Why I Write ...

Purely as a form of expression to the emotions that run riot in my life at different junctures. This blog has seen several title revisions that also reflect the state of being and evolution I am constantly in. If one were to remain stagnant in hope of never changing their temporal present, one will awaken someday to much regret. Life is about living, evolving and adapting to the constant changes all around us.

My spot on the web is essentially a journey along with my monologue ramblings of my coherent mind accompanied by the incoherent thing called life. Read me if you like ... if you don't it is not the end of the world. I am at the very least a believer in humility lifts us further than pride.

Happy trails

18 February 2008

Misconstrued Popularity Feb 18, 2008

POPULARITY : A social status or a quality of being well liked - or so the idea goes.

Ok so what has popularity got to do with me? Nothing actually. And Thank God!

I am allergic to being in any proximity with that word especially if it is directed to me in any form or shape. I get immediate hives. I cannot remember if I have mused and rambled about this particular topic previously but I was recently thinking of the many facets of this word and how it has in the past affected me one way or the other due to the misguided presumptions that I was somehow even remotely in the league of the popular.

Back when I was in school, somehow the clique of giggly girls that I associated myself with 'The Gang' happened to have been popular in their own areas - smart top scorers, athletes, musically inclined and the ones who somehow the teachers would always inevitably choose to be in the limelight.

Now the tragic comedy of me presence in this 'The Gang' was that I was none of the forementioned pluses. I was smart yes but not top scorer, I played a good game of badminton and handball but was never the first selection usually in the reserves, I sang and danced well but I did that out of inborn rhythm and interest not by formal education.

Over the years as they the rest of 'The Gang' went on to get married, study abroad, climb corporate ladders - well you know the story of my life and it's ironical misadventures. We aren't even in each others social circles anymore - I just don't fit in where they are.

Not that there's anything seriously wrong with who I am or how I turned out to be, but I guess, when my life just turned out very differently from theirs. There's the social fluttery hi hi kiss kiss when we meet, some 'concerned' conversations as to my current affairs, some solidarity in wanting to kick Jacob's ass high heaven for turning out to be a jerk not my hero ... and then life goes on in its typical fashion.

Some people assumed I was in 'The Gang' because I too wanted to be popular - if being the daughter of one of the most popular teachers in primary school wasn't a tragic malady in itself, apparently my association with these high flyers was seen as an attempt to elevate myself to their realms.

I at times look back at those growing years and now am able to see how very different I was to them. Almost like a freak of nature cast amongst the blooms and diamonds. In fact all through primary till I completed secondary school, whilst their popularity reigned high in our small town, I think I was probably seen as the baggage or the charity inclusion. But I did serve my purpose to an end being there.

When the boys were interested in them I was the obvious post service. I could also be the court jester and clown who broke the ice because I wasn’t being affected in anyway looking daft in front of the boys and once that was done would go be the wall flower in the back. In fact it became the norm. I think the first time I ever had any male attention was when I was in lower 6 when a boy 3 years my junior seemed to be hovering about wherever I was. It was kinda cute and odd at the same time – me??? What was wrong with this boy was all I could think as my friends teased me endlessly about having a fan.

I went on to college before I started working full time, for the first 6 months, I was silent in my corner taking copious notes while the lecturer droned on. I was the only Indian in the class. The rest were Chinese whose comprehension was rather limited. After the first of 3 exams and my results were the highest next term I was most sough after for my copious notes rather than my company. I just let them have my notes, dunno if it helped them any.

Moving on in the social circles, I was like the freak when I had two younger siblings that seemed to be like candles that attracted moths and other creatures by the droves. I was still the odd one. I didn’t party hard, I didn’t drink, I didn’t drive so making me designate driver was an obvious waste … and I used to be intrigued by the oddity of it all – how could we even be siblings when I was such a unpopular next to the both of them. But it’s kinda cool and kinda sad when you have happening siblings – people never remember who you are but they always associate you to so and so. So again, an identity born, out of my association with others. It’s no wonder I just shrank further into obscurity of my own thoughts, my attempts at writing – at least here I held some force. I could take anyone on a journey with my words.

It is really only lately I think since Jacob’s departure from my life that I made a more concerted effort to come out of my shell. I mean all along if anyone took the time to get to know me, they’d have realized I am quite a bit of fun in that I am well read, I think and I am good to word spar with … plus I do have a heart when it comes to people I care for. But with Jacob gone, I have made small steps and changes to myself – some born out of necessity, some out of circumstance, I smile again despite my troubles.

And I speak my mind. To me if I have something worth saying, I said it with conviction because this is how I feel about it. I don’t expect anyone to agree with me but I believe this and stand by it so there I say it such. But now I seem to suddenly be tagged by others (I am not sure why they think this) that I am popular.

And I learnt that misplaced belief that someone is popular can lead to a number of painful instances. Some people feel that there is an urgent need for them to raise the war stance for everything that I say. Others feel that by emulating how I am with others in my interactions and care and concern will equally propel them into the popularity circle. Then there’s also having my ‘identity’ stolen from right under my nose. And suddenly I sit back and think ‘God what is this all about??’

I mean I am the way I am from my experiences and this is me sincerely. If I care I care, if I don’t I don’t … it’s as simple as that. If I speak it’s because I feel I have something to say. If I don’t it may mean a number of things why I’ve chosen silence over saying anything.

My laughter and easy going nature inspite of the worry wart I can be, seems to draw people towards me. I don’t go out anywhere with the intention to attract attention or intentionally upstaged anyone. But sometimes it happens. Unwittingly I might find myself suddenly the center of a group’s attention and affection. When this happens now, I react with internalized shock … I can almost imagine what those who were aspiring to that ‘popularity’ or were of the opinion it was theirs for the having are going to be doing. And I start to worry.

Too many times I have heard people use the word ‘ani how popular you are’ only to then immediately put into action some diabolic plan to ‘topple’ me – whilst here I am screaming take it I don’t want it … I just want to be my quiet wallflower lost in my own little challenges.

And maybe I am more aware and more perceptive of the people around me now that I can easily identify the problem the moment it kicks into action. If I was some celebrity or someone important I can imagine people reacting aversely to me but dang it, I’m the girl next door who has had her teeth kicked in so many times it must be dentures in my mouth, I use a coat hanger to keep the smile in place, each day I wake up I remind myself it’s a new day – make the best of it.

I don’t want to be popular … maybe notoriously famous someday from how my incoherent ramblings come together and entertain my phantom readers (I don’t really believe I have any readers to begin with) but not popular.

Why??? Well popularity is like so yesterday. Today everyone knows you, tomorrow like who??? Nope I would rather be famous, and seen as notoriously blunt, honest and incorrigible in the way I think and express myself … an original, a one of a kind type person who once walked this earth … but my beginnings are humble, and so too will be my ending on this earth … I will leave unnoticed, and where then does my popularity matter? (or incidentally the imaginary popularity in the minds of those who want to be so badly!) – no where it matters not.

.ani is going to remain the way she is, you can love or hate, I am cool but please don’t ever use that word popular on me … I’m allergic to it

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