All of us have had a “seedha” bacha or bachi in us, we see you and this one is for you.
- For almost all of my life, I’ve heard this one sentence from all the adults I’ve known-“Kitni seedhi si bachi hai.” Iske kuch aur bhi variations hote hai, jaise-“So mature for her age” And the teachers’ favorite- “A pleasure to have in class.”
- Whenever my cousins stirred up any sort of trouble, my parents would be on the receiving end of this staple dialogue from my chacha chachi/mama-mami: “apne bache toh itne seedhe hai, aapko yeh problems kahaan aati hogi” And for the longest time, hearing this made me so happy! Made me feel so responsible, and wise beyond my years! Only much, MUCH later did I realize- IT WAS ALL A SHAM, YOU GUYS.
- As it turns out, jo crippling lack of self-esteem, painful shyness, and eagerness to please wali qualities ko yeh log “maturity” bula rahe the, they’re actually REALLY BAD for you?? Huh. Who would’ve thought.
- So I spent my early years convinced that I was doing the right thing by never speaking up, always saying ‘no’ when anyone asked ifI wanted anything, and being perpetually mortified of making mistakes.
- It was only when I reached my teens, that I realized that something had gone horribly wrong. Around me, I saw kids who could make new friends in every period, who held effortless gossip seshes w the teachers, who had no problem with getting kicked out of class. And here, I was- taking ten deep breaths and feeling my heart in my throat every time I raised my hand.
- And all of a sudden, it felt like I was the only one who had fallen behind. It seemed like maybe I would never be able to catch up.
- Spoiler Alert- I did catch up. So if you related with everything I just said, I’m here to tell you IT GETS BETTER. I PROMISE. I wish I could reach into the past to my younger self and tel her this. Haan, ab main koi fearless, extrovert, YJHD ki before-se-after Naina nahi ban gayi, but I’ve come a long way.
- Ab bhi phone-calls ke naam par anxiety ho jaati hai, ab bhi lagta hai ki bhai, kuch logo mein itna koot koot ke confidence aata kahaan se hai? Instagram pe live kaise kar lete hai??? But I’m still learning. Learning to tumble and fall, and love myself regardless. You know what the best part is? I look back and i know that little me would be super proud of current me. And that always helps me feel 100x better.
So, here’s to you- all my fellow “seedha bachas.”
May you go forth and show the world just how tedha you can be!