Kiran was an exceptionally bright student. She was most certainly the teacher’s pet. During the Open House, teachers sang paeans to her ability to grasp, to express, to explain and so on and her parents beamed with pride every single time.
It was a given that she had to be so. Her parents were reputed medical practitioners. Those who knew them said, Kiran had to be bright. Look at her parents!
Kiran loved the attention and adulation. Some times in an attempt to make friends, she even laughed at the average jokes of her classmates and it helped. At least while on picnics or excursions, she didn’t have to be alone all the time.
When she came to ninth standard, the ambitious Principal decided to try out a new strategy to reap more glory .She picked toppers from all sections and formed a new class, the star batch of the school. These were the kids who bore the burden of the reputation of the school. They were reminded of their sacred duty every day. The chosen ones were a proud lot. Kiran too enjoyed the recognition.
As the session started Kiran was at her competitive best. She worked hard to beat her competitors whom she knew were not to be taken lightly. She did reasonably well but was not outstanding among these nerds. She had started calling them that. She felt confused and unhappy. A heavy silence of resentment set in her heart. Home was not as welcoming either. It took her more than a year to come to terms with the situation. That one year was when she was her saddest. There was no one to talk to. While her heart wept and hormones played havoc with her emotions, her doctor parents remained aloof, leaving it to their capable daughter to top the class, no matter what.
Meanwhile, her walking back home with a similar troubled soul had sparked a new rumour. Aunties in the colony knew for sure what her problem was, Distractions, you know, they whispered.
At the Engineering college, Kiran was again a loner. But now she had her defense in place. She rarely interacted with the mediocre or the unruly. Her focus was to be the best and that she did consistently.
Many years later as the GM in a reputed company ,she opened up to share her pain, her hurt in front of her juniors. She spoke about her struggle of being a bright student. She said that its her husband who told her it was OK to be the way she was. And that was when she learned to relax and let go…
Its OK is a powerful phrase indeed.