It sometimes doesn’t make sense despite playing it over and over in my head. I can never comprehend why anyone would want to tarnish me when I didn’t do anything to invite their ire. My mom, my goddess of life, love, patience and grit also fails to convince me that it is okay to ignore such endeavors. This bitterness is not a result of a day, a week, a month or a year – but a volcano that awaits to erupt for 25 years. I hate my memory for its vividness of every incident play by play and therefore the unforgiving feelings of are natural. And again, I am not portraying anything that calls me a victim, I am the victor. On an unanticipated afternoon in April few years ago, my mother was very ill and it was not a great idea to tax her emotionally. But one of her cousins had different plans. They spent a couple of hours elaborating how bad a person I was, the liar I was, the ultimate characterless person I was and so on and so forth. I still fail to understand why I was the chosen one that day. I badly wanted to retaliate, write a lengthy email which I typed but never sent, wanted to call them and hurl the choicest of abuses but never did – because I was not what they wanted me to be. I was taught and raised to be above such things by my virtuous parents who themselves had been meted with worse treatments in their hands. My mom, can never explain to this day on why she gathers her sweet self to still talk to them. As far as my state goes – I do not want to do anything with them. So there goes any connection with my extended family that my husband and kids would’ve possibly ever had. When I was all but 11 years old, weird things started happening. I was the chosen one to receive the meanest curse to being conferred the lowest order of mankind. Is it because I learned to ride a motorcycle, or because I was a published poet, or I was born to the most educationally affluent, liberal parents who believed that I live and learn, or because I refused to be identified with kids my age as I was a psychologically programmed kid, or because I took my own decisions at that tender age? I knew I was not “average”, but did not know why I deserved what I was put through. The oppression pandemic was spreading fast and furious. It became intolerable for me to study or live in my neighborhood. I wonder if being a ‘tomboy’ created so much furor, wonder what it would have been if I were to have an alternate lifestyle — I would have gone down as an honor killing. At that time, people were very quick to jump to conclusions, leave alone being the Brangelina’s of today’s world who’d let their daughter being called John! Everything I did or said was a big taboo. I was a certified outcast in their eyes. No accomplishment of mine would be acknowledged; my successes were ever so painful for them and I was simply not a human being – a real person who has feelings and actually breathes. My father died celebrating similar certifications, my mother will probably share these credentials, she just doesn’t realize yet. There are a lot of things I learned way before I should have. Firstly, I cannot control what others wish to think or say about me – the only person I can control is myself. Secondly, I cannot argue with the unwise. Lastly, karma is a b**** and what goes around comes around. And I think it is okay to be a certified outcast and the volcano does not have to erupt. My mom does not need to explain why I am the chosen one. I can choose to remember all that occupy my emotional bandwidth or NOT. It is not just okay to be a certified outcast – It is a BLESSING!