Parvathy Gopakumar is a second year B.A. L.L.B. student at National Law School of India University, Bengaluru. She is an amputee who loves forests and music. She is passionate about reaching out to other differently-abled people and to make them see their worth. Born and brought up in Kerala her interests vary from Kathakali to Travancore history.
Why Am I Single?
I was in 8th standard when one guy in my class said he liked me. Don’t get any ideas, people. It didn’t feel good. His exact words were, “I know there are a lot of good girls, but I like you”. Then it struck me hard that I wasn’t like other girls because I am an amputee and I have a prosthetic hand. Thanks to that loser, I felt inferior for the first time. Then I began to keep my prosthetic hand under my desk in class so that people won’t see it easily. After that when I was in 9th or 10th I told my good friend that a guy likes me and I like him too. I was very excited about that because that was the first time when I had been in love. She too was extremely happy for me but ended up spoiling the moment by saying “Oh he must be such a great guy to like someone like you”. That hurt. A lot. I looked at her in disbelief and she thought she should make her point clear and went on to say that “Look at you. You don’t have your right hand but still he likes you that. I think you guys are going to be great together, Parvathy”. My inferiority complex just conquered its Everest and self-esteem touched its Mariana Trench. I am a loser and this dating thing won’t work for me, I thought. Thanks to my extremely complex reasoning, I figured it out that maybe I should convert my libido into doing other productive stuff and I ended up concentrating only on stuff that would work for me which was almost everything other than dating.
I remember, right after the movie Banglore Days was released, there were so many “broad minded-kind hearted” fellas who offered me a LIFE. Was it because of the DQ sensation that was going on at that time or was it because of the similarities that me and RJ Sarah had? Like her wheel chair and my silicon hand, our short curly hair-spectacles and other stuff. I don’t know. Anyway, I didn’t feel like even considering any of those “proposals” that I got from those life savers because it took them a film to realize that I am someone lovable. I moved on as usual.
Everything was going well but last year I overheard two of my aunties saying , “Paru is 18 now. She will get married in like 10 years but only someone with an extremely large heart can love her”. Whoa Whoa, ladies! Maybe you should go and do me the honour of creating a human being with a heart of 5-6 chambers so that I can get married to that medical miracle. Problem sorted. Though I was kind of glad that these ladies were kind enough to give me a deadline of at least 10 years, I realized that nothing can change my most dominant identity of being a differently-abled person. Nothing. Not even me being a pretty good quizzer or me cracking all the entrance exams I wrote with an insane rank or the fact that I am studying at India’s best law college. If the fact that I am an independent strong woman doesn’t help my case, then I don’t know what will. People compliment me on my wit, sense of humour, my “cute face” and even on my dressing sense, but no, my prosthetic hand is my most dominant feature when it comes to dating. I don’t know why. I have seen creepy guys staring at me, I have had perverts grope me and I have my own share of stalkers but most of the time when these guys get to know about my prosthetic hand then they don’t see anything in me except that. Lust/love/whatever you call it gets replaced with sympathy. Otherwise, if someone likes me for who I am then my messed up self-esteem and inferiority complex find their way through and BOOM. I am back to square one. Ugh!
I am confident and I love and trust myself so much, but when it comes to dating, I’m like “No Paru, this shit is not for you” because I know that eventually, the guy will screw up everything by showing me unnecessary sympathy or some random people will comment on how he is the Mahatma of this century just because he is dating me. Nonsense! I wonder why physical disability is such a big thing even when bad people who have no conscience are finding “love”. It’s high time that we stop this practice of sympathizing unconditionally and unnecessarily. We divyang people (Credits to NaMo for this cute and adorable name. Yeah, all we needed was a new name.) don’t need anyone to sacrifice their lives for us. Things will happen when they have to and I am pretty sure that everything will fall into place one day, but when it does, please remember to keep your valuable comments and suggestions to yourself, dear society. We are doing perfectly well without them. Peace.
Opinions are of the writer.