I Am An Indian Teenager, by Amrita Ghosh

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This article has been submitted by Amrita Ghosh for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.

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I am an Indian teenager and to be honest, it is nothing like I imagined it would be. Years of watching American teen dramas on TV should have prepared me for my life as a teenager, but believe me, they did not. Every day is a new challenge. There’s always something new to be tensed about. In addition, the drama of being a student in an all-girls school hasn’t really helped my case. I am in my final year of high school and I can safely say that I am tired now.

I am a living mass of contradictions. I spend most of my day wishing no one would bother me. But then having to check my phone for messages or calls every two minutes is also something I can’t help. It could mean that I might possibly have some sort of a psychological disorder, and I keep checking Google from time to time trying to find something with a cool name that fits my symptoms.

I have generally been called a good student. This single fact and the stereotypes attached have caused me a lot of heartache. That I get good marks doesn’t mean I am a bookworm! That I have my concepts right doesn’t mean I can’t be helpful! I am not arrogant or proud about my scores, and no, marks do not come easily to me. I do have to study hard to do well in the exams! It is not just the many jokes or snide remarks that affect me; I find the constant pressure to remain where I am and hold on to myself despite being the center of these jokes exhausting.

I know it might seem really absurd, but this is my truth. I have never been good at sports or music or dance; in fact, the only thing I am really good at is academics. It’s not that I haven’t tried other things, but I was either not good at them or not good enough to make it count. I won’t be appreciated for trying to play cricket or trying to sing, it only matters when I win. I wonder who put this idea in my head in the first place but the need for appreciation, the thirst to excel, and to only enjoy that which I excel in, is not something I can escape from.

This horrible responsibility of maintaining an image is getting to me. The need to come first in class with marks higher than everyone else in all my subjects and fulfill expectations is overwhelmingly strong. I understand that the attention of today’s world can only be sought by being truly extraordinary at something. But what if I want to be ordinary for once? Would it really be bad if I was, for once, allowed to be satisfied with what is, rather than adhering to the demands to do more, be more?

I am becoming increasingly strange as the days pass. Talking to my best friend too isn’t the same. There are too many abrupt and long pauses nowadays. On some days, I sit down to think about why that might be but I give up feeling like I already have too much drama in my life. In the time I have spent in high school I have made new friends but have lost many more. Everyone is busy with their own lives but it is suddenly a problem for them if I don’t give them enough time!

Every time I see someone upload a picture of a prize they won, or even of an outing with their friends, a feeling of inadequacy engulfs my heart. I never thought I would turn into such a person and it shocks me to look back at my past. I was much happier and much more carefree back then. It is scary how life can change so much in a matter of a few months. The question of ‘what if’ constantly haunts me today and I don’t have any answers for it.

 I don’t want to be the odd one out; I need everyone to like me! There are too many emotions trying to control me and I don’t know how to handle them all. It’s suffocating in some ways, but liberating in others. Nowadays I constantly look for flaws in other people so that I can use them to mask the problems I am facing in mine. I try sounding philosophical while talking so that no one can understand that I haven’t figured out my own life yet. I laugh at all the jokes other people laugh at even though most of the times I don’t get the joke or don’t care much for it.

The need to be accepted, to have my efforts acknowledged, to be known as part of a social group are all constants in my life. I cannot bear the thought of being alone even for a moment.  I wish I could just talk to someone about everything that is happening to me and cry the whole day while I am at it. But I know I can’t, firstly because there is no one who will truly understand and secondly I don’t want pity and I definitely do not want the world to consider me a weakling.

I know they don’t have anything like this in the books yet but I think I might be suffering from ‘teen life crisis’ and I don’t know how to get over it. Perhaps adulthood will change my life for the better. It will, won’t it? [Editors note: We have some bad news for you…]

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An avid Manga fan, Amrita tries her hand at painting once in a while. She loves following different cooking shows on TV, although Maggi is presently all she can ‘cook’. She enjoys studying Political Science and English Literature. Shy is a little shy and take time to open up to people. She likes to talk a lot, but feels that writing is the best way for her to express herself.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Oh, I feel old when I say this, but too many people are bothered about their ‘image’ and ‘perception’. Don’t bother, just live your life, and sometimes, the best thing is to not care 🙂

  2. I feel exactly the same way armita 🙂
    It’s really quite overwhelming at times :'(
    Sometimes, we dont need to talk to others, just look at yourself, listen to the voice within, once in a while, and chill 😀 Not evrything is as bad as u think . Life has it’s ups and downs, best of luck 🙂

  3. Hey! The very fact that you did not publish this article anonymously shows that you are a confident person.
    Just hold on to yourself, and persevere whatever you like. You’ll find your way through, believe, we all will. 🙂
    And talk to either of your parents (or both) or your sibling, if you have one. All the best! 😀

  4. I would say it’s really well written as many a times its not easy to express one’s feeling in words that too in such a good manner.
    I have found it happening with so many teenagers when they fail to understand that what we see on television or in films its rarely true. Basically these are meant for entertainment not to assimilate with our real life.
    Children at this stage need sincere counseling.

  5. A victim of “what if” too. But seriously, is thinking and stressing so much going to help?
    Nah, right? Been through this. This unknown chaos. Found a solution, a temporary one but seems to be working for now. First thing, stop pitying yourself and stop worrying about something which hasn’t even happened yet, the future. Today, look at the positive side, count the things which make you happy. Sounds childish, I know but make a list of those things which you are looking forward to if you have to. There’s nothing you can’t do if you really want to. And that ‘need to be accepted and maintain the image’ , won’t last long when you finally find you in you and fall in love with that you.
    I hope this works for you too. Goodluck 🙂

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