Shalini-Grey pages in the book of my life.


Shalini-Grey pages in the book of my life.

Shalini says, “My parents come from an era where movies, shows, and books were seen as a waste of time and not as a medium of entertainment. They always had the idea that it’s wrong to indulge in films as it doesn’t add much value to life. My mother doesn’t like me watching anything online- she cringes at the sight of it.

They had to fend for themselves when they were young during which, they forgot to enjoy life and focused on survival. I found it very difficult to understand their actions when I was little.

When I was in my 6th grade, I got optically tested for short-sightedness and was asked to wear glasses. It was hard for me to decipher the letters on the blackboard from the last benches. I always feared to reveal it to my parents as I felt I would be a disappointment to them.

You see, being visually impaired was a lesser issue. I would fail them, which was a bigger debilitation as they didn’t need glasses. I can only imagine the trauma my parents felt when I put on my first pair of glasses. My mother didn’t enjoy a good night’s sleep for weeks. She could not understand how it worked out differently for me. They still think about it and wonder.

My mother also had a tough time acknowledging my physical shortcomings. Be it weight fluctuations or my dietary choices, she could never come to terms with it. Meanwhile, I’ve always tried to please her. When she disliked how thin I was as a child, I prayed to God to help me gain a few pounds. I longed for a voluptuous figure even as a thirteen-year-old as I wanted to look precocious.

When I gained weight, the thought of finding a suitable partner for me worried her to every bit. I was expected to show improvement from time to time. But perhaps I will never be good enough for them.

I tried filling the holes in myself with the help of men and intoxicants. But with time, the holes only got deeper and, nothing would help. This was when I developed an inclination towards books. I started to realize that reading made me more content compared to other activities.

Today I don’t know if my parents will ever accept me for being who I am now but I’m sure that my books aren’t leaving my side anytime soon. Even in the darkest of hours, you will find me sipping on my coffee and reading Jeffrey Archer and there’s only a moment of contemplation till life gets better.”

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