.
For me, what mattered most was the new found peace at home. And at school, the bad name I carried in community kept the bullies away.
Even though I was not able to quite fit in, I was able to adapt to the new circumstances.
With the new found pride and self confidence, I enjoyed the opportunities that came in my way for studying.
Later on I was able to successfully join the high school basketball team.