The Winner Stands Alone

Posted: March 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today, I’m going to speak out, once and for all. It’s been sitting within me for too long.

I’ve been a victim of verbal bullying at school. I had a bit of a problem discerning who my real friends were. The friends I had were either not approved of by my mother or were dissatisfied with me. One friend of mine told me I can stick with her group of friends…who are my school’s equivalent of The Plastics. I wanted time to think over this.The Mean Girls of my division, however, left me with no benefit of doubt…they hated me right from the start. I was almost always ignored, but the fool that I was. *sigh* A friend of mine who knew me for ten years turned against me and blackened everyone’s already poisoned ears.  I never knew why, and I still don’t. And then came along the catalyst that transformed the strain in our relationship into full-fledged bitchiness. I was blighted forever in their eyes.

My offence? Posting a mild Facebook status about my plight (not against them, mind you), hinting at the (not even derogatory) nickname our class teacher called that group of people, The Happening Gang.  It was along the lines of, “I’m tired. Fed up of being in the dark, being left aside…this is what it felt like to be part of the Happening Gang.” (can’t remember very well, I deleted my status within ten minutes of having posted it.) One Plastic saw it. And that was all the reason they needed to oust me from their gang. Oust me they did, and how.  (And in case you haven’t realized it, if you’ve crossed them, you’re fucked). They made sure that not just everyone in my class, but everyone from the grade stops talking to me. I became a hot topic for the Gossip Girls of another division to bitch about. People deleted my numbers from their cell phones. No one spoke to me at school for months. Long hours were spent discussing my worst qualities.  The allegations just kept coming and I was bound and gagged by my own misery at this betrayal. All because I had made the wrong choices. Life rarely gives you a chance to rethink your decisions before the consequences come down in full force, and I realized that as a schoolgirl. Also, you really need to think over what you want to post on a public forum, because you never know who’s going to read it.

Now that I am out of school and the fire of revenge within me has died down, I can think about this rationally. The ostracism was a little too harsh a punishment for something like this. Maybe, they were just annoyed that some outsider (and a nerd, that too. Replete with the marks, the sucky dressing sense, the apparent lack of a social life and the lame jokes) tried to barge in and disrupt the status quo. I don’t know what it is about me that gets to them. But I sure know that I wasn’t wrong in doing what I did. Maybe they just couldn’t take a Happening Joke any more. Posting that status on a social networking site? I admit to that, and apologise if it has blackened their image in any way. But I have certainly not bitched about any of them, and whatever else they accused me of. The aftermath of this Happening Disaster was quite huge on me, though. It coincided with a lot of other personal problems of mine, and led me into near clinical depression. The Plastics had found the perfect time to strike, once again. ‘Once again’ because  I’d even lost my best friend to them. It was painful.

It was so much simpler when we were kids. The most popular kid in class was the smartest and friendliest, the one who cared for his/her friends and shared a good relationship with the teachers. We, as kids, sensed the good vibes and recognized the popular kids. The advent of the Plastics by the seventh grade has, however, revolutionised the meaning of the word ‘popular.’ But once you step into the Big Bad World you realize that there are so many kinds of people in the world that you’ve got to stop caring what each one says. Let bygones be bygones. Forget the people who bitched about you, and move on. There are so many people who are genuinely willing to care for you and be friends with you no matter how nerdy you are or how ugly you look. Rumours still fly, but I don’t think it gets to me any more.

Our class teacher, who was called ‘mad as a hatter’ by some of my classmates, told me something that I will remember for the rest of my life. And when I think about it, she doesn’t seem all that mad to me. 🙂

“I’ve seen what happens in class. Choose your friends carefully when you go to college. In fact, you’ll have to choose carefully all your life. The winner stands alone. Never forget that.”

I had customised the visibility of this poem on Facebook for only thirteen people. Today, I throw it open to the world.

They made her beg, they made her weep,

They stole away her heart,

With mile-wide smiles, they gleefully ripped

Her gentle soul apart.

All this they did while thinking

That she was who was wrong,

But malicious intent was what

Drove them all along.

She knew they were wrong,

She knew she was right

But she never let her strength

Get out of her sight.

The world was alien, she was lost,

It seemed like a miserable end,

For all she loved had left her side

For fear of deserting their ‘friends’.

They made sure they gave her hell

For every time the jeers came by

She wished she had, but never could

Think of a fitting reply.

Then it struck her hard

Like a bolt from the blue,

“It is they who need my help!

From today, I forgive you.”

“Someday I’ll be strong enough to reply,

Just now, it hurts too much to try,

But when I’ll stand above you all,

You’ll wonder why you let me fall.”

Today, I am strong enough to reply

And I still stand above you all, like I have always been.

You’re never going to get hold of and play upon my insecurities again, people. 🙂

Thank you Aishu and Ru. Y’all have been, and always will be, my soul sisters….and let me tell you that I’m going to be there for you forever.

Smarty. I can’t thank you enough for the way you have blatantly disregarded public opinion for my sake. There’s more, but I won’t say it here.

And Lolz and Gayu, for patiently listening to everything I was going through (and cackling every now and then). ❤

Thank you Simonne for inviting me to your lunch table that fateful day, when I was completely alone. Thank you Aarti for being so kind. Also, Krishna (whose Chole Bature guys made me smile all the time) and Shaarmad (who was my guinea pig). 😀

P.S. What do you think I did so many months in that group? Observe. A post on the social hierarchies of such groups is coming soon. 😛

  1. So,letting it out,makes you feel good doesn’t it? Not only did you let a load off, you realised that you’re valuable on your own right. It takes a skilled jeweller to distinguish between transparent stones and diamonds. Trust me on that. Not everybody’s a skilled jeweller. And Nupur, regarding your teacher’s wise words, it’s not always true, winners don’t need to stand alone. True, envy always exists, it’s like the weed that grows in a dark corner, but if you have a true friend who sees you for who you are, then he or she will, I repeat will set aside the envy. I have a friend who did that, and I myself have done that for somebody else (not meaning to brag, just letting you know that winners are not alone). Nobody’s alone, not in Mumbai, remember my post? Anyway, do post the hierarchy waala post, looking forward to it 🙂
    And you swore. Good one 🙂
    BTW,why this particular title?

  2. Trust me that so called ostracism is the best thing that had ever happened to you. Its difficult to choose between being right and being liked. Hope you sorted that out 🙂

    Been a victim of cool gang myself, though i feigned my way through college. Cause the trouble and attention you get after wriggling out of their tentacles is not worth it. Being a “cool” gang most of them are awfully insecure.

    I feel you should have split the second part as a new post altogether. Distribute your material!

    Keep writing. Also i would like your take on one of my post called ” A crazy little thing called love”

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