I am surprised it’s taken me so long to realize and maybe accept the fact that I am ‘The odd one out’.
I just returned from a luncheon by a dear neighbor and this thought has been hovering over me ever since. These were a group of ladies all belonging to a particular state (let’s keep them as North Indians) and me, a categorical south Indian was the odd one out there. Though I believe I speak exceptionally fluent Hindi for a south Indian, but then sometimes people find it very necessary to interact in their local language in a gathering. Even when you know at least one person doesn’t understand the language.
No.. no… if you think I got offended… nope, not at all. I am kind of used to this kind of feeling and then the realization struck me… majority of my life I have been the odd one out and frankly I am very proud of it with very minimal to no regrets. I don’t fit in and that’s me and it’s always been that way.
Thinking of which I try to recount the many situations or shall I say incidents in my life where I have felt like the odd one out. It’s made me feel awkward many a times and at some times really happy because I don’t belong into the regular flock.
At the top of my head, first I can remember is, whenever there is an occasion.. A festival, event or a function, I am always… mind you… always either undressed or really overdressed!! The number of times this has happened in my life – I have completely lost count. Bazillion (if that’s even a word) times maybe. And you know what, it’s not like I don’t make an effort. I always do or at least try to and majority or all the time go overboard or the rest of the time I least care! And there my dear friends, I am the odd one out because but obvious I get those looks from people! I either look like the hyper excited bride or I look like I am a beggar from the streets with zilch cosmetic on!
Another one I can remember of right now, is when someone asks me where am I from!!?? [I would be literally face palming in my head.. trust me!!] And with a mental scream out of “OH NO! Here we go again” I am basically a south Indian but born and brought up in the UAE. And what follows is an overflow of mixed reactions. Many are very excited and amused… ohh an NRI. “Do u speak any Indian language!!?? “ Like duh!! How ignorant can you be…? Yes we Indians in any part of the world would at least know and speak our mother tongue at the bare minimum or maybe a tad bit of Hindi too… And then there are the others, who tend to believe that post that statement they would have absolutely nothing in common with me and end of conversation. So here too in this scenario, I would have to explain the whole deal that I am Indian citizen irrespective of the fact that I was born abroad or it’s the end of conversation with the opposite person. Here too like i said Odd one out!!
Third scenario – surprisingly, this wasn’t the first thing I vented out even though this is on my mind 24/7! From the very beginning, before I came to my senses, from the time I was born, I have always been on the heavier side.. Physically! And trust me, it’s been that way all my life! I have always been a fat child.. Fat teenager.. Fat adult.. And I may grow old to be a fat person. Though I intend to break that record. And unfortunately for me, I have always had healthy, fit or really slim people around me. All my friends have either been the right shape or very thin and in all those phases, I have remained as is. And when one them, totally moronic characters, talks about having gained a little belly fat which isn’t visible to the naked eye. I, in my head, make sure to give them a punch on the nose!! And that again my dear friends, makes me an Odd one out in one more way!!
There are many other incidents in my life, where I have been made to feel the odd one out. Whether it’s my dressing sense, my food habits, my food choices, my skin color, my flab or fat ;), my choices in hobbies, my choices in friends and enemies too for that matter. I might just say that I am constantly being judged. That too as a matter of fact is true but that’s the last thing I care about off late. But yes, I am different, I am the odd one out in more ways than one but you know what, I don’t care anymore. This is who I am. This is what my life is. I need to stop feeling awkward about it since that is never going to change no matter what I try to do or no matter how hard I try. And trust me, there are days and times when I have tried real hard, gone completely out of my way to try and be part of the flock but, in that process, I somewhere somehow loose myself. I loose me. And now when I come to think about it, it isn’t worth it.
So I guess I shall remain the Odd one out. That brown girl, who is different from the rest… always!!