The Life of a left-handed girl in India

Today is World Left Handers Day and this is the perfect opportunity for me to share my experiences as a left handed person in India.

In India, it is not considered the norm to use your left hand instead of your right hand. I was a born leftie, a fact that my parents discovered when I was approximately 5-6 years old when my dad was trying to teach me to write. He kept trying to make me hold the pencil with my right hand and write and I just wouldn’t. After some time, he lost his patience, kept the pencil down and told me to write when I feel like and started to walk away. I calmly picked up the pencil with my left hand and started writing. That’s when it struck him that I am a leftie.

In those times in India, it was considered inauspicious for people to use their left hand to eat, write or any other activities which were normally done with the right hand. Today, things are a little different, but not at that time. My parents never tried to convert me from a leftie to a right handed person, especially my father who would say that he wouldn’t try to change me from what my natural habit is.

But I faced really tough times with other people. When I would go to the temple, when I would put my left hand forward for the prasad(a sweet dish which is the holy offering that is given to all the people visiting the temple), the priest would look at me like I had just desecrated the temple with my presence. For an innocent kid who didn’t understand what she did wrong, it was really upsetting. But I would still insist on taking the Prasad in my left hand.

We experienced this many times while visiting temples. One day, my dad couldn’t control himself. When the priest at another temple insisted on giving me the Prasad in my right hand, my dad said to the priest, ” The things that you do with your left hand, she does with her right hand. Do you still want to give her the Prasad in her right hand?” The priest was left speechless. I still laugh my heart out at the expression on the priest’s face.

In school too, I would be asked all kinds of weird questions on being a leftie as it was not the norm. Parents who would have children who were lefties would forcibly convert them to using the right hand, sometimes even resorting to beating them to make them convert – all because it was considered inauspicious.

I hope things are different now. If there are any parents who are still forcing their kids to convert to the right hand, please stop. It is not their natural instinct. You are also messing up the functioning of their brain. There is nothing inauspicious about it.

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Sachai mein ek alag hi chain hota hai!

I saw the new Kinley TVC where a young girl goes off to Lonavla without telling her parents who think she is studying at a friend’s place. The girl starts feeling guilty when she reaches Lonavla and is not able to enjoy herself. Eventually, not being able to control herself, she calls up her father and confesses to him that she had lied to him that she is studying at a friend’s place and she is actually in Lonavla. When her father sternly asks her, ” Why are you telling me now?” She says that she was unable to have fun as she had lied to him. The father is touched and forgives her on the spot.

Watch the TVC here:

This TVC took me back to my childhood days. My parents were very strict and would take a lot of care to know where I was going and with whom and for how long. Many times, they would deny permission to me outright and I would be very angry. Even when I turned 18, they were strict with me. We were living in the north east, so they would worry even more. They wouldn’t allow me to go out after dark.

I was the rebellious kid and the restrictions would annoy me a lot. It would lead to big fights in the house, especially between my mom and myself as my dad would smartly leave the disciplining to her. One day, it happened that my friends were going to Shillong Peak, my favourite spot. I really wanted to go. Mom refused as my friends were going in the evening and it would be dark by the time they returned. My parents then went out for some work.

I was very upset and very keen on going. I knew my parents would take quite a lot of time to come back home. I decided to go with my friends. i left with my friends in the car. We had a lot of fun and I came back home before my parents returned. But, I was feeling guilty as my parents were very affectionate, just very concerned about me.

When they came back home, I was feeling very uncomfortable. They didn’t sense anything amiss and were normal with me. We sat down to have dinner together. I was normal from outside and feeling guilty from inside. Eventually, I gathered all my courage and told my parents that I had gone to Shillong Peak with my friends. There was absolute silence at the table. Then suddenly to my surprise, my dad burst out laughing. It really broke the ice between us. We had a long talk and arrived at an understanding with each other.

I resolved to never ever lie to my parents again and always talk it out with my them and only go out when they would be comfortable with it. As soon as I decided this, my parents were far more understanding and relaxed the rules a lot for me.

A healthy child makes a happy home

It all started 7 years back when a little angel entered our lives. We named her Mihika, which means dewdrop. Just like a dewdrop, she brings a feeling of freshness, happiness and rejuvenation to our lives. When she was born, incidentally I had taken a break in my career and my sister-in-law was working full-time. So, little by little, I started taking up some responsibilities related to her along with my mom. I spent the maximum time with my niece, playing with her, reading books to her and teaching her children’s songs. Sometimes, I would get a little impatient with her, especially if she wanted to play and was completely chirpy and I wanted to rest. But this time that I have spent with her has almost created a mother-daughter like bond between us. So when she falls sick, I go through the same anxiety like a real mother. The first four years of her life, she would fall sick quite frequently and would be very quiet and low when she fell sick.

At such times, I would start missing her chirpiness and playful ways and would make all efforts to have her well and running about again. Apart from medicines, kids also need a lot of love and care at such times.

Nowadays, with the level of dust and pollution increasing at an alarming rate, children need really strong immunity to withstand the same. Just healthy food doesn’t help with this. We need to give the children additional nutrition to help them have strong bodies to fight germs and all the viruses floating around. With all the new-fangled cures coming up for all sorts of ailments, nature still is the best source of remedies for most of the ailments. Children are also very delicate and hence medicine doses need to be administered to them very carefully. It’s better to build their immunity so that they don’t fall sick and need strong medicines.
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