When I was young, I would often snuggle up to my grandmother, who would allow it, despite being old, frail and arthritic. I would look at her making delicious sweets which was highly unhealthy and fattening, and comment on how progressive her psoriasis was. It never bothered me that my grandmother had skin disease that many, many people thought made her untouchable. I learned from my beautiful grandmother that beauty more than skin deep, and that anyone who judged beauty from the outside had a problem accepting themselves.
When I was younger, my complexion was darker. Being where I was, almost everybody had a comment on how I looked, compared to my fairer sister. I remember being sad because their tone was not friendly. My mother, however, refused to stand down. She would immediately snub people who commented on my skin, rather than my intelligence. She would not spare her relatives, and not even her oldest daughter when she used to taunt me with the insult. My mother taught me that racism is never okay, and that anyone judging me based on my skin tone needed good education.
When I was a prepubescent child, a man on the bus had groped me. I was in shock, and I stood there for fifteen minutes, letting him feel me. I remember feeling immensely dirty, as if it was my fault. My friend, who noticed I had gone silent, immediately realized what was happening. He screamed at the man, yelling obscenities that no twelve-year-old will be able to muster up unless really angered. My friend taught him that there are always two types of men in the world, rather than just the deranged one that media portrays. Men do stand up whenever duty calls, and I will always remember his brave act.
There was a rich kid in my high school who kept flaunting all his rich stuff. High end iPhones and iPods. A laptop on her own. She drank beer and smoked high end cigarettes she stole from her dad. She was a descendent of a famous poet during the independence era. She was popular amongst those wishing to associate themselves with her, but she was equally hated. One day, I found her crying, and off handedly asked her about it. She told me her parents were going through a divorce. I realized that day that even rich people who were â€˜coolâ€™ had problems. She taught me to understand that being rich and popular had nothing to do with being happy.
When I was in college, I fell in love. He was smart and intelligent, and we were pursuing bachelors in the same course. We were in love. He told me he will work hard for the relationship. A year later, he moved away to Delhi while I stayed behind, and he cheated on me with another girl. He taught me, that trust is gift that should not be parted with easily, that itâ€™s easier to say something than actually do it.