Two Strangers 

I was sitting on the sports ground, tying my shoe laces and generally feeling frustrated at being out in the heat and the sun to do some silly drills. I was about to hoist myself up when one of the infamous, extremely wealthy and snobbish girls sat down next to me. I knew her to be a rude, bad tempered, foul mouthed person and decided to get away from her. 
To my amazement, she grabbed hold of my hand and pleaded with me to stay. Unsure at this turn of events, I sat down beside her feeling uncomfortable. I glanced at her and found, to my astonishment, that she was crying. I was flabbergasted and was unsure of how to react. I kept quiet and stared into the horizon, my intuition telling me to wait and watch. 
Between her sobs, she told me that she had failed a test and the report had reached her parents who would probably take away her phone, many of her other privileges and ground her till her 18th birthday. She started raving and ranting about the stupid teacher who had brought her to that level, who was her sworn enemy and was demeaning her on purpose. I considered it extremely unlikely but restrained myself from telling her so. I had also never even dreamt that one of the richest and spoilt brats who did not care for other people’s feelings would ever have it in them to show anger and frustration at failing a test. 
Ultimately she came around to my way of thinking. She accepted that what happened was probably her own fault and that she HAD overindulged in frivolous activities and neglected her studies. By and by, she told me why she became like this- the messed up high schooler that she had now become. Apparently, when she was younger, one of the so called punks at her earlier school had bullied her and caused the whole school to laugh at her. She had needed intensive counselling and a change of schools to get over it.
I realised that that kind of an experience must have had a long lasting impact on the mind of a five year old. She swore that she would never ever be so vulnerable to anyone ever again. As a result, she became one of them. Teasing, bullying, showing disrespect ṭo the teachers, using people and then brushing them away all became her second nature to the extent that she hardly knew herself anymore. I was astonished to find myself sympathising with her. I knew bullying could be pretty nasty and bad experiences were very often the foundation of horrible personalities. Granted, she could have handled it differently but hey, we all make mistakes, don’t we?  
She’d been scoring poor marks all through the year but the failure gave her a shock . Her so called friends were whispering behind her back. They made fun of her weaknesses instead of understanding and supporting her. She shook with shame, despair and sorrow. I don’t know who was more surprised when I put my arm around her- me or her. We sat like that, clumsily slumped against one another as I gazed into the calm and serene afternoon. The heat didn’t bother me anymore, it seemed welcoming, as if the sunlight would drive away all the sorrow and despair that was seeping through her then.

 She suddenly sat upright and wondered aloud why she was telling me all of this. I restrained myself from grinning at that. She stayed quiet for sometime tracing patterns on the ground with a blade of grass. She asked me what I thought she should do. I stared at a flock of birds flying away and asked her if she didn’t already know the answer. She smiled at that. She chuckled because she wanted to, because she was … truly happy. It was not an affected chuckle, it came from within her. She gave me a hug, a warm one, which probably had a trace of the five year old who had lost herself under the continuous facade of the bullying, fearless and I-don’t-care personality that everybody saw. 
A month later, she topped the class in a test on the same subject in which she had failed. Though no longer casual about her studies, she hadn’t changed in any other way. She was still beautiful, yet a mean, rude, proud, disliked and disrespected student. She was treated like a celebrity and was a certified mean girl. She never messed with me though. It was as if she had left a tiny piece of her five year old self in that one confession that she gave me. On multiple occasions when her cronies weren’t looking, I caught her giving me sidelong glances. Those glances told me everything I needed to know. She had realised her mistake but felt that it was too late to change now. She had built a reputation she didn’t want to destroy. She was probably addicted to her facade and even more likely, dare I say the word, a coward who could not let the world see her for who she truly was. I smiled sadly at the thought. Her eyes asked me to guard that memory, that confession and tell no one of what passed between the two of us that day. She had been vulnerable, after a very long time. Surprisingly though, she had confidence that I would not divulge her secret. 
I gave her a nod which she seemed to understand. She never saw me again. She didn’t even turn towards me before walking out of the school gates for the last time. 
So there we have it, people. Many of us change because of some bad experience others don’t know about. People aren’t born bad. The series of events that occurred to them are bad. The trials of life are sent to test us. At times they mould people into better characters and at others, they create bullies. So give everyone a second chance. Even the meanest of the mean, the people who hurt you the most, deserve the humane feelings of kindness and sympathy. The meaner they are, the worse life has probably treated them. 


Be The Tiger 

Has anyone ever wondered why the tiger is considered to be the national animal of India? Anyone whose seen it in the true wild will understand the reason for the same. Its a beauty to behold, with its black stripes, its regal poise, its cold green eyes and its rippling muscles. 

There’s something us humans can learn from it too. It kills only when it is hungry. Only when it is necessary. It does not ask for more than it requires. It makes at least three attempts each time before managing a successful hunt. It does not ask for its right. It just takes it. Its brimming with self confidence. Every paw print seems like a symbol of its power, every roar is charged with the dominance of the king of the jungle. Every animal cowers before and fears such a natural king. Even the tiger has to go through life, live peacefully in its territory, defend it against invaders, raise its young. Even when mortally wounded, they do not complain at the unfairness of things. Each fight makes them stronger. Each mishap makes them more wary. They learn and learn and learn from their mistakes until its all done perfectly.  

Humans, being supposedly intelligent and in a class of their own, can learn from them. You choose to be a chicken or a champion. The choice is yours. You have to choose to be the tiger in your forest of life. You have to choose to rule the roost and prove yourself competent enough to do so. You have to learn to take your rights, not expect somebody to give them to you. Nobody else will believe in you until you do so. 

Feeling nervous and scared before you attempt something big is human nature. I’m not asking anybody to change that. All I’m saying is that nothing should change the way you feel about yourself or the way you believe in yourself. That is the key to everything. Setbacks should make you stronger and not weaker. So be the tiger such that other people become subservient to you and accept your supremacy. Be compassionate, take only as much as you need, banish greed and treat life as a challenge in which you want to excel. After all, attitude determines altitude.



This is the post excerpt.

I’m just an immature teenager who’s handled all that came her way in the most irresponsible way possible. So probably, I’m not the one who’s gonna be able to give advice about how to live your lives. 
Anyways, I’ve decided to give it a try,so here goes. 

Life is a never ending rollercoaster, an unexpected plunge into cold water and a sudden blast of reality. No one knows what comes. What comes is most often the unexpected. How many times have we thought that we would fail and passed with flying colours? How many times have we given a good paper and received bad results? Almost everyone will remember atleast one or the other of these as a surreal happy or sad experience. 

What I have realised is that there is nothing specifically called a happy life. Happiness is a state of the mind. It stays in the mind. Riches, poverty, births and deaths cannot change it. Live each day, each moment to it’s fullest. Live life in such a manner that later on, when you’re old and dying, there are no regrets for the way you lived. Very often, we realise that the journey we attempted in such a hurry was so much more enjoyable than the actual destination. Let that not be your tale. Live each day to the full. Take risks, have ambitions. Don’t judge yourself and don’t let other people bring you down. Often, caring too much about other people harms your confidence and calibre. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes that other people made. Nobody’s the same. What turned out bad for one May not be the same for you. Make your own mistakes. There will be quite a few of them, believe me. So live, love and laugh. You have, at the very most, 100-110 years. Make the most of it.