|Image Source: Oxford Dictionary|
The word Bully was a term of endearment in the sixteenth century, the time of its origin. Read the above screenshot from Oxford dictionary website. But in real life, bullies all have a common origin. They all are unhappy creatures dealing with their own inner demons. They are often victims of bullying themselves, are frustrated with their own life, unhappiness is killing them or they simply don’t realize that their bullying badly effects people.
That does not justify in anyway the habit of bullying that people indulge in. I have faced bullies in my life and still face many. And yes, most of the bullies were insecure beings when I come to think of it now.
When I was in school, I was often called names by school bullies. I was the darkest in my class and I would be called names such as Adivasi (a dark skinned tribal). These bullies adopted this tactic when they were failing to achieve something because of me. I was good in sports. When I was about to win and someone passed a comment calling me an Adivasi, I would feel this weight weighing down my heart and all my enthusiasm and energy would evaporate. I eventually will lose the match. I used to feel numb with pain. It was not a crime that I was born with a dark skin colour.
I didn’t have the courage to speak out or complain about these bullies to anyone. For the longest time, I cursed the skin I was born with. Then one day, a good friend of mine told me how much she admired my talents. I told her it didn’t matter because no one recognised me for what I was. I was merely the dark skinned girl who was always the target of bullies.
Her words still ring in my mind.
“Have you noticed that the bullies who taunt you are good for nothing fellows? They are frustrated because you are winning while they are losing continuously. Why should you bother about the opinion of someone as mean and vile as those fellows?”
That was when I started to notice who my bullies were. The ones who called me Adivasi looked more like one than me! And these were fellows who never got good marks or excelled in any extracurricular activities. They were clearly jealous of me. Why should I even care about what they thought of me?
Still some of the hurt lingered but I learnt to turn a deaf ear whenever someone called me names. I was a pet with teachers as I was the best among the girls in my class in studies as well as good in co-curricular activities. I went on to become school vice-captain and Captain of my house many times.
The colour of my skin was an issue the entire time as I was growing up. What started in school continued later on, as the society took on the role of bullies one after the other. When it was time to put me on the marriage market, I often heard whispered talks between my worried parents that the boy who had come to ‘see’ me didn’t like me because of my skin colour.
Some marriage brokers even said it aloud in my presence. I cringed. But then I met my husband. He liked me for who I was. And that was a miracle as far as I was concerned. I guess it instilled a new confidence in me. He was a well-educated person, good looking and came from a good family. And love is capable of healing all wounds.
The colour prejudiced Indian society will never accept that we all are brown-skinned people. The fairest among us will still be called brown- skinned by the white- skinned foreigners. We have myriad shades of brown throughout our country and still we have this prejudice that fair-skinned girls are pretty. Dusky is dirty or ugly.
Will this attitude ever change?
All human beings love being appreciated. It is a weakness with everyone. If we laugh at people targeting their weakness, we are in fact rubbing salt to their already hurting wounds.
Over the time, I have faced bullying repeatedly but with every incident I have grown as a person. I have learnt to love myself more. I don’t need anyone’s opinion to make myself feel good anymore.
I believe firmly in Karma and I have seen bullies get bullied by greater bullies. So bullies, all the best for your act of bullying from my side. Because what goes around, eventually comes around my friend!
This post is a part of #1000Speak- Building from Bullying Campaign