Monday, November 26


There was a time when I was a kid would judge myself based on everyone's opinion of me. I had a loving family, and wonderful friends in the middle east, where I grew up. When I reached India in the 9th grade, everything changed.

I was introduced to a rigid educational system that focused on cramming, where excellence was based on grades, and I felt like I didn't fit in. Moreover, I lived away from my family and old friends and was finding a hard time to just 'fit'.

I got picked on. I was a think skinny little kid, among the shortest in my class. I was buck-toothed, tremendously shy, and preferred sitting by self in my corner of the classroom doodling away in between classes. I would not defend myself. I tried very hard to get everyone's approval, to the point where I thought that fighting back would give them a reason to deny me friendship. It was years later that I realized that such people never deserved my friendship any more. By the time I finished my 12th grade, I was about 6 feet tall. I was no longer the short skinny kid. I was the tall skinny bloke. I spent the next 4 years studying for my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, something I was never too fond of. Interestingly, I loved those 4 years. Outside university, I was introduced to new friends, I learned music and worked with some wonderful musicians, dabbled with photography and writing, debated over political paradigms and economic constructs, yes, I was in an intellectual's perfect dream.

But it was still not enough.