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Window to the world

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When I was fourteen years old, our world encountered one of the widely spread and dangerous pandemics. No one was allowed to roam free on the streets because of the widely spreading virus. Being a girl, I was completely locked down in my room because of the situations outside. My father and my brother rarely go out for groceries and stuff. When the whole world is fighting with the pandemic, I had a different fight within myself. I fear talking to people thinking about how they would take my words. I fear being with people, thinking about how they judge me from my actions. I have social anxiety.

When I was quarantined in my room, I found a new world for myself. We live in an apartment on the 25th floor. My room had a single window, which was my only connection to the world back then. I used to spend most of my time looking through the window where I can see four other apartments within our enclave. I know most of the people in our enclave as we are living here since my childhood. I remember how everyone judged me by looking at only one incident. When I see people through that window, I feel like they are looking at me every second thinking about me and analyzing my character. Thousands of questions ran through my head like,  how can people judge me without knowing my whole story? Even if they know, what right do they have to judge me? I am very good at playing hockey. I played for my school in many events, through which I made some good friends who are good with the game so we can share our ideas. Unfortunately, some of them are boys. Once, when we were away from our town for a tournament, we had a free time in between our match dates. We all came out for a casual walk and made fun along the way. Everyone in my school bullies me like hell, only people who talk to me are my teammates. I always used to wait for a sports session, so that I can escape from my class and go play with my friends. On that day one of our neighbors saw me with my friends and told my father that I was not even in the team, I just went to another town to hangout with boys in the face of game. I was a captain for my team and we won that tournament. When I came back home with a sky full of excitement holding our trophy, my father asked me, ‘Where did you buy this trophy, and with whom you are hanging out?’ I was shocked by my father’s words and came to know what our neighbor told them. I tried to explain to my father  but he didn’t listen. I was shocked and slowly realised how much my parents value other people’s words about their daughter other than their own daughter’s.

From then on, I have gone through many such situations, which made me believe that everyone in the world is ready to judge you and that’s how you will be portrayed to society. As I grew up with this idea, whenever I talk to a person, I fear how they take my words. Now, in this quarantine, when I look through my window, I feel people are looking at me from their balconies trying to judge my every move. I fear can I ever get myself out of this ideology. Though I am staying locked in my room, I feel I am out in the open. I went through such ideas as long as the pandemic took over. I  always wonder, don’t people have any other work other than judging and bad-mouthing about me? Finally, after a few months, the pandemic came to an end and we were allowed to come out freely.

After a few tough months, I finally came down from my apartment and took a few steps away from it. I suddenly wanted to know how people see me from outside the world through my window. I turned towards my apartment and when I tried to look for my window, I was shocked. I couldn’t locate my own window myself. There were so many windows and each one looked the same. At that moment I realised there are many people to look up to, to think about and I am not the only one. I realised that I over thought about how people would judge me but I realised it all depends on how we see ourselves in reality. I always used to feel tied down by the people around me, but then I felt I was the same as every other person who lives the life they want. Now even when I am out among the people, I feel I am in my own room and I can do anything I want.

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