Sunday, March 02, 2014

Fitting in

Desperate sobs wracked her tiny frame as she stood there alone, clutching her doll.
A bunch of girls played close by ignoring her with deliberate ease. Not one made a move to approach her .. to soothe, to befriend, to console.
Why would they? Wasn't it they who had refused to include her?
"Just look at that monster," they'd said, laughing at her.
Her crime?
Her doll didn't 'fit in'.

Who said children couldn't be cruel?


**********


And with that nine-liner we kick off the week-long Festival of Words at Write Tribe. Today we were required to write a piece of fiction consisting of exactly nine sentences.
For more super nine-liners click here.

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3






51 comments:

  1. That is so sad and cruel. Unfortunately, it's also true. Struggling to fit in is not new and I am sad to see it happen even in today's kids. There's a post I have wanted to write for a while. Not been able to bring myself to do it yet :(

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    1. Do that post Shailaja. It's so hard for the kids and I've seen this not once but many times over for various reasons.

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  2. That is so sad!!

    yea, kids can be pretty cruel.. bullying and "not fitting into an image", peer pressure - all these are tough on little kids..

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  3. Yes, kids can be very very cruel. Which is why it's so important for parents to practice compassion and kindness at home for kids to idolize.

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    1. You're right tolerance and acceptance really need to be taught specially in a country as diverse as ours.

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  4. Aaa- that picture tells it all doesn't it?:-) A kids... yes, but maybe then even as important that we adults show a good example and be inclusive and never judgmental:-) I love how you can put an important message and see it from a child's perspective - few but oh how emotional words. Poor little girl..:-(

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    1. Poor girl indeed. Another day it just might be her on the other side Eli. Kids are so fickle.

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  5. I agree with Eli... that picture alone speaks a thousand haunting words. And yes, I have seen such kids myself and if I've tried to even hint to their parents that their kid maybe going down a wrong path, I've been given the choicest abuses.

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    1. What pathetic parents! They are ensuring their kids never learn.

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  6. You have sent a strong message thru a simple story of 9 lines. Yes even the world of children can be cruel. The pic of all the 'perfect' dolls who bodies and minds have adhered to the vital statistics of the society have segregated the doll without a limb.A very nice story Tulika.

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    1. Thanks Kalpana.. That's one of my daughter's favourite doll. :-). And I need to put back that leg.

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  7. Such a simple story yet so true..... maybe a childs ignorance also makes them capable of so much cruelty!

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    1. Maybe, but what amazes me is their capacity to not empathise with a crying friend and I HAVE seen it happen. It's sad.

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  8. Tulika, I studied at an all girls' convent, so I completely understand the nature of this sort of cruelty. Yes. The word describes what kids can be.

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    1. Michelle, I have a boy and a girl and I can tell you boys and girls can be equally mean to their friends.

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  9. Your story resonates with me, as I was that child who didn't fit in. I was still very young when I decided I didn't want to try to fit in anymore as it was too painful. And the characters in my head were much more fun that potential playmates who didn't really want me.

    As adults, they don't remember the initial rejections and cruelties ( or choose not to). They remember me seemingly having fun without them, rejecting them (unintentionally). I suppose they "grew up" while I wasn't looking and tried to befriend me, and by then, I had moved on.

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    1. Kudos to you that you stopped caring. However real friends do play an important role in our lives and can be so much fun. But I guess as a child you found the best way to survive happily.

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  10. beautifully captured how beautifully kids can be cruel too. But their cruelty is innocent unlike adults where its born out of selfish motives!

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    1. You're bang on about this. Kids forget much much faster and will probably be playing together the next day. That truly is the best thing about them.

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  11. Children are the most loving yet the most cruel too. Thank God they switch quickly and with nurturing, lean towards the right thing!

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    1. That they do but one has to keep on reiterating the right thing to do.

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  12. That picture explains the whole story aptly. Being left out is a sad sad thing. I've been there, felt that many a time ( not necessarily in the doll scenario though ). In fact, most of us have been through this, at least once in our lives. This happening with children is even more painful. :( Crisp narrative, tulika ji.

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    1. Thanks Sreeja. Yes being left out is so hard. Yet it's strange that kids forget what it feels like and do it to others.

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  13. These bitter sweet moments of childhood are very rare these days...one thing is but obvious that they mess with each other and soon they clear it up too....lovely

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    1. That they do and what a blessing that is.

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  14. Great story with an important message about the herd mentality and excluding the ones they feel don't fit in their perfect group. Superb post.

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    1. Thanks Sulekha.. You're right sometimes even if they feel empathetic they prefer going with the bunch.. Sad!

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  15. Sigh...I see stuff like this most days in my work. Kids can be pretty cruel...there are so many 'reasons' they can come up with as to why another won't fit in. It's sad.

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    1. Yeah and the reasons sometimes sound so trivial.. But they're huge for the kids.

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  16. It's sad that children can be such snobs too! But the good news is that they can still be taught!

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    1. Absolutely. And they don't hold grudges too long, so that's a blessing.

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  17. :( not-fitting-in, a ill that we fight even till date. Children's cruelty can be still turned with good upbringing but what about the mature-bullies :(

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    1. Oh yes it's the so called mature ones who are the real troublemakers.

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  18. Snobs are not born. Snobs are made. If only parents took extra care to give them lessons in loving, caring and sharing right from the tender age when they start observing and absorbing all that goes on around them.

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    1. Geeta, you're right. I am continuously struggling with kids on either side of the story. Teaching them to stand up for their friends is a hard task but one I'm at all the time.

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  19. It's a sad reality! Kids too can be cruel. Though I have no experience, I think its the parents job to teach them values like compassion and kindness...isn't it?

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    1. Definitely is Rajrupa but it's hard to combat peer pressure. I just hope that my constant drumming in of values is getting registered somewhere.

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  20. Oh yes children can be very cruel and bullying (in this case passive bullying) is never innocent

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    1. You're right Suzy.. the way they alienate one child is truly heartbreaking.

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  21. Sadly, it's the stark reality where everything cool matters. In today's kids it matters most and no matter we are losing our individuality and self worth.

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    1. Absolutely.. there seems to be no space to be 'different' even in the kids' world.

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  22. How often do we judge on appearances? Realistic fiction that makes readers sad is a sign that empathy is alive in our society. Those of us who see injustice must continue to stand up and fight for what is right not only for ourselves but especially for those who can't fight for themselves.

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    1. Right Carrie. It's easier with the kids but really hard when they grow up and continue to shut people out based on appearances.

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  23. Such a sad and true story..!!! Penned very well...

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  24. We spend so much time ensuring our kids are nice, but you never know who they will encounter. Loved the pic and the story.

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  25. Oh yes, children can be very cruel at times, but the good thing is that they forget and make up soon too! Loved your story in 9 sentences T :)

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  26. Oh My! Fitting in problems everywhere! Even in playgroups. Sigh!

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  27. So much depth in those 9 sentences!!! In a global community like ours, we need to take some extra effort to inculcate feelings of compassion and acceptance. Kids can be cruel, but they usually reflect the maliciousness projected by the adults in their families.

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