#8. Stranger at Home: Story of my Life

WhatsApp Image 2018-05-10 at 17.07.00
Yes., i did look like harry potter.🧐

Before I reveal one of the hardest topics of my life, I want to ask my readers not to feel sorry for me and respect me for who I am today because the path I went through is definitely considered bitter but if I had a choice to change my life, I wouldn’t for I am happier this way.

I came to earth in Vienna, Austria. Yes, I am a brown kid whose origin is Indian, and I was supposed to have an ordinary childhood like everyone else. Be cared your parents, go to kindergarten, attended primary school, have so many friends, do sports, and be late back home. Yep, the fantasy of a perfect childhood in your hometown but the problem here is that it wasn’t my fate.

Around the year 2000, there was a high scarcity of medical staff in Switzerland and job opportunities was open to everyone whose expertise in medicine. Well, you can say that the pay in Switzerland was way better than in Austria, Moreover, both my mom and dad were from the medical field as nurses. My life moved on to Switzerland right after my sister was born. By the age of 3, I was already considered a troubled kid, do stupid things all the time, cause problems and I couldn’t understand how the world worked. My parents were busy in their occupation and taking care of my sister and a newly born brother and it was a very hard time for the family.

But a lot of my relatives where showing concern because I wasn’t reacting like an ordinary 5-year-old boy should be. I had my mouth always open, drooling saliva over the place, I watched TV way to close, I always screamed and fell, spat and broke things. You get the picture. Kindergarten began, and I was hype active. I couldn’t understand what the teacher was saying, and I never said a word. I isolated myself and wasn’t ordinary. I remember, the kindergarten teacher was teaching us how to brush our teeth. My understanding level was so poor that I would put paste on my hair thinking it was shampoo. Despite them trying and demonstrating again and again on how to brush your teeth. I just didn’t understand the concept of brushing.

It was time something needed to be done, my parents were called for an interview in the kindergarten and they requested I needed a psychiatric check from a doctor because she felt I wasn’t fit enough to be among here. My parents denied the acquisition but as per formality, I had a psychiatric check and I had results of an ordinary boy without actual mental issues. But for the safety of the other children, the kindergarten in charge asked my parents to take me to a special school with special aid. My dad was frustrated and lost it, he argued with her for hours until she threw my dad out of the office. I was marked RED, which means I couldn’t go to an ordinary kindergarten like how every kid went to because I was considered odd and needed medical aid.

My parents strongly believed I was fine like every other student. Just not used to the environment, that’s why I was shy and respond to everything oddly. One of the hardest decision as a parent was what they did next. They believed in me and wanted to give me a equivalent future like the rest of the children in this world. So, they decided to send me to a boarding school in Good Shepherd International school, India. They were out of options. I was only 4 years old then, already in boarding school. I still remember my dad dropping me to boarding school and I was a dumb kid, who only knew German and no one in that school spoke German. My dad handed me over to the warden of the hostel and I was still smiling, knowing not that my father is going to leave me here and I would see him next Christmas which was after 4 months.

My dad used to tell me often- he felt really sad, guilty and emotional that he couldn’t sleep. He traveled back to the institute and begged the guards to let him through to see me again but they never did. Think about it, a new country and you only could speak German and no one could understand you, filled with other children like you crying and speaking their own language. I kept saying in German, *when is my dad coming to pick me up? where is he? I want to go home. But I never got a response from any students or teachers for no one understood me. My roll number was 4196, that was my identity. All my clothes, shoes, cosmetics, books and stationary had 4196. They would check the attendance through your number and not by name. You could say that there were so many children in that boarding school that it was hard to keep track of everything. I still refer myself sometimes as 4196 and it stuck along. (no, I wasn’t in jail, it was a boarding school with more than 10,000 children in total)

At some point, I realized this is my new life and I didn’t feel extremely bad since there were many like me. I learned English quickly, studied hard, played sports, made friends and life went on normally. As time fly, so, did my progress. I moved from school to school because of various reasons and I am glad to prove myself that I was ordinary enough.

But a few things stayed, I spend 9 months in boarding school and I saw my parents 3 months in a year and this fate, went on for the next 13 years of my life. To be honest, I spend all my time alone and every problem I faced, I dealt it by myself because I was always on my own. My parents used to call me once in a week because international call were heard to manage and there were fixed allocated time the parents could call. And If they got through it, it would be considered lucky. When I was on my 5th grade, my parents wanted me to come back to Switzerland and continue school life here like how my siblings did. I liked the idea, but I told my parents, I don’t want to go back to Switzerland and I want to finish my school life here till the end. I grew up here, build myself and faced everything on my own that I had a firm mind for I wanted to finish it till the end. And, yes, I did. Came back home with 91%, and with much more confidence and capabilities.

