“Main Apni Favorite Hoon” announced the chirpy lively effervescent Geet and she became the Nation’s favorite too. I too am my own favorite, I just love myself unapologetically.
I love my weird, quirky habits. I love my oh not so happening dressing sense. I love my full meals with a sweet dish at the end. I love watching Bollywood movies, even those which Rajeev Masand and Anupama Chopra slaughter in their reviews. I love being a recluse. I love being curled up in bed with a book for company. I love being a non-party animal. I love my drinks, be it a screwdriver or a glass of red wine. I love a few close friends because everybody cannot be my friend and vice versa. I love visiting places with a touch of History. I love watching sunset from my balcony. I love to cry after reading something mushy like Gone with the Wind. I love whistling in every scene of movies like Deewar, Sholay, Shakti, Trishul, Nastik, and Shahensa where Mr.Bachhan appears mouthing those iconic dialogues. So to cut a long story short, I am absolutely and deeply in love with myself.
But as I always like this since childhood? NO. I was not.
I was always too eager to please everyone around me. My parents by getting good grades in school, teachers by behaving well, sometimes like a robot in school, my friends by being their YES MAN. And in the process, I was losing a little bit of the ACTUAL me every day. I was becoming a different person who took a toll on my mental health; I became obsessed to be called GOOD by everyone in life.
Years went by and nothing changed. I had started working and was toiling like labor in office to be in my boss’s good books, which is a virtual reality. There is no such thing called GOOD BOOK which I realized much later.
I was trying very hard, so hard that I digested sexist comments, laughed at the stupidest of the jokes, gave a nod to every dumb decision taken – I mean today when I look back I truly pity that young girl.
Somewhere I read that people who can laugh at themselves have great sense of humor. Great thought. But one should not laugh at herself or himself when the jokes cracked are nasty pulls you down and damages your self-esteem. I learned this at an office get together. Some bully taunted me with a comment, which is etched so vividly in my mind even after more than a decade that I can recall every single syllable- “Do not use your brain darling, you are a pretty face so stick to the regime and discuss beauty tips and fashion in that corner .”Gesturing towards a remote corner of the hall with his finger, he continued, “Leave the decision-making duties on us, MEN. We will call you if we need little bit of entertainment, then you can crack jokes or you might even sing for us in that cracked voice of yours.”
Something hit my head hard, I fully understood the depth of my humiliation in front of all colleagues and I accepted I had made it possible for the world to take me for granted, it was my own doing. This pathetic example of human being was just the face of them all, the people I have always tried to please.
AND I LEARNED TO SAY NO.
I LEARNED TO LIVE FOR MYSELF.
I LEARNED TO EXPRESS MY FEELINGS WITHOUT MINCING A SINGLE WORD.
I LEARNED TO CALL A SPADE A SPADE.
I LUNLEARNED TO PUT UP WITH STUPID DUMB JOKES, SUGGESTIONS AND ACCEPTING MINDLESS DECISSIONS.
I UNLEARNED TO BE EVERYONE’S PET.
I UNLEARNED BEING HARSH ON MYSELF.
Finally one day the balance sheet of learning and unlearning tallied and I could recon ciliate both the sides.
I had learned to love myself, the actual, original ME, too bad if you do not approve of my choices, too bad if you do not like what I wear, what I read, where I go, whom I associate with, when I come back home, how do I manage my household, how I rear up my child – it is my way or it is no way.
I am not here to please the whole world, which is not my job buddy.
You see not everyone is invited to my dining table just like I am not invited to join everyone’s table.
So let us create a separate table for our self, where we can eat drink and be merry with the people we choose to be with and not with those with whom we are forced socially or otherwise to share the table with.
That’s not done, not in my case at least.
Don’t be burdened to say what people want to hear, say what comes to your mind. Yes this will make you unpopular with the mass but you will feel rejuvenated. Trust me I am one unpopular person socially, but people with whom I associate believes me at my face value because they are aware that I am not going to say or do something just to please them. I am associating with them because I genuinely like them. And here I win. My life is no more a rally of people I detest; rather it has now become a beautiful symposium with people, friends, acquaintances and some part of my close family I honestly love.
I learned to make these choices and I chose QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.
I learned to be unabashedly honest with my opinions and I do have opinions on matters that I am aware of, I do not claim to be Miss Know It All – simply because it is not humanly possible to know everything in the world. I pick and choose my areas of interest like a great cooking recipe bores the hell out of me and I do not burden myself in absorbing such information which will not come handy in my life, in any way.
I like small get together with intimate friends or family and I hate loud parties or disc hopping and I make no bones about it.
I am not in sync with the western music culture so much; I do not like pop music (Sorry M.J and Madonna and Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, and Beyonce, and Shakira all other names not so well versed with). I love retro music, any given day. The songs of the 60’s and 70’s and 80’s and till some point in the 90’s make me feel at home, I adore Rafi, Kishore, Lata, Asha and R.D.Burman.
And it is okay to be. Some people will call you UNCOOL (a new lingo I have recently picked up from my daughter), but is it worth trying to do something or listen to something which you do not at all enjoy to change the world’s opinion about you? Opinions, in any case, are very transitory. It is our nature to pass judgments on anyone or anything, learn to ignore.
Sometimes Ignorance is Bliss.
So hey readers, be the person you are, be your own favorite, celebrate the unique qualities you possess, love yourself and here I sign off….. “TAKE ME AS I AM OR WATCH ME AS I GO”