After about four hours, hunting for one of my meds which I could not find, and completing the official procedures required for the acceptance of a fee after its deadline date, I was undoubtedly exhausted. Starving, as I approached my college canteen, I saw a classmate.
“This was supposed to be a mass bunk!”
“Oh yes it was”, said Saif reassuringly. “I was here only because I can concentrate here better than at home.” I heaved a sigh. Both of us went on to fill ourselves with the most wholesome items on the menu. As we walked, I also caught a glimpse of my old friends – the ones from my first year at college, two of whom were still my classmates. They waved at me and I was bound to respond. Etiquette says I should’ve gone over to them, but I was too hungry. Also, I was not very keen about going over and having fun made of me, which almost always happened. I pointed towards the canteen building; I don’t know how they would’ve interpreted that. And I didn’t care so long as my stomach was empty.
After having my lunch at four p.m. or so, I branched off from Saif and decided to go over to my old friends only two of whom were now sitting there. I don’t really know if the absence of the other two was good or bad.
“Am I welcome?” “Ayesha and Pandu replied in an affirmative and therefore I went on. The conversation kick-started and it happened to continue while two more of my old-but-not-current-classmates joined us. As we began talking, she asked me why I asked if I was welcome. “Why wouldn’t you be?” “Maybe because I bore you people? Maybe because my jokes never fire, I’m not so cool and fun and stuff like that?” “Oh come on! Chill out. That is certainly not so.” No doubt, it was nice to have such an answer. I told them about my no-girls pact while all of them laughed. It was a nice time and all of us talked on till we parted for our respective homes.
One thing that comes to mind is, am I paranoid? If so, what’s the reason behind it? My near-black complexion? Or my handicapped sense of humor? Or my slurred speech? Or just being extra-thin? Or is there really a reason behind it? I’ve been eliminating people from my life, especially those whom I can meet everyday. I just ignore them. I guess there’s a reason why I ignore them. It’s because of the fact that I realize my shortcomings. The people being ignored might not realize them; but the fear of having them realize those is perhaps the reason for what I do. But this elimination has perhaps made me all the more paranoid, because there’s no one to share all those negative and self-depreciating thoughts.They’re all in the head. Or, am I even making any sense?
Today’s conversation has at least told me that I am not that bad a company after all. I’m not incapable of having my group of friends. Maybe, the depreciation has come from inwards. It was not because people made fun of me but because of the way I sometimes felt about it. Of course it’s not true for all the people. And I therefore have to be selective. I am not ready to give myself to just anybody; but I might certainly try to mingle up a bit. I know it’s going to be hard; and next to impossible when it comes to new people. But it has to get better with time. Everything does.
So if I am paranoid, the reasons I cite may not be so important or significant. I cannot aim at ‘having lots of friends by the time I leave college’, because there is hardly any time to start all over with friendship when I have a hell lot of academic stuff to catch up. I can however aim at maybe, ‘not ignoring people’. The no-girls pact still holds, but my old friends from college can be partially exempted. 😉
If the paranoia – or something like that – stems from the fact that I am aware of my shortcomings and wish to conceal them from the world, let’s just stop concealing. People eventually find out what’s wrong with you. Trying to hide them is not only vain but also self-depreciating. It only leaves one unable to lead a life which one otherwise could. So, I guess here it is – embrace yourself the way you are. It’s good to be aware of one’s flaws, but it’s more productive to work on them instead of spending all the time concealing them. After all, who doesn’t have flaws? None of us is perfect. It’s not about becoming a people’s man, it’s about letting people know that here also stands a man.
Let’s see how that works!