Grandma, I was the odd one out in the birthday party, rued my teen aged grand daughter Shilpi.
Why do you say so? I said surprised. Is it because of the way you were dressed? I added.
No. I was happy there were other girls dressed in Indian outfits like me, she said appearing relieved.
Then what makes you think you were the odd one? I asked curious to know why she thought so.
Because I was the only vegetarian in a crowd of almost two dozen of my friends, she complained.
So what, there is nothing wrong in being a vegetarian and staying a vegetarian, I assured the girl.
No, but my friends didn’t think so, infact they all thought I was being very old fashioned and not inkeeping with the changing times, she moaned.
‘Don’t worry Shilpi about what your friends say or think about you. It’s important how you feel about yourself, how confident you are, having the courage of conviction as they say’, I told her.
But grandma, what’s wrong in changing with the changing times? She said appearing very serious.
Nothing wrong if you are convinced about the reason, I said stressing on the second person.
No, grandma, I have decided not to join the gang, she said after thinking hard.
Shilpi, do you know something? I also went through a similar experience during my younger days while I was studying in the Convent school. Since most of my friends in the Railway colony were Anglo Indians and non vegetarians, they would look at me with wonder . ‘History repeats itself’, I told myself !
n.meera raghavendra rao