The Sanguinarian

The Sanguinarian

Thursday, 21 January 2016

PG Fresher's Party: A Fish Out of Water

I have always felt like an outcast in general. Whether it is among relatives or the social circles my parents move within, I have always known that I'm different. I don't care of what others think of me, I follow my heart, I'm stubbornly independent, progressive and liberal. I do my own thing, even if it makes me stand out, or people think I'm a freak.
That's what happened when I had to go to the belated Fresher's we were getting from our seniors in the Master of Pharmacy course, in my department of specialization.
These Freshers', for some reason, always have a theme, and a dress code.
This time, the theme was Retro. I supposed that we were expected to wear clothes fashionable in the 70s or something.

I decided to go. But, thing is, I am very simple when it comes to clothes. I don't like flashy or trendy outfits, or even accessories. My style is jeans plus a shirt or designer blouses, which I wear to college, to parties and everywhere else. I'm too lazy especially when it comes to having to buy clothes for a theme party.

So I decided, like always, to unfollow the rules. I put on mt favorite designer kurti, jeans, and Nike loafers and got my hair trimmed. It took me less than fifteen minutes to get dressed.

Au contraire, all five of my female batchmates took ages to get ready. While I waited for them to turn up and got bitten by mosquitoes on that hot, February evening in Manipal ( we don't have winter here). I ended up having to go along with one batchmate, who turned up wearing a shiny kurta with chudidar and a rose in her hair. The rest of the girls came separately.

Finally, when we reached the party venue at 7.30 p.m. ( instead of 6.15 as specified), I found out why they were so late. They were all dressed in 70s style dresses and had got their hair straightened etc.

And I was the odd man ( or woman) out. As usual.

On the one hand, I felt good to be the one to stand out. On the other hand, I wondered if I would stick out like a sore thumb and get laughed at- and become an even bigger pariah among my classmates than I already was ( because I always spend my free time reading or writing), I'd never felt this mixture of apprehension and consternation.

Once inside, I felt like a fish out of water, in the literal sense.

All the girl seniors were dressed in trendy clothes- one-piece and heels. All the boys were dressed in shirt and jeans, including my batchmates.

I was the only girl- and person- in jeans and a kurti. And the only one sans make up.

At first, we had simple, fun activities, so I gladly took part.

But my relief was short-lived. As it happens, I'm overweight and self-conscious about my body- I have body-image issues. As much as I value intellect and personality to be successful, I still feel uncomfortable about my physique.

So the first embarrassment came when we had to perform a catwalk, like models, to the title track from Fashion. I couldn't bear to think of how much like a joker I would look, so I walked the way I usually do- ramrod straight posture and chest out and big steps, like a man. Everybody cheered, but I'm not sure it was because I was doing a good job or I looked like a clown.

The second embarrassment came when the music came on. The party venue was a discotheque, so they had hired a DJ for the evening. Imagine my horror at the prospect of having to shake my ungainly physique in a room full of people.

Thankfully, they turned the lights off and brought on the psychedelic strobe lights. Some people kept asking me to join in the dancing, so I stood in the throng and clapped my hands in tandem to the music. Everybody else was throwing their limbs about in the most humungous manner possible, and yet, I was afraid of looking like an idiot.

There were few others who felt as socially inept as me- they resorted to alcohol to overcome their shyness, and let loose a little too much. I don't drink- am dead set against it, so I waited till the party was over and I could go back to the hostel.

But I learnt something that evening- it's okay to be myself at social dos. There are people who respect individuality and originality. I overcame my fears of being a social pariah and a freak.

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  2. A girl after my own heart. Well written P. And for someone as creative as you... you shouldn't ever have a smallest worry of fitting in. - Jyothi D'melloo