A part of me is still bothered of the fact of being judged too early by a kindergarten teacher that cause my fate like this but on the other hand, she is the reason for all the collective good I was able to discovery in myself. But I must be honest, I feel strange back home. I am not used to be a home kid. I have no experience studying in my room. My entire school life, I studied in a room with 40 other students like me. I don’t have friend either to be honest, just a childhood friend but that’s it. Because i just stayed there for 3 months and there wasn’t much options for me to make friends with other. Switzerland is definitely a strange land to me even though I lived there for 17 years, I feel lonely and I talk to a teddy bear once a while, I am so used to do thing of being myself but when my parents does things for me, I feel somethings odd. I remember questioning my mom why are you so overprotective over me and she did reply, i feel like i haven’t give much love and care to you since you were always away from us.That made my heart melt.These are certain side-effects in me.But I believe its normal for any kid who lives 75% of his life in an enclosed boarding school with no exit to the outside world and then, suddenly move back to actual life

There is still lot of things I need to get used to and I missed out so much in life. For example, I have never went to prom or school-ball in my life and my sister who is 16, has gone to 5 school ball already in two different school. I see my brother play video games every day and raging at the PS4, I look back and think, I haven’t played video games like an ordinary boy and all I do is enjoy watching how my brother plays. My sister is the outgoing type girl who is always roaming in the cities with her friends and I wish I did too. There are these small things I see other people do that is considered totally normal in life but in my eyes, I see it as privilege. Like I said , I am a stranger back home yet figuring out this way through the mist of uncertainty.

If I had a message I could give, it would be not to judge a book by its cover because you wouldn’t  know for your decision can affect a person life and you would be totally be unaware off it. I am a living proof and I turned out to be totally fine. Life is hard, I know but I also wish no one in this world has to go through what I went. It’s true, I had a lost childhood. But I never blame my parents for anything rather I would love them even more for believing and trusting in me even though the world titled me as unfit. Next time you judge someone, think off how much happiness you could create if you support and love him. Be a good human and everyone has their difficulty. Give them time and you will notice they are as equal as you are.

Love your life and create your own happiness. Whatever life throws on you, believe you can make a difference. And you decide your own fate and it is never created on other people’s opinion.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

If I had one wish now. I would wish for a proper birthday. 😊. I am 20 years old and the last time I celebrated a birthday with my family was when I was 6. That’s why I dislike my birthday so much and try to avoid it at any cost because it reminds me of my past of how much i missed everything. Even though i smile , its because i went throw a lot to have the strength to smile. So, go put a smile in someones face😊

Mom and Dad, if you are reading this.

ICH LIEBE DICH VON  GANZEM HERZEN.💚🧡💙.

Written by DOCHI.

Blogs Dochi

32 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Bro … wir beide haben den gleichen Lebensstil in Ooty erlebt … ein Moderator, der seine Kindheit in den begrenzten Wänden meiner Schule verbracht hat … ein Student, der Brust Nummer 3219 hatte …. aber wenn wir uns ansehen lyf wir finden, dass diese Tage uns von einem Kind zu einem Mann gemacht haben …. du hast mich dazu gebracht, auf diese Flashbacks zurückzuschauen …. gute Arbeit, bro …. gut gemacht….du bist ein Good Sheperdian und ich bin ein Josephite hat die gleichen Funken im Leben Bruder …. Keep continuing Joshua good work…..

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  2. Glad that you gave us a chance to know you better . No one can relate to your situation because every person reacts differently and faces it . But we can try to imagine what it would be like because yes I’m a cry baby and I know how it feels when you see your dad leaving . I found that numbers part 1946 quite funny .
    And even I have never attended any prom , don’t have even in college . This post is a kind of gem among all , keep it up and do tell me your birth date .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank u so much Ruth. For really supporting me and for those encouragement. I am glad you liked it and it was difficult for me to write this blog but I hope I was able to convey the message
      Keep growing your blog and I shall do the favor in return too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for sharing. This is such a moving story. I completely agree with your message, not to judge a book by its cover. It’s very sad that in this day and age people are still being judged. Everyone should love and support each other.
    I wish you all the best for the future.
    Clem x
    http://www.clemloves.co.uk
    @clemloves

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  4. Joshua !! Hats off Yaar !! U really did a great job !!👍 Such a talented boy u r ! 😂😂Thank God…..I didn’t cry !😂😜 God bless you 🤗☺ I hope today u r the happiest person ! U ll have all the deserving things in Ur life ahead !

