Perceived standards and unfulfilled expectations
“I deal with students in this room but few years back I was sitting in one of those benches. So this was maybe- I think I was 18 […] I was sensitive in the sense that my father was there in the same college. He was working as a library assistant. And I had this thing in my mind that- even my grandfather worked here. So I had this thing in my mind that I had to- I had to have a good image here. That- at that time I was like a nerd- okay a real boring person. I didn’t even step out of my college gate very often because I felt that if I went out- if I roam around with my friends- it will be a bad thing […] I must have a good image because my grandfather worked here my father is working here so I must have a very proper- proper kind of an image here. So I didn’t use to go much- I- I didn’t go out much. Then whatever fun I used to hav, I used to have within the four walls of the classroom.”
Isha’s first photo provided the context for the standards she felt pressured to maintain and the boundaries she placed on herself. She referred to herself as ‘cocooned’, defining things very starkly as good and bad and doing everything to keep a ‘good image’in the society. She continued:
“So whatever was there- all my- I sat in these benches. I had fun with my friends. I have fought with myself. I introspected. I analysed my dreams, my pain, my sufferings- all within these classrooms and when I now look back at these empty benches I- I think ‘Okay after keeping myself prim and proper what have I gained now?’…”
It was this question that led Isha to experience crisis, feeling all her efforts to have been worthless and leading to nothing fruitful.