I am a closet introvert. At least that is what I feel I was. I felt pressured to seek for company when I wanted none because all the movies that I had seen dictated that I do things with people. And somewhere in this scenario, my family is also to blame. I have been brought in a fairly liberal and almost a matriarchal family. Despite that, I was always cautioned not to wear certain clothes, do certain things like go off at night, not do things by myself etc. Because my fairly liberal and almost matriarchal family was also borderline paranoid family and I guess I have internalized that paranoia.
For the longest time, despite fervently wanting to do things by myself I never did it because somewhere in the back of my mind, I could see the horrifying discovery documentaries about crime and sex trade playing in the back of my mind.
I think it is the point where I mention I lived in a hostel on marine drive and had never ventured out by myself in fear of perverts. Marine drive is this cornucopia of sleazy men. At least that’s what my mum had told me. I remember one day, I was up till 5 in the morning and I had this urge to just walk on marine drive. Just like that. Something had switched on inside my head. I grabbed my bag, put a moov spray (my plan was to use it as pepper spray because I didn’t have pepper spray at the time. Judge away, guys), grabbed my diary and walked out of the hostel. It was dark and I saw a few people jogging and walking their very constipated dogs. I felt a highly comforted looking at people not giving a shit about me. I walked on, feeling very spirited in that moment. Spotting a bench at a distance, I sat and opened my diary and started writing. I can only assume what people must have thought looking at a girl sitting on bench at 5.30 in the morning writing under a streetlight. I don’t remember what I was writing, definitely not something deeply philosophical or mind blowing, but it felt like this is something Karl Marx would have done. Or maybe I was hoping that somewhere in the back of mind lies the answer to all world problems and it needs to be written down in poor light.
Somethings changed after that. I realized my family fed paranoia can be handled by appropriate precautions without actually abandoning caution altogether (I did replace moov spray with a pepper spray. Yay me!). I started finding these little moments when I did things for myself and all by myself. They started with small things like walking around Mumbai by myself, cycling to the countryside in my hometown, exploring roads I hadn’t ventured in before. Slowly, it changed my personality a bit by bit. I have always been a private person but very reluctant to let people know that. I embraced my crazy introvert personality and managed to be at peace with myself without feeling this constant need for company. And at the rate I am going now, you’d think I had replaced the moov spray with a bazooka.
About Krishna Wagh:
Krishna is a professional human and knower of certain things. She believes in beanbags and coffee and is a swing and pun enthusiast.