How many opportunities will I get to do an antonym challenge within the A-Z challenge? One? Since I wrote H for Heroes, V has to be for Villains.
Who was your biggest villain as a kid? Parents? Siblings? Teachers? The friendly neighborhood aunty who was nosing into your marksheets all the time? I don’t really remember any particular villainous person, because, anyone I think of is being discarded by my now rationalizing mind saying that, “No no. They did not mean it that way.”
The only category of people I still can think of as villains despite all the rationalization my mind does (yeah, my cheeks burn with anger now as I think of them) has everything to do with my being a chubby kid. I would have been the brand ambassador of that “Chubby cheeks” rhyme if anyone had bothered to market or videograph it. Hell, chubby could have been a secondary synonym for my name, if anyone had bothered to include my name as word of the year in the Oxford dictionary. And, this led to a lot of unpleasant contact with the outside world.
My mother says that when I was younger (a mere 5 year old), I handled the situation pretty well. I would start screaming my head off, invoking the inner demon in me, when I saw any human other than my parents, ensuring no one came within a 10m radius of me. But, as I grew older, I turned quieter, and all I could do when these villains got their hands near me was to scrunch my face and flatten those unflattenable cheeks, hoping they would go away. But, no, no. They never went away, as they placed their big, fat hands on my cheeks, pulling at both ends. I had to start telling people off at one point of time to ensure my cheeks didn’t elope for fear of their lives. That made me a rather unpleasant kid, but hey, a girl can only take so much nonsense!
Today, all that learning comes back to me hard and strong as I pick up my friends’ kids. I cuddle with them, talk to them, give them objects to play with, while carefully navigating my hands away from those pretty little cheeks. And, all these kids remember me (I hope?) and one even sent an “I miss you” whatsapp voice message to me once. See the power of keeping your hands in the right place and ensuring your name is off a child's villains’ list!
P. S. This post is the twenty second in the A-Z blogging challenge series for April.