First of all, let's talk about that post image, shall we? I think most Indian kids have had to go through multiple stages of having all their hair shaved off like that. The agony! This one happens to be one of my parents' favourite photographs because of a) the missing hair b) their love for mentally scarring me by getting rid of my hair and then forcing me to go to school so that the boys could make fun of me ("but at least they won't pull your pigtails anymore") and c) the expression on my face. I look like I really need to poop but instead, that goddamn photographer is making me pet a wooden elephant. Can we also give my mom credit for always dressing me like I was going to receive an award? Always. All those childhood photos have me in nice dresses, complete with socks and pretty shoes. And then she'd go and ruin it with a bindi on my forehead. Well done, mother!
When I wrote the piece about the time I tried to kill myself by squeezing germs from my mop and drinking it, my mother called to remind me of the many other suicide attempts from my childhood. Oh boy, it all just came flying back and now, I CANNOT wait to share. Although, I feel I need to clarify that the aforementioned suicide attempt took place at the age of 3 so please don't call the cops on me. The ones I'm about to tell you took place between the age of 4 and 12 if I'm not wrong.
The doggy phase: You know how dogs like to hang their heads out of windows and contemplate on the meaning of life? I used to be a dog when I was a child. Every single time I found a window with traditional Indian burglar-proof grills, I would squeeze my tiny head through the grill and spend hours looking at the sights outside my window without them grills in the way because fuck'em grills! That part was okay because like a happy little puppy, I would be satisfied with my theories on life and whatnot. The problem arose when I tried to get away from the window and go back to normal life. You'd think that if object A came out of object B, then it would be possible to squeeze object A back into object B. Yeah, try telling that to the toothpaste that no one figured out how to squeeze back into the tube! And you guessed it, my head was like toothpaste back in the day. I'd always successfully squeeze my head out of the window grill and spend time looking outside with my tongue hanging out of my mouth. But the minute I got bored, thirsty or hungry, the minute I tried to get my head back indoors, the fucking grills would shrink. Either that or my head must have miraculously grown in size in the few minutes that I hung it out to dry. I would try and try and cry and cry and nothing. My mom would hear the wailing and go, "not this again" and my dad would try to figure out the physics of it (the whole object A and object B situation), and nothing. They would grease the side of my head and try to slowly maneuver it out of the grill and still it would take ages before my head was freed from the cursed grill. It was always a painful process, not to mention the misery of my parents who were convinced every time that this was it. That this was how it was going to end. That they would have to feed me through the grill and I'd grow up and live my entire life with my head hanging out of the window. Honestly, if my kid did that, I would believe that too.
But despite how much I cried, despite how much it hurt, there I'd be the very next day, screaming for help with my head hanging out of the window. Now that I think of it, this must have been quite the spectacle for passers-by on the streets. Fun times.
The time I flew: I've mentioned a couple of times how I was not a very smart kid. Not only because I believed that my dad could fly but also because I attempted to fly. Once.
I must have been less than 5 when this happened. I was playing on the swings and while most kids sat on the seat, I preferred to stand and make it go higher than everyone else. I was very competitive even back then. So there I was one day, swinging higher and higher, convinced that I was better than everyone else around me, and a thought popped up in my head. It's a dangerous thing for a child like me to be allowed to think. While swinging away to glory, I thought, what if I let go when the swing went 'up'? I'd watched E.T. The bicycle scene was etched into my memory. If I let go at the right time, I could maybe fly into space. And that's exactly what I did. While the swing was swinging upwards, I let go of my hand and maybe even propelled myself forward, and what do you know, I flew. I injured my chin, elbows, and knees when I landed like a plane on the concrete floor of the apartment complex and even better, almost got run over by a car. You know those Maruthi vans they had back in the day, the ones that always kidnapped people in the movies? It was one of those in white and I remember it was coming towards me, blinking it's headlights at me. I believe my mom had sent my nanny with me so she was by my side soon enough, helping me get up and get back home. I don't think I ever told my parents that I intentionally let go of the swing to "fly" (or to kill myself).
The time I took a knife to my mouth: This happened when I was much older. Probably 10 or 11 years old. We'd gone on a holiday during my Christmas vacation and when we got home, we had a cake waiting for us. Our neighbours had baked a Christmas cake for us and no one was as excited as I was to have cake for lunch. So I took permission from my dad to take the cake to the kitchen and slice it up. I used his chef's knife to cut the cake because like I said, I was not a very smart kid. And when I saw icing on this knife, I took it straight to my mouth and licked it clean. All was well and good till I felt something. Something unpleasant and painful. When a sour taste replaced the taste of the icing in my mouth was when I decided to walk straight up to my dad without even daring to look in the mirror. I opened my mouth and the expression on his face convinced me that I was going to die. Thankfully, it was a very minor cut although there was blood everywhere. He made me rinse my mouth a bunch of times and every time I spat, there was blood. Lots of it. It healed within a day I believe, and that was officially the first time something I did without thinking scared the crap out of me. I still get the chills when I think of that incident because I remember all the blood. Ever since that incident, I've only used butter and plastic knives on cakes. I'm a bit paranoid now.
So there you go. Three more childhood suicide attempts, one of which my parents were probably not even aware of. But I'm curious to know strange stories from your childhood as well. Do you relate to any of the above? Did you do anything even stranger than all four of my crazy stories put together? Do leave a comment down below because I'm genuinely interested :D