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Appearance vs. Reality

By Pankti Dalal
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I sit under the heat of the blazing sun, basking in the glory of what I have earned so far. Like a hawk, I carefully scrutinize the world that rests peacefully in front of my eyes. I feel lonely and isolated even though the view is great. There are 7 billion people in this world, 7 billion different lives striving towards perfection. 
At the tender age of seventeen I am suddenly informed that I have to find myself a place, an identity amongst this crowd. That is what I am afraid of. Not being good enough, not smart enough, and not pretty enough. For most of my teenage life I felt rebellious, rebellious to all the things society stood for. My faith in humanity faded along with the smile on my face. My parents made me believe for most of my childhood that the world around me was a comfortable one and that I would find my niche in no time. 
It’s been 17 years and yet I don’t know where I belong.  I share my niche with so many like-minded young leaders that even Darwin agrees that my survival is impossible. The differing opinions of people affect me and mould me so greatly, that suddenly the line between appearance and reality is fainter than ever.
People tell me that external beauty isn’t important and inner beauty is what matters. They lie. If you are below average height, you are quite literally looked down upon. You don’t need a flat stomach for someone to love you but you do need one for someone to notice you.  If you find books more interesting than people you must be a nerd. And if you are friends with more than the necessary amount of boys, then you must be a slut! The world judges you and you judge the world; that’s how the game of life works. 
This may sound like the plot of typical teenage movie but unfortunately there is no happily ever after. This is reality and the appearance of it is quite deceptive. Just when you think you have figured it all out, it comes crashing right at you. You may think you have fixed all the damage that could hamper your functioning, but the solution is never a permanent one. I feel like running on top of the highest cliff and screaming to the world, “Be more real, stop lying to me, stop hiding, and just give it to me all at once.”
Just when I desperately longed for actual reality, I realized that no one wants that. I don’t want to step out into the streets of Delhi knowing that a woman was recently raped. I don’t want to spoil my fancy dinner at Taj, thinking that it was earlier targeted by terrorists. I don’t want to know that the world is ending in a few days; it’s just been seventeen years and I have a long way to go. 
Sometimes appearance is good enough. Sometimes you need to believe that there is a perfect world even though the reality may be quite different. You and I both need that delusional optimism, and with it, I hope to find my place in the world.  I may not be good enough for the world, but I will be naive enough to shun aside my reality and the moment this happens, I will know that I have carved out a place for myself in this world.

 

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Let The Good Times Roll Magazine is an online youth magazine
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