An Inivisible Epidemic


It’s a true story. However I can’t name names because the intention is not to point fingers but rather try and highlight a serious epidemic. A rather invisible epidemic which curbs natural growth, creativity and promotes a structured and orderly disintegration of a beautiful mind and a creative mind and most importantly jeopardize a carefree childhood !

It’s a tale of two brothers. The elder one was an average student while the younger one was way above the average. The younger one also was very good at sports, intact excelled in it. Won many competitions at the school level, brought laurels at the inter school competitions and yet was very humble about his achievements. Despite being a junior in the school, he represented the school at the senior level, that’s how good he was. As for the elder brother, he was the ideal student, a role model for anyone to look up to. Of course it’s another thing that the elder brother didn’t acknowledge at that time, nothing intentional on his part, but he never felt the need to do so.

Higher studies and the peer pressure: 

As if it was the most natural thing in life, both the brothers got caught in the fictitious  world of pressure, competition, all in the name of wanting to be successful. There was no doubt the younger brother was more talented and more intelligent, the elder brother was good at handling pressure or pressure situations. So when they appeared for the competitive exams, the elder brother scored far better than the younger brother, only because he was able didn’t think about the competition neither did he think about the repercussions of a failure in the exams.
The younger one already had a bench mark , he had to perform better than his elder one. Added to this was the peer pressure and the constant reminders from the near and dear ones that he has to do better than this brother. And unfortunately for the younger brother, his worst nightmare came too. He got a rank which was not only far behind his brother but by his own standards he felt let down.
Without realizing, sub consciously he created a shell around him and started living within the shell, restrained, constrained, hiding and avoiding social interactions. He set himself for a second attempt at the competitive exams, which years later, his elder brother felt was a big mistake.The new found passion:
While he was struggling to come to terms with this uncharted territories, he developed an interest in body building. No it was not like every college graduate wanting to have a chiseled body , he was extremely religious about it. Woke up everyday early in the morning, followed a strict diet and gave his 100% when at the gym. He never missed a session even during the winter season. He was enjoying it, despite all the pressure to perform, he felt this was a very good outlet for him to forget everything else.

His dedication and hard work paid off. He came 2nd in a competition at the gym and because he was also good looking, he also happened to receive a modeling offer for a computer training institute which was actually number one in the business at that time.
Obviously he didn’t felt like sharing this with anyone because he just assumed the only thing matters is academic performance. He still had to prove his worth, he still had to crack that examination.The Dual Life:
He ended up living a dual life, a confident life at the gym where he was being himself, enjoying the attention he got, enjoying he hard work, enjoying the challenges and then the in secured life where he was struggling. Struggling to reconcile with the situation, struggling to deal with the pressure of out performing the others.

From the obvious to the oblivious:

Winning competitions in the school, representing the school at the highest level, winning a medal at the body building competition, winning a modeling offer were all the signs of a confident, hard working, determined young kid. These were all signs that the kid was really enjoying, how can something so obvious be missed out, how could something so obvious be ignored, how could something so obvious become oblivious.Like i said in the beginning, this is not to point fingers, this is just to highlight an epidemic that seems to be prevalent in every neighbor hood, in every street, in every community, in every society. Why can’t the kid be given the space to grow, to fail, to learn, to experiment, to imagine, to choose and to be successful in their own terms.

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