India’s forgotten arm

She was quietly waiting in a queue to get the tickets. She was fair and her hair was long. ‘Beautiful’ was too little a word to describe her beauty. People, especially men of all ages, tried to find some space in the crowd to have a look at her. She enjoyed this attention initially. Who wouldn’t want some attention from the public for being so beautiful?

Soon she was uneasy but, couldn’t eschew this attention. The antipathy had its own reasons. Her eyes avoided direct contact with the gazes and the looks. She felt that people weren’t appreciating her beauty but rather commenting on her ethnicity. Some comments made her feel embarrassed. Some called her ‘chinki’ while some termed her ‘pinky’. Some even passed sexual comments in Hindi, describing different parts of her body. Now she was scared.

On reaching the ticket counter, she said, ” Bhaiya teen tickets dena.” The person at the other end inquired, ” Kahan se ho aap?”

“Usse kya farak padta hai,” she asked in a stern voice. The guy said, ” Madam, foreigners ke liye ₹200 ka ticket aur Indians ke liye ₹40 ka isiliye…”

She cut him short and replied in a frustrating tone, ” Arre Darjeeling se hai hum bhaiya. Woh West Bengal mein hai. Aur West Bengal India ka part hai agar aapko pata nahi hai toh.” By now, people were quietly enjoying the episode. Few people, standing right behind her, giggled and commented proudly on discovering that their ‘Chinki’ belonged to India. They were indifferent even on knowing that she could understand what they said and meant.

She felt extremely humiliated because by now, not only was her ethnicity at stake but also her nationality. She collected the tickets by paying ₹120, stepped aside and then entered inside. She quietly stood at the corner while allowing her friends to proceed.

Deep inside she cursed her ethnicity and her beauty which according to her was the root cause of such humiliation. She even regretted knowing Hindi. She imagined what could have been the scenario if she had slapped the first person to call her ‘Chinki’. Her mind contradicted this thought by telling her that she was a woman. By doing so she would have to face worse consequences than this. Lastly, she even regretted being a woman. She wanted to weep but she didn’t.

India’s forgotten arm


Upset was her father with her performance that he walked off  from the stands before the whistle blew off.

“I am sorry but I am helpless”, she said.

“You need not be! The outcome is always dependent upon you and you can handle it,” he said with a momentary smile on his face.

She could not sleep.

She could recollect everything.

How her father had trained her initially! How he had exclaimed out of joy on her first achievement! How he accepted debt to help her fulfill her destiny! How he had inculcated a sanguine approach in her! Everything ran through her mind like a quick flashback. She knew he would not speak his heart out in front of her. But, she knew that he believed in her. Somehow she felt guilty for it, as if she had cheated him and let him down. As the night passed by, this feeling became prominent and more intense. She became totally restless. At dawn, she figured out that this was not her father’s teaching. She could recall his words – “The outcome is always dependent upon you and you can handle it.” After a night full of hopelessness, these words filled her with innate courage and sheer confidence. She missed her father very much, at the instance, who wasn’t home. But his words calmed her down. She looked at the rising sun and let the gentle breeze kiss her body. At that moment, with all the synergies, she felt one with nature. She experienced something about life.

Tough moments wage wars against our minds and by believing in ourselves our minds receive the energy and confidence to handle them and overcome them. Believing in oneself unleashes the power of one’s mind.