I have battled body and personality issues all my life. Ever since I can remember, I have been an extremely shy and introvert child, a girl who would have so much to say and so many ideas and views, but who would always stand quietly, listening to others, observing, and carrying on those discussions inside her head.
I found it difficult and even painful to speak in social gatherings, even in a classroom or in front of family and friends. I have faced many academic stumbles owing to this issue of mine. But even though I was always battling it, I knew it would hardly ever change. And it didn't change. I still am the same way, tongue tied, finding it hard to speak when in a gathering (maybe that's why I write so much??!!)
Things didn't really change, now that I have overcome those years. I still remain as shy and introvert, and as picky. I find it difficult to speak to strangers, and even to those I know or love. Put me in a closed group of only those I really feel close to and I can be the chatterbox you would wish would shut up. But that's just me.....I can be me, but provided I am with those who truly love or know me.
This was all the confusion that was happening inside me.
Now lets come to the confusion or image that was being created around me, or still is..
As I am crossing the years there are so many opinions I come across regarding me.... From what I choose to wear to whether or not I want to have a tattoo and how many, to who I meet and where I go and what time I come and go.....
I have been called fat and not beautiful sooooo many times in my life that I end up laughing if ever someone calls me beautiful. It's not to offend anyone, but I genuinely do not know how to take a compliment, or to feel that I am beautiful. For me, I still am pretty okay, nothing to turn and look at a second time (no offence to anyone here). But that still doesn't mean it is alright for someone to call me fat. I have started spotting those early silvers in my hair (yes, I am at that age and it is perfectly alright), but those around me have told me I should not be proud and instead think of getting them color changed. Hah!
My dressing sense and fashion quotient has been criticized to the last rung of fashion. I have never given much thought to what I am wearing. But I do realize that many others have! I have forever rummaged in my clothes shelf and randomly picked up pieces, mixing and matching whatever I found. I was known to wear clothes that were so mismatched yet came together that it became a trademark of Debo wearing mismatched clothes that on her looked matched. It was hilarious! Some of my closest friends still know I am just this way still.
My wearing makeup or lack of it too has seen much discussion. I can of course like makeup and I don't think there is anything wrong with it. But most days I just have a naked face, and on days that I do get ready I will use maybe two or max three products. That again is my choice. Then there are times when I love to bring it on and get out my reds and my smokey eyes and all that mad(e)-ness. But like I said again, that too is my choice you see. I see no sense in this constant hush-hush about women sniggering at each other over how they are made up.
I used to work like a maniac with crazy work hours. I was called so many things because of my erratic hours. I chose to shift my work to my home and work from inside my home and not from an office, and I do work some really crazy long and erratic hours still. But now I am called lazy and so lucky that I have such an easy life and that I am basically doing nothing with my life. I love reading and share what I think and people have genuinely told me that I must have such a relaxed and nothing-to-do life that I read the way I do.....haha again.
You wear makeup you are called fake. You don't wear makeup you are called a simpleton, a behenji. You wear short dresses you are called slutty. You wear jeans and a basic tee you're called styleless. You come home early and stay in you are called boring. You stay out, hang out with those you want to and come home in the middle of the night or in the morning, and of course you are a loose character....someone to watch out for.....You stay quiet you are dumb, you speak your mind you are rude.
I don't get it. I just don't.
The fact is....none of it really bothers me anymore. I am 34 now - ya I said it - or rather I will be in a month or so, and by now I've got enough time to harden my heart and my mind and my skin too (I can be quite thick skinned when I want to). Of course I get massively hurt when someone I care for says something...but that goes with an emotional person like me, nothing out of the ordinary there. As for those who do not matter, I really can't waste my time and thoughts any more. I guess it's one of the most relaxed approaches I've taken to life.
Those I really care for and who care for me are the ones who really matter. I have decided to trust their love and respect and criticism and be done with the rest of the lot.
On that note, there is this amazing track by an amazing musician and an amazing human being and friend Anupam Roy....the track is called Second Sex and in case you haven't heard it, do LISTEN TO IT HERE and some more wonderful people involved in the track are Nabarun Bose, Sandipan Parial, Roheet Mukherjee, Shomi Chatterjee.
- Debolina Raja Gupta
And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ
Debolina Raja Gupta