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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Bullying the boys

I moved to Mumbai from Pune in tenth standard, the final year of schooling in Maharashtra. It was a difficult year to make new friends in a new city. My dad suggested I join a coaching class so that I could meet some people before the start of the school year. On my second day, I met my first male friend in Mumbai. He came from one of India's oldest and wealthiest industrialist families, a household name. And yet, in spite of that name and background, he was bullied by his schoolmates every single day for his pink cheeks, his gait, his awkwardness, his hair. He would hide his head behind his book. He rarely talked. But he always waited for me to arrive to copy my chemistry homework. I used to be a bit of a chem whiz in school and college. (I can still balance complex chemical and biochemical equations in my head.) He disappeared from my life for a decade, during which I became a journalist and met his celebrity parents many times over. They're very down to earth. A few years ago he came back to India after his studies abroad and has been at the helm of affairs in the industry, carving a niche for himself, but still media and people shy. Some of you might have met him and would know who I am talking about. It's amazing what you remember after all these years.

#memories #bullying #bullyingawareness

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