Friday, November 1, 2019

Shine like a Sun !

You introduce yourself as my childhood friend. You tell me you are happy to find me on Facebook.  You congratulate me. You appreciate my husband, my son. And then you also tell me that "you look beautiful in your profile pic". Wow !! Thank you so much for your gracious compliments. I accept them with gratitude. I too remember you from my childhood. Aren't you the same person who used to call me "Kaali mata"? 
Something that spread like fire and many more started giggling and saying the same thing to me. I used to feel bad. I didn't know words like "insulted" "humiliated" or "embarrassed" at that time. But I definitely used to feel hurt and ashamed of myself. I used to hide myself. I didn't like myself. I used to hate looking at myself in the mirror. I used to reject all newly bought clothes by my mother thinking they were too bright or dark or light or whatever but they didn't suit me. I became what you called me. I took that term seriously and started identifying myself with your opinion of me. I became my color. I became blind to everything else. I became blind to the fact that I was the brightest girl in the class. That I used to answer all the questions. That I was the best actor in the class. That I was the best orator. That I was the best writer in all the three languages that we studied. I was a good athelete. I won Chess tournaments. I won Badminton games. I was chosen as the Master of ceremony on most occasions. I spoke fluently in English and Marathi, both were not my mother tongue. I was sincere and responsible. I was helpful and caring. But what I just became was "Kaali". And where were you all this while? I don't remember you studying or playing or dancing or acting or singing or writing...where were you? What did you excel in? I never asked. I never thought about it. I gave you the power over myself and made you powerful. I made you the bully you were. I helped you to hide your weaknesses and failures and flaws behind this projected power. I helped you to suck my self esteem and fill your own empty jar at my cost. 
I didn't know how to handle this at that time. I didn't know who would help me. I felt helpless and powerless. I shrank and became smaller and smaller until I was just an insignificant "kaali" girl. I started overhearing this word from many mouths thereafter. It never left me for a long time. People suggested "Apply besan with milk", "Apply aloe vera", "Apply potatoes", "Apply tomatoes". They used to worry who will marry me. And if I am not married how will my younger sisters get married. What is their fault. They are fair and good looking enough unlike me. 
I don't know when. I don't know how. But one day I resigned to my fate. I must have got tired. I decided to accept myself as I am. Slowly, the veil of my blindness started lifting and I started becoming aware of the light within me. I stood up. I shone brighter and brighter. Until I realized that for every one person who noticed my darkness there were 100 who loved and admired me for my brightness. I was no longer "Kaali". I started hearing my name! I was not your opinion afterall. I was me. With my pluses and minuses. With all my shades and colors. I was beautiful in myriad ways. And I liked myself! 
Everyday I meet so many older versions of mine. A boy in eleventh standard. Who scored 9 CGPA in 10th. Says he doesn't deserve to live because he is "kaala". 
A girl who doesn't go to school anymore. Hides in her room all day. Feels sad and guilty. You know why? Because she is "Moti". 
They have taken your labels seriously. They are in pain. 
But I am not helpless anymore. I know how to help them. I know how can they discover their own light. 
I am their safe place. They can come and speak to me. And take back the power to lift the veil and present themselves to the World !! 
Like the Sun they will Shine. Brighter and brighter.  

51 comments:

  1. Bullying is one of the major problems with us. Mote ko mota, kale ko kala, patle ko kangdi, gore ko fair and lovely.
    We never tend to leave anyone without tagging them. It is so disturbing to see young people getting highly effected by these names and yet there is no sensitization.
    This article is so appropriate Ma’am. I can relate to it so well.

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    1. Thank you dear Aastha. We need to empower these children with the coping strategies early on.

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    2. This is so much prevalent everywhere from time immemorial. We need to come out of it and help each other grow.new age parents should empower their kids in true sense that no more they fall prey to all this .lovely write up ma'am...an example for all those who are suffering.

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    3. Well written with all the types of labelling one can get during childhood and college days. If parents are not aware about this name calling, difficult for them to put in practice.

      Shine from within is an appropriate title for this bodyshaming blog..loved reading it. Rekha

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  2. Excellent. Self acceptance leads us to happiness. We are more than our color, size, height, financial or social background. We need to learn how to accept ourselves , others and life unconditionally to Live a healthy , Happy and productive life. ❤️

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  3. Amazing insight. Must read for all kids who have some imaginary complexes. Hard hitting n powerful piece

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  4. An article curated with thoughts about one's body and self image and real life childhood experiences, allows us to reflect how everyone of us were labeled when we were kids. Kids are sensitive. While we are growing up, bullying with labels can totally affect our self esteem. Acceptance of who we are can help us rebuild that self esteem. It's great that now a days, there are people like Dr.Chinu Agrawal who can be a guiding light to an affected or a shattered life and who can help direct the person towards a better path of self acceptance. Beautifully articulated thoughts! More the self acceptance, more the liveliness of living our lives.

