One instance in childhood changed the course of my life to an extent. We often do something when we are kids without realizing how it would affect the other person. Someone played a prank to call up my home when we were in school and say something weird when my mom picked up the call. She over heard those kids taking some names. She came to school and slapped that guy whom she doubted have called. He was the same guy who made some crank calls earlier too. That’s the day my ordeal began. I dint feel like going to school, face them and see them mimicking my mom. I felt so bloody helpless. I could have killed someone if Aditi and Reema were not there with me. They were the huge group we were only three. After a day the guy’s uncle visited his relatives (who were our good neighbors till then) and wanted to talk to my mom. So instead of adopting a civilized manner he thought of shouting out aloud standing beneath our house for my mom to come out and talk. That was 9 in the December night and there were people living around whom we had to answer next day. Gradually going out of my house to market or to play with friends also became difficult. As I could easily find a group of guys staring at me and talking, their looks were so prominent that I couldn’t even console myself thinking that it was the latest match they were talking about. Similarly, all aunties around got a topic to gossip about. I knew if I step out of home there would be some eyes following me, passing comments and making judgments. N number of people… N number of judgments. This was me…The 14 year old Garima. I hated that guy so much, everyday when I used to tell Mom that I don’t want to go to school or I’m not going out to play with my friends I used to hate him even more. For about 8-9 years he was one person I hated the most on earth… when I started working and started living a life beyond those instances where there were bigger problems to deal with, then I realized that it was nothing as compared to what I am going through right now. May be that instance prepared me to deal with the coming situations. But whenever I think of those years I still feel bad, as I had to pay for something that I dint do.
So yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine who in school was one of the prime enemies, but off lately have become a friend, he told me that it wasn’t this guy who was guilty and made the call that day…it was someone else but he refused to take the name. Since yesterday I’m going through this mixed feeling of anger, frustration and guilt. Anger cos no one ever bothered to tell me the truth, frustration that even now I don’t know who he was cos of whom the precious moments of my childhood became a nightmare and guilt for hating someone else for all these years who dint even do anything.
I was being told not to think too much on this and I couldn’t help but think. It was said that kids don’t do anything intentionally or unintentionally, its just their gut feeling ‘jo karna hai wo karna hai’. Agreed. But who is responsible if cos of this ‘gut feeling’ they do something wrong and ruin somebody’s life?? I have accepted the fact that cos of the situations at that point of time I made a mistake and accused a wrong person. This person and all his friends knew who the culprit was … may be as kids they never realized if it was wrong but was it the same when they grew up? We often do a lot of things as kids which we don’t consider wrong or right, may be we don’t have that maturity to understand that; but when we grow up and recall those incidents we do realize whether we were right or wrong. Isn’t it? Or is it only me who keeps thinking ‘out of proportion’?