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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Being rejected

How often have you been rejected? In love? In relationships? By companies? By educational institutions? By friends? By your own dreams? By your own capability? And by reality? How do you feel when you are rejected?

...Perched throat, thumping heart, cold fingers, trembling voice, sweating forehead...? All of it? Some of it? I have had my fair share of rejections till now, and must confess, did not make me by any means any stronger! But then, that's just me. I am sure rejections a.k.a failure is making someone somewhere stronger. Nonetheless, my encounter with rejections started at a tender age of five, when I was ruthlessly rejected by my Art teacher (yes Bengalees start everything when they are five and their fate is decided by the time they are six) saying I was no good - I especially had problems drawing shapes, and he insisted that I will never learn.

Over these years, I have gone through a number of rejections, the insult and the agony of every rejection made me that much weaker, heavier, bitter, older and madder. More often than not, I have been rejected by my own abilities or the lack of it, you know the ones where you 'know' that you are the world's greatest singer, the most intellectual thinker and the most understanding partner that one can get with the 'funniest' sense of humor and a great 'swagger'? Turns out that you hardly have a sense of tune, you are a below-average thinker, you somehow manage to win five rounds of bridge in your whole life and that 'swagger' is just a worn-out shoe that desperately needs to be replaced. Off to the fridge for some cocoa therapy.

But it is the daily rejections that are more difficult to live with. It starts towards the end of the day, being auto rejected. If you are someone who avails the precariously balanced three wheeler that flies on the road for daily commute, would know how desperately hopeful you are as you approach the auto rickshaw stand outside your office after a hard day's work, hoping against hope that there will be a decent one agreeing to take you home for a decent fair. They are all eager, they throng around you and want to know the destination. You say it. They sneer in pity; only three kilometers?! They reject. They quote three times the regular fair and you reject. They sneer at you with more vengeance. Their eyes follow you as your try to get hold of other auto-rickshaws. They see your lonely figure, observe the rejecting herd sneering at you, and driven by their eternal obligation reject you again. You can almost feel the stare breathing heavily on your neck as you fight the humiliation and walk the distance to the next one. Yes, auto rejection hits me bad.

In today's competition, it is also often that your pride gets a beating as you try to wiggle your way through to secure a domestic help. And more often than not, looking at my flat, my bare means of living and my small tv, they reject me outright. I try to convince them that I will work on a salary revision very soon, they enquire about my job status, nod their heads, look around the room once more, again stop at my battered fridge and walk away. It is not often that your lifetime of work is rejected like that!

From being glanced at and questioned for trying to choose a particular cloth size to being adviced to dye my hair in a posh air-conditioned room to the ominous look on the gym instructor's face at my irregular cardio routine, either my financial stability, or my affordability, my looks, my thoughts or my sanity gets a rejection on a daily basis. Thumping heart and sweaty forehead, heavier and bitter, cocoa therapy, the cycle continues...