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  5. My dear dear Joshua..
    Feeling proud of you as always… Those strong feelings being penned down here straight from heart… Proud to have taught you, this in an out of textbook too..
    And once again thanks for that wonderful assembly you organized with detailed planning for our class (7 B) , back in 2012 (?)
    Now it’s not the reason, you are going to stay in my good memories… It’s that I remember every single person who was kind enough to me and my angel twins during our hard times…
    The hostel life that I chose had a condition to separate my son to the boys hostel, since my daughter and myself were allotted the girls hostel… He was there just two storeys above still the separation was heart breaking… The tears I shed must have been hard for God’s to unsee that they kept three guardian angels up there in the hostel… You , Alias Paul and George Anikkattil… The care and concern you have shown to him was so profound that he still remembers you all… After six years, the faces are bit difficult for him to forget but the good deeds and words are still remembered… My heartful gratitude for each of you… It really really meant a lot for a wounded mother.
    Your parting request to my son was to remember your name and you suggested an odd tactic for the same… When he commented that it name reminds him of Masala Dosa, one of his favorite food, you made him promise you that he will remember you when ever he see or eat one in future. It continues to be his favorite food till date and each time, literally each time he keeps saying ur name… Bless you my child…
    Then during some days when we had the second prep where we were allowed to talk and study, sometimes the conversation went on about how life is…
    That particular day when your brother was crying so badly to your Mom over the weekly phone call, I had to rush to bathroom to hide my tears too… The memory of that moment still make my eyes wet… I am sure your Mom too must have been on the other end of the world…
    You on the other hand had reciprocated with firm words that day… That’s when I first heard bits of the above narrated parts of your life… Funny enough, you were consoling me…
    Iam very proud to read how positive you have become , using those situations as a ladder to the heights you are yet to achieve with the kind of good heart you possess.
    Without waiting for your permission, I am sharing this blog to my wall… Its an honor to have my friends get to know these profound and deep words of yours…
    With my blessing palm always on your head,
    With love ,
    SUJA

    Liked by 1 person

    • i am honestly speechless right now. i was totally unaware of your situation and i thank you for the bottom of my heart for sharing and taking time to read and enjoy my content. my heart is filled with joy and happiness to see this beautiful comment of yours. thank you for always believing in me and motivating me to give my best possible self. i miss you a lot and i honestly, thank you for being an amazing teacher who made a difference in me. i miss both your twins and i still remember the nickname MASALA DOAS i had back in school and i asked your children to remember me through it. it really gives me the good old memories . you deserve all success and glory for encouraging and being part of building a version of me that is ready for the tough challenges of the world. my teachers were definitely my second parents and you took care of me like as if i was your soon and saw things in me that i failed to see and believe. i know you are one of the best teacher the nation has because you dont just teach geography and social science, you teach the true art of being oneself in this best way possible, and i hope all your students who has experienced you feel the same. you will always be in my heart and even though i am miles away from your presence, there is never a day i forget to acknowledge those people who were responsible for the person i am today.
      love you lots…..your student : MASALA DOSA

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  6. Joshua.. i don’t know if you remember me… It’s been been long.. i don’t feel pity fit you.. instead I m proud of you.. That i know you.. i knew you… And I will do so… This is your story… A chapter …4m where you have grown to a wonderful person . A champ indeed… Kudos kiddo… God Bless.. and you know what… U are going on to be a precious gem.. like once Rose Ma’am said… ” God polishes only his chosen ones and that too till they glow.” Your a chosen gem … I respect you son..take care

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  7. I’m so proud of you Marcel Joshua. You have given many insights to us as parents and teachers. You were always a good student. God bless you abundantly dear,
    Lots of love,
    Rose Ma’am