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  5. This blog is a live sketch of every one's life who has been victim of such experiences in a way or other. It is also a true motivator to become powerful and show your own strengths to the world. ๐Ÿ‘

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  6. I feel so connected with this blog . I was bullied on my image during my teenage as I was plumpy. I really didn't knew those days how to handle it . I keep myself engage in good looking process till now. I found those people once used to say haathi is going ....now they say wow you are soo beautiful . Huh..they overlooked all other qualities of my personality those days . So I still ask myself "Am I still afraid and running away by maintaining my physical image ?? " Well I get the answer "You deserve it "
    A golden piece of write up . A tight hug for you Mam .

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  7. Bullying is not only for kaala, or mota but also for 'hushar' ....many a times I find my son hiding himself from his classmates or sometimes even teachers...it pains him! I have gone through the same phase ...but yes..it never lasted for more than a few minutes because I always had you to pump in joy in my heart and now in Shreenabh's. Because of you both of us gathered courage to Shine!

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  8. I have no words.. once upon a time even I had gone thru such bullying. The worst part is, at that age we don't know how to handle that feeling. Man you are doing the best work by being their side and helped them to love and accept themselves as they are..

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  9. Thank you very much for writing this. It will show the light to many. Those labels stays lifelong. Liberation from them with self realisation is the key for progress and happiness. Thank you.

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  10. Thank you very much for writing this. It will show the light to many. Those labels stays lifelong. Liberation from them with self realisation is the key for progress and happiness. Thank you.

    Akshay Koli

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  11. So much Honesty courage and insight in each word.
    Thank you for sharing your inward journey !
    Beautiful

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  12. Very well put that we pay a lot of attention to physical attributes.Accepting oneself seems to be the only solution but it is easier said than done.

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  13. Wow such a heart touching as well as an empowering article . Wow is the word for it. A must read for every one. Every one is either in your place or in your friends place.so both need to read๐Ÿ‘

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  14. I am falling short of words to express my thoughts and feelings.
    But what is for sure is that YES! YOU ARE A SAFE PLACE FOR ANYBODY TO COME TO!
    And, that's what I too am learning and trying to achieve...become a safe place for people to come.
    Article full of depth and feelings and reality.

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  15. Beautifully written ma'am, I could relate to it in a sense that I've also let labels define me in the past infact all of us have! Reading this made me realize how far I've come ... Thank you for sharing this empowering story with us!!

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  16. Tu dhup hai Chham se bikhar tu hai Nadi ho bekhabar, beh Chal kahi ud chal kahi.. Dil khush hai Jahan Teri Toh manjil hai Wahi... Many people come across with the same, when they meet to their shining sun, they just make other shines too. Coz they have the realization of darkness which was shown by the people who has seen the dark only... Be a Sun for others. You never know when your Sunray can brighten many suns..

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  17. Yes this is very helpful article,
    Everyone should try to understand and accept themselves without thinking about others comments
    Accept yourself unconditionally

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  18. Wow... Mam I really admire you a lot... Even I was bullied in do many ways and that still affects me... I don't know why but still m trying to prove something to them...��

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  19. Yes bullying is the worst thing for any child as it break their self esteem completely and majorly forever.
    They think their life is worthless and nobody loves them so giving helping hands to them is very much needed.

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  20. very nice mam๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
    Shine from within motivation for the day...this will help many more to overcome from inferiority and to see goodness within.thank you for the valluable post✌

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  21. Very nice and relatable ma'am๐Ÿ‘

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  22. So well written and aptly expressed feelings of a teenager who finds it difficult to see the brighter positives of self and overcome the critics. It also reflects the irony of adults who try to seek the appreciation of others ignoring the need to nurture their self esteem and confidence to be comfortable and at peace with themselves. Congratulations ma'am for being the guiding light so many and it's really wonderful to have people like you around. Simply amazing expression of your experience as well as the insight into the reason for why others behave as they do. Acceptance of self as well as of others is necessary.

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  23. Love ❤ for you Dr. Chinu agrawal. Well written. . All the best.. .

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  24. Well organised and beautifully "presented" article. It has events, situations, problem, emotions, reactions, solution and much much more. Most of the people face either same or similar conditions not only in their childhood but also in adulthood,at workplaces, in society and even in routine life in one form the other. Of course, as you said in reply of one comment, bullied people need support as well as the people who bully others also need to help themselves understand the effects of their acts on that person as well as mentality of 'themselves' too. Thanks for sharing this great knowledge.

