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.