The spotted hyenas of African native demonstrate a peculiar behaviour known as the Siblicide. When a mother gives birth to 3 cubs, she leaves them at the den and goes to hunt. Unlike other animals, hyenas are born with sharp teeth and good sight. These cubs bite each other for larger parental space to show their dominance. The cub which is dominant gets more milk from the mother and the least dominant dies due to starvation. This competition among the siblings for mother’s milk results in 25% of all new born to die mercilessly. Apart from these Siblicides committed by the hyenas, other animals like the killer whales and leopards kill each other for survival and competition within the herd.
I took a glance at her sheet from time to time to ensure that the colours used did not avert anyone’s eyes from my painting. When she stroked the clouds in deep blue, I made sure that there were three more colours for the sky in my landscape. The sense of over powering was subtle at the age of 7 but the foundation was laid right there. Maybe it would have subsided eventually over the course of time with leg and back aches but witnesses to the situation didn’t allow that. The aunties lurched forward, tilted their heads and grunted cues to better our paintings. We both poured more paint into the palette and with simple compulsive nuances, grudges into our heads.
They told us that it was going to be all dancing and merry making. We had to choreograph steps to the loud DJ music and entertain the over expecting parents and relatives among the crowd. But, what they didn’t tell us was that we need to be better than all others to be noticed. It shouldn’t matter to a 13 year old girl whether she occupies the middle position or the side last unless she didn’t enjoy the music. But, every girl in the group craved and fought mind battles to win that position. Our bodies gyrated to the music, while our minds swayed to the pressures.
He erased the straight line drawn over the board and turned to face the class again. He explained the perpendicular line concept in a to-be-imagined 3 dimensional space. Most of the students in the class nodded in unison while my friend turned to me with a doubt. It was all readied in my imagination space and was making sense to me but when she asked, only the previous maths paper mark flashed in my mind. Nobody needed to teach a 16 year old about the folly of teaching another student something she knew because there were high chances of scoring more. These intentions didn’t come in a day or two but were carefully tendered seeds of thoughts spewed in the muddle of cranium and nurtured over stages of life. While both our shoulders shrugged with a sign that meant we didn’t understand the maths concept, our hearts knew we weren’t doing well to each other.
In every sphere of life, it has been in man’s ability to carefully think. These thoughts are not free flow like everyone claims. These were mastered with actions, sprayed with selfishness from the ambience and rolled with layer of non acceptance. We don’t look at anything as the way it should be. If something exists in the complex space, it must be put to use.
I didn’t give a speech in the elocution competition because I loved talking.
I didn’t act in the Christmas play because acting meant a world to me.
I didn’t write a summary of a novel just because reading gives me pleasures of something unknown.
I didn’t dribble across the entire stretch of Basket Ball court because it was a good exercise.
I did because I wanted to prove. I wanted to showcase things to the world that had limitless hunger for more. I swelled with ambitions that were beyond my reach and hopes that were not nurtured the way it should have been. I didn’t fall into the dungeon of opportunities but was dragged with weights that were intangible.
Nobody told me that I had to win. There was nothing that instilled the competitive nature in my head. Yet, I was there, giving my best in everything I could, whether I liked it or not. I wasn’t thinking of the journey or the patience that I had to build eventually to see the results. I was running the race, blind folded and foolish.
What I fear is that someday when I have children, I would not be able to tell them how to savour the journey of life.
How will I teach them to appreciate the less significant things and move forward in small steps to achieve larger goals?
How will I remove the cynic emotions towards the world and help them enjoy what they are doing?
I hope not to mold and unleash them to the world full of cut throat competition for my own ambitions. I will leave them to lend a deaf ear to all the noises that might change them. I will not let them look at the surrounding as I did. I will feed them optimism and trust at every walk. I leave it to God to give them the strength to face the outcomes.
Is the world what it seems to be ?