Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Memory of a Humiliation

I saw the movie Table No. 21 recently. While the movie was quite good, it brought back some bad memories. Not that one could ever forget a humiliation. I remember every single one of my life.

I still cannot forget that first day in college when two senior girls accosted me, right in front of the office inside college, and asked me to sing the popular item song of those days. To some it may not sound much, but for me, who never had such experience before, it was terribly shameful! Yes, I was humiliated at that moment.

After that when the classes started, we came to know we had to dress up in a mismatched way for one month (a combination of a shirt, a salwar, a dupatta, slippers, half the hair tied up, half of it kept open, and so on and so forth). We attended our classes like that. We were free to opt out of this ‘induction’ programme but with a caveat that we would officially be an outcast for the entire course duration. It would not have mattered much, in retrospect, to a terribly unsocial person like me!

Well, I have never been the one who stands up against the tide, in such cases. Perhaps I had come to accept that when everyone is getting humiliated, it is tolerable.

But it still haunts me. I have never been able to respect those people who meted out such humiliations to their juniors. It spoke so much about their characters.

The college also had a tradition of assigning a senior mentor for a junior mentee. It is anybody’s guess that this idea must have been the brain child of a frustrated moron to get to know the junior girls. But luckily, my mentor was a gentleman. Initially, when I came to know about this whole mentor-mentee thing, I was extremely pissed off. I expressed my thoughts even to my mentor who was quite amused.

When I became a senior, I just steered clear of this whole induction business. I cannot humiliate other people for fun, just because everyone else is doing it.

The other day I was discussing about the ‘induction’ programme with my husband, who was also my batch-mate at that time. He does not think much of those times. Well, every person’s threshold is different. Frankly, I was not asked to do much beyond dressing up like an idiot and singing some songs. But nobody should be given that kinds of power on you that they make you do things which are humiliating for you.

If I could live that time again, I would have opted out of that stupid programme which, people reasoned, made you ready for the big bad corporate world (*rolling my eyes*). On a lighter note, I could have used those hours productively in the library. Our college had a superb library and an awesome collection of magazines and periodicals.