What made me an Introvert!
My childhood life has been very boring, very lonely. I had no friends, I didn't like going out with friends and playing cricket on the grounds. I used to spend most of my time sitting alone in my room, reading and watching TV. I had a compromise with my father that I would go to the farm daily. But that was the only time I went outside my house. Things started to change when I went to high school.
I didn't put much effort to change myself, but the boys' hostel has such an environment that it will open you up no matter what kind of person you are. People came to me, asked my name, shook hands with me. One, two, three, and this went on. After spending two months there, I had a good number of people I knew. Having the highest marks in my class, made me popular very soon. People came to me, talked to me, and as time passed by my friends-circle had a considerable radius. I can still remember the days when I used to sit backbench, just to have lunch brought by day scholars. There was a boy named Ganesharam in my class, he was like 150 percent longer than me. He brought the whole class in one line. He brought us together, he had a nickname for literally everyone. I was nicknamed Thepdi. Those days were golden days.
In the 12th class, things changed as the competition came into the picture. I didn't realize that until the end of the year when I was trying to count the people near me. When people were planning small farewell parties. I found myself sitting alone. This proceeded with summer vacations, I didn't have a mobile phone then, I was home. I don't have any friends in my village so those two months were invested in myself. I read physics books and had developed a lot of interest in the subject, prepared for JEE exam (That was a false preparation! but I scored well in physics btw). I went to Ajmer and spend about half a month there. Explored Jaipur, (that was my dream at that time!).
Things again changed with the 12th board results. Just a thing that I again topped my school so again gained popularity and attraction but for a short time period. The people who didn't invite me to their farewell parties were now calling me. (Kya kismat ka khel) A team of people went with me to take admission to Delhi University. I was surrounded by my friends when I got admitted to Hindu College. But I had to choose different paths now. I changed my college to St. Stephen's College with none of my friends from school. For this, I had to come to Delhi two or three times more than anyone else and during these tours, I settled down in Delhi. That resulted in having no friends in my PG. My friends who were with me on my first appearance in Delhi didn't agree to stay with me and I was alone once more.
The new situation brought a new set of friends, my PG mates. I don't like to judge people but these people are the best. I opened up so much with them, I never had such a friendship with anyone before. I learned to use abusive language, to comment on girls, to drink, to smoke. We used to go to play cricket together, we organized small parties together. We used to study together, prepared to ace in semester exams together with an A grade. Five semesters passed, some with online exams, some with no exams, but my highest GPA is the first semester (offline exams) when we were together.
Oh, I was popular in college too. I was the youngest person in my class. I couldn't speak English, so everyone had a feeling of sympathy for me. I was a free spirit in my first year, dancing on the roads, singing songs, walking freely. My collegemates were rich and of a high standard but that didn't bother me at all because I never noticed what they wear, they show off. I just focused on what they talk and everyone was nice to me. I practiced the art of making friends there. Even I didn't master it, many times I tried to go and speak up with people. Random person in my college, at the poetry society discussion group. Once I went on a trip to Chandni Chowk with my seniors and also I attended a talk by Dr. Ashok Sen. I knew many of my seniors. I was a popular figure. There was a guy who took late admission but he was more introverted than me. It was I who went and speak up with him, take him to new places and introduce him to people. But the pandemic destroyed it very well.
When I came back home, I had no idea that I am going to be stuck in this pandemic. I thought I was going back after a week or so. But lockdown happened and I wasn't able to go back to Delhi. In the first few days, I was trying to explore the village. I went to many places and lived the life there but as the lockdown proceeded we came across this thing called Online Classes. Internet connection in my village is very bad, I had to sit under the solar panels to take classes because that was the only place with a good network. And that too was in ending April, sitting outside in Rajasthan is not advised. With temperature often approaching 45, phones often overheat and switch off and I get thrown out of class. Problems started to resolve as time went on, and I started to enjoy the online procedure.
In starting I was active on social media but a bad internet connection took me away from social media addiction. One great thing happened those days. I got 3000 rupees of a scholarship, it was for buying books in BSc, that also has an interesting story in its own but that is for another day. I returned the debt of 2000 and I don't know why I added the remaining one thousand to my amazon pay balance. Later, I found out that you can't use pay balance to pay. So I purchased six months membership for Amazon Kindle unlimited.
In the upcoming six months, I stayed totally away from social media, I just used WhatsApp for information exchange, no Instagram, no Facebook. And I read about 36 titles in those six months including mostly novels and poems, mythology, self-improvement, fiction, non-fiction, and much more. I built up this blog, making the rule of publishing one post every week. I stopped going out of my room, I just sit in my room, take classes and read books. I didn't call or chat with anyone in particular in this period, neither anyone of my dear friends called me. (That hurts!) And unwillingly I stopped talking with everyone.
At peak of my loneliness, after consuming that many books, I become fond of writing. The blog was my prime medium of expression and I also did write a lot those days. I wrote poems, stories, and articles. I thought a lot and a lot about the blog. This situation was very the same as my days before high school but this time, I had internet. I was mature enough to use my isolation to read, think and write. And honestly, I liked this process very much.
Before my subscription got over, I had a very decent idea of programming, and in proceeding time, reading was just replaced my programming. I used to write code and troubleshoot for hours and hours. I had developed so much interest in programming that I lost interest in Physics. Next semester, I stopped submitting assignments and lab reports. Because I was not doing any work in class, I was getting no problems and I need not approach anyone for solutions. I used StackOverflow a lot those days but never messaged anyone.
This went on and on until I built a strong character that can survive itself. I was an introvert from the beginning but now it feels nice. Now, even I make friends, I don't go emotional with them. I don't have anything called best friend, who knows all my secrets, not even my family knows much about me. I don't tell anyone anything about myself, about what I like and what I don't, what is my plans, nothing. I
Now, I have no interest in debating with people. I just like to listen to what they think and move on, I need not argue if they are right or wrong. My behavior with people has also changed, I don't often pay attention and respect, and sometimes I get to listen to bad words but I don't care.
When I was alone in my house, it didn't matter what clothes have I put on, how do I look. It has become my nature now, I don't care, how do I look, what people think of me. I grow long hair, I don't shave for months. My relatives often say to me that you don't look like you are a member of our society but I don't care.
I have been living in Delhi for the last two months, I am surrounded by people and I am trying to open myself and that deserves the next episode of this series.
If you have read this far, you may have liked this post, you may like my other posts as well, do check them out. Thank You