The One with the Ironies has been edited by Sheeba Mammen.
‘Oh, I didn’t think you could do that!’
‘Ohh, I hadn’t expected you put down as that sort of a person!’
‘Oh, you don’t seem like someone who would…’
We’ve all heard it; pretty much all of it. To say that looks can be deceptive is an understatement. Perhaps, an overused cliché that no one truly believes in. However, looks can be deceptive really is an understatement. In fact, it’s not just looks that can deceive but personalities, backgrounds, histories, accents and behaviours. In short, everything we know to look for that will tell us what a person is like, can deceive.
We live in a society with stereotypes, impressions, boxes and check-boxes. But, we’re all a merry bunch of ironies really. Yes, it’s quite probable that that boy who almost smoked his lungs away is also a pious, responsible family man. Or that the little girl in the floral dress and stockings is a bitch to her boyfriend. Or that the foreigner understands your country better than you understand it. Also, people do really change. Just because someone was awful when you last knew them, or incredibly nice, doesn’t mean they still are.
‘Oh, but you were so…!’ Yes, I was. But not anymore.
Remember that advertisement where a meek and spangly little girl in a green dress walks into a classroom and everyone has to guess what she does? Someone says painter, someone says dancer, someone says tennis player. In the end, it turns out she’s a mountaineer. And not just any, but one that has scaled the Everest or something like that. Everyone gasps because a spangly, shy girl in a green chiffon dress is nobody’s idea of a mountaineer.
We’re all like that, something that we don’t seem like at all. So, here it is, my list of ironies.
A Bengali that never lived in Bengal.
An Indian classical music trained, blues singer.
A brown girl with a white accent.
Tiny but confident.
An introvert but not shy.
Empathetic but not socialist.
Someone who can speak in three languages but sing in seven.
An Indian during a gap year.
A Biology graduate that blogs about poetry.
A badminton player that learnt to swim at the age of two.
Someone who’s been in an earthquake, a drought, a fire and a flood.
The first language I ever learnt was Tamil – that I have no recollection of, now.
In about twenty years of life, I have moved houses over ten times.
I’m absolutely a nerd but I don’t think I’m uncool, or ever have been. I’m never in place.
I don’t have a hometown but I can belong anywhere.
The One with the Ironies
Add yours to the list, will you?
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