The Real You
They see a girl who doesn’t speak much; seems rude, comes across as boring and unapproachable.
What they don’t know is that she has social anxiety issues, has low self-esteem, is extremely shy and doesn’t quite fit in the smoke pot group; listens to Coldplay all day, reads batman comic strips, and can beat anyone in a bowl game.
They see a skinny girl who starves herself, and is obsessed with getting boys’ attention.
What they don’t know is that she has eating disorder and cannot gain weight because of marginal fatty liver. Also, she is borderline diabetic. And even after whole week of refraining from fries and sandwiches, she saves herself a brownie every weekend.
They see a boy who is so nerdy that he cannot even talk to girls, and always carries a book wherever he goes.
What they don’t know is that he has a lot of pressure on himself. Being a student of scholarship program, he needs 8.0 to continue his studies on the scholarship money. He needs to look after his father who is a retired army officer, and his old sick mother, who is a homemaker.
They see the popular girl – a social butterfly, who is active on all the social sites and is seen in every other party, and is currently with her seventh boyfriend.
What they don’t know is that she still misses her one true love that was the best thing to have happened to her. After he left her, she is a mess and cries herself to sleep thinking of him. She tries to find bits of him in every next guy she meets; goes to parties, carries her heart on her sleeves, tries to meet new people just to let go of him and move on somehow.
What they see is a girl with OCD – a very controlling one, tough to deal with and harder to live with.
What they don’t know is that she was five when her mother died, and ever since then, OCD is all she is left with. The control over her surroundings gives her a silent and temporary relief that everything is complete and managed and perfect, even though she feels like a big hole in her life is left unfilled and unmanaged.
What they see is a wild girl who parties hard, doesn’t attend classes regularly, takes photographs of herself in every place she visits and uploads them on Instagram.
What they don’t know is that she has stage three Ovarian Cancer, and has given herself an ultimatum of doing all the things she can, in the next two months, with her high school friends. And while sitting through her Chemotherapy session, she goes through those uploaded pictures and shares some of them with her grandpa.
But what they see and think is what they believe.
~ Sriparna Samajdar | Edited by Aashna Sharma