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  25. you are an amazing person mam. i see kids everyday feeling victimised of bullying if could only hv more people like you to show them they can outgrow it too

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  26. You are amazing ma'am. You can make lives shine brighter than sun. Childhood memories of many will have these kinds of bitter stories including me. How many are lucky to overcome. Our responsibility is huge and am sure we can make a difference in the lives of many kids

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  27. V relevant and inspiring ma’am . This is also relevant in many issues like getting low scores , lacking certain life skills as it helps one in learning self acceptance. We all either as parents or professionals are gaining lot of insights from you in helping to create a healthy society

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  28. This is such a great sharing mam I really acknowledge you mam for sharing such a intimate part of you life with others so that they can also be benefited by it as low self esteem and body shaming is the basis cause of many mental issues. Thanks a lot mam for being great contributor in society by not only raising these issues but also offering help to those people who are victims of this problem.

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  29. Simply wow! Now this is what is real empowerment of the kids..As labelling them carries it's impact to a great extent!!

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  30. I felt like, I am reading my own story.I was bullied as " moti,shy,who cannot run fast..." It leaves mark on child's heart ,for some people it's fun and those who suffer can't even share with people who actually did so in past.The person who suffers actually knows how it impacts life long until they learn the coping skills.
    Somebody asked me few days back "aajkal khush rehne ki bhi training hote hai uske bhi efforts karne padte hain"We are so engrossed in bookish knowledge and marks that we forget to teach these basic life skills that you can be happy by your choice and you can ignore what hurts you . Bullying is a serious issue to be handled with care to avoid damages.
    Very well articulated mam����

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  31. It takes courage for self accept and then self respect . I still face this challange as have become overweight in last few years. Nothing else seems to define me other than my weight and people are ruthless when it comes to comments. Just recently I turned 49, I have been a great dancer and a stage performer but had not performed for last 3 years because of my mental block and image of being obese. This Dusshera I realized, who all have the ability to perform at 50. What extra will people say other than why don't you reduce , why don't you work out, why not try this diet. Tried to come to terms with this inner battle, performed a Durga stuti on Dusshera at an Indian Medical Association function. Have been able to overcome a little. War with weight still continues but a little more joyfully. So when it can happen with an accomplished doctor like me, it is killing for children, teenagers and young adults. Loving oneself was never easy...

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  32. I relate to this article very well. TI'll today I face the same but have accepted the fact that ppl use it to pull you down in life.
    What about adults, elders & parents bullying you? We don't talk about it?

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  33. Very nicely written. Yes we need to accept ourselves as we are and come in the safe zone.. Practically love ourselves and admire the good qualities we as a person have..feeling blessed to have joined you ma'am.. Very inspiring

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  34. Wooww..So very loving article with definite insights and action steps for self acceptance and going confidently and steadfast in the direction of one's dreams.

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  35. I think each and every one should go through this article...Those who damage other's self esteem and those who lack self love...These lines have come straight from the heart...Only the bearer knows where the shoe pinches.

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  36. This topic is so sensitive the one who has gone through this can know the pain .. This are the black birds too.. Thanks you ma'am for this blog...

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  37. It seemed like you have put my story in words ma'am.Journey to Self acceptance is not easy but is very fulfilling. Once we accept ourselves then no label has the power to affect us. Children unconsciously learn these labeliing and are greatly affected by it, more in the age of social media. We can equip them with strategies to help overcoming these labels. Worth sharing article.

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  38. Ma'am its awesome I really connect with it. I feel like as my own story. Its really great and encouraging and will help people to get motivated ����

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  39. Ma'am from this artical i have learned acceptance is most important of self.every time you explained very easy and simply.

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    1. Ma'am from this artical i have learned acceptance is most importance of self.also learned how tackled bully problem. Every time you explained very easy and simply.

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    2. Ma'am from this artical i have learned acceptance is most importance of self.also learned how tackled bully problem. Every time you explained very easy and simply.

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  40. I can relate to this article as I have seen labels given in jest turning ugly.We, as parents, friends and humans need to have more empathy.Empathy as a value should be imbibed by all which can happen by role modelling and acceptance of self and others.

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  41. Labels are like sand and glitter. So easy to disperse and so impossible to get rid of. You keep finding a speck here, a grain there. And its actually easier to free yourself by helping another! Interacting with Ma’am has helped me understand this frequently.
    Seher

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  42. So many children, even adults go through this ordeal on a daily basis. This is really important to teach children at young age... Unconditional Self Acceptance. Beautifully explained.

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  43. Wow.. such a heart touching story.. many a times I too experienced the same. after realizing the fact, started loving myself. Self acceptance is the key to first step in happiness.beautifully explained

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  44. A message perfectly given not only to the bullies but also to the victims. In our society these bullies can be anyone ,many children face such bullies in their own families. Even adults bully kids which should not be overlooked. The things people speak for their fun seriously affects a child's inner image.

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