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  8. Hi Joshua. What an experience. I am almost at a loss for words. I have some opinions about this that I am going to share with you, some are problematic and systemic and anyway, I think you’ve paved the opportunity for us to questions some things. 1. categorization. I find this in every instance of my life. Right or wrong. Good or bad. Smart or dumb. Pretty or ugly. They are categories that limit us and inhibit us from the full experience of life. Usually we choose one route over another, thinking there is no middle lane. Your story is quite fascinating because you were categorized and thus decisions were made for you, without your input. I think what you did in that time shows how you broke down categories and thus found a middle route. It seems to have stuck with you, it should, this is what life and experience does, but you found a middle route in a time and world in which it seemed there were only two. This is a big deal. 2. Parenthood. Lately, I’ve been coming across many blogs written by mothers and fathers. They are all different, of course, but I see a common narrative among them. They express how they’ve been or are deceived by the pressures of their societies. They spend a good chunk of their income investing in parenting classes and books that educate on the “how to’s”. But then, something interesting happens; most of these parent bloggers come to the realization that these self induced pressures and society pressures, and these restrictive books indeed keep them from reading their truest instincts as parents. We are biological for this, we are wired for this. I think your parents may have been torn between their instincts and that which was pressured on them by a system. I can see and almost feel this in the way you mentioned the dialogue between you and your mom. I don’t have a conclusion to this observation – it is just an observation, but does it make you think? 3. darkness and light. One thing I can say is that if there are two extremes, it is in regards to darkness and in light. Never in any other situation have I looked at one thing and thought it two different things when in light and when in darkness. I realize the idea of the self is transformed in such instances. Have you read The Allegory of the Cave by Plato? Plato introduces the idea of human perception. In his story, he claims that knowledge gained through the senses is no more than opinion and that, in order to have real knowledge, we must gain it through philosophical reasoning. Thus why an object can take on two different forms in darkness and in light. I see that you have done this with yourself. You took a situation and directed it to many degrees, you understood it from different perspectives (your mother, father and your own eyes, for example), you applied geography to this (India vs Switzerland), and custom (West vs Asia). I cannot say that I’ve done this myself to such a degree and in regards to situations of my life that are uncomfortable. —- Thank you for sharing your story. I learned from it.

    Best,
    Jess

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    • As always, jess you have the opinion of a sharp shooter who always knows his way through and can give the best opinions possible and I am truly honoured every time you comment on my blog. Let me say, I have never noticed these insights even though I am the one who wrote the blog and I totally agree. Yes, we live in a system where everything is in the way it should be and everything has a place. Also, thanking you for pointing out, the dual views of good and bad, I never came across it. it made me think, if everyone in this world could have dual views on both sides, we could reduce stress and conflicts in this world. I am so amazed of the knowledge you have for so much stuff and noticing these inner meaning is quite a unique skill. Thank you for pinpointing. The way you described it, I am glad I found the middle lane and breaking categorize made me stronger. But at the end of the day, I really don’t want anyone who went through my path, go through the same way I did. Its like I missed so much that I already have a bucket list set for my future children and make sure everything I missed, they would have. Which means I didn’t mean I would spoil them but have everything I didn’t. most of all thank you for sparing the time to read my work and I know you are busy but knowing that you really care about me & chiri, we feel like you have become part of us and you will always have our grateful support and helping hand.
      Lots of love: chirir & dochi.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Joshua I don’t know whether you know me,but I know you.Iam your Mum’s ralative.It was a really touching story shows pain in each sentence.Understand that you became a confident and efficient person to face all the challenges in the life.WIshing you all the best for your future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for those kind words and its true i really dont know you but i hope we meet someday. and thank you for taking time to read my blog and wish you all success as well

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  10. Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.
    Missing you
    Pappa, Mamma,Naomi &Noah

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    • thank you mom!!!… i know you are still by my side everyday. there is not even a single day you forgot to call. and i love you for that. happy mothers day, mama. since i couldn’t do anything special since i am far away, i prayed for you and set candles in the church. let god shower all the blessing in this world upon you.

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  11. Hi! I’d like to thank you for this text, the lesson from your story is very important. It opened my eyes and I hope it will also help other people to understand, how bad judging others can be. Thank you again! You’re a good person, remember! Greets from Poland. 🙂

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  12. Wow! Your story is incredible and you have been though so much from such a young age. I’m so glad things turned out fine for you in the end. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences. The lesson of never judging a book by its cover is so important. This is such a brilliantly written and heartfelt post 💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

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    • Thank u for stopping by bexa.
      Yes, it has made me a better person and I am glad to pass one a valuable message.
      And also, partially my blog inspiration is free you and that keeps me going. 😊

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  13. I love how honestly you’ve written this. The part where you said “love your life and create your own happiness struck me to choose happiness for myself. Your struggles reminded me of my own in some way but it made me realize my strength to overcome.

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  14. That was an excellent work..people around will definitely have a different view over things than ours.but when we start living our life we discover ourself..and that’s how people really judge.Even lam a hostler. I do enjoy being with my friends ,builting memories and having fun. But at times I do miss my family. .Even though such moments are heartbreaking, thats life..
    And yes you did look like a Harry potter 😉Have a bright life..discover yourself and be happy with it😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha.!!!!..thank you so much Tessa. especially for being engaging in post of our post and i am glad to see you are doing well as a hosteler and making good memories with new friends. and i am glad i could make a difference.

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