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No, being peculiar isn’t a bad thing

People who think differently or take the road less travelled often end up doing what most of the ‘sane’ folks cannot. The nonconformists and excessively creative people are glorious, and brilliantly so, in their uniqueness. Take Rowan Atkinson for instance—rejected by various filmmakers for his peculiar rubber-face, he changed the world of comedy through the same. Apart from that, he rides go-karts around his tennis courts, races and crashes his Aston Martins and “hasn’t an ounce of showbiz in him”, according to comedian Stephen Fry, who was also the best man at Atkinson’s wedding. But not all is comic about him. In 2004, he publicly opposed the British government’s plan to introduce a new legislation on incitement of religious hatred as that would destabilise free speech and thought and make political satire ineffectual.

Now, such are the heroes we need. But we needn’t wait for one to emerge. For, we are all heroes in our peculiar, little ways. We may stand out or find ourselves alone in this odd journey, but that shouldn’t stop us from being unique, speaking up our minds, standing up for what we consider right or do things the way we are comfortable doing them. Peculiar People Day is to celebrate uniqueness and oddity—to reveal the geek, encourage the rebel and indulge the unusual and the weird. To find the oddball within, Team Soulveda introspect and reveal their peculiarities.

Life is ‘oddly’ beautiful

My interests span across multiple fields—from music to writing, from naturopathy to interior designing, from marketing to computer programming. Yet, I do not specialise in anything. I am what you’d typically call a jack of all trades or a ‘multipotentialite’, a term I love to use. I do not have one passion or one true calling. Instead, I have a bunch of things I want to try my hand at. It makes me a non-conformist in the eyes of those around me. Irrespective of what others think of me, I am at home in a world that’s odd to most, yet normal to me. – Sai Priankaa

Not all quiet on the ‘western’ front

Throughout my life, from the awkward teenage years to silent adulthood, I have been an introvert, but of a different kind. I talk less, laugh more. At social gatherings, I am the guy who you see sitting in a corner, mostly observing people, soaking in their mannerisms. That’s who I am, except when you hear Bane’s gruff voice from The Dark Knight Rises or watch the larger than life persona of Don Corleone from The Godfather come to life. That’s me, taking centre stage, be it in front of the mirror or in the company of people. Some enjoy these acts, others think I am weird. But it hardly matters to me because this is who I am. A strange introvert who doesn’t talk much, but every once in a while, lets his peculiar self out. – Arun Kant

The black and white era is etched into my psyche. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I dwell in nostalgia.


A ‘shoe-shank’ redemption  

I need to see my shoes stacked in a particular order. It literally drives me mad if I see shoes strewn around. No matter how tired or sick I am, I make sure I rearrange the rack and keep every pair of shoes in the order that my happily obsessive brain approves of. Sneakers, stilettoes, slippers, pumps, flat shoes, platforms, peep toes, flip flops, boots—all enjoy a pride of place of their own on my coveted shoe rack. The impeccable arrangement of my shoe rack gives me a peculiar sense of order and satisfaction, even when the rest of house is in complete disarray. – Nabanita Maji

As ‘clean’ as it gets

I am obsessed with cleanliness. But what’s peculiar is that, I cannot clean things myself nor reuse most of the stuff that becomes dirty. For instance, a shawl that falls off my shoulders on to the road, goes straight into the bin. Similarly, I discard a lot of things that fail my rigorous cleanliness standards, no questions asked. However, some lucky ones survive, if washed and cleaned by my family members. Does this make me an oddball? Maybe. But that’s the way my friends and family have now accepted me. You could too! – Vatsala N

Eternal sunshine of a ‘nostalgic’ mind

If I knew one thing about myself ever since I was little, it was the fact that I was always a little peculiar, an oddball, if you will. Born in the late 70s, a child of the 80s, I was always more at home with everything that was older than I. As a 10-year old, I listened to music from the 50s and the 60s. It was a ritual after school to tune into the classics hour on the radio and write down the lyrics of every song that came on. This was then. But today looks no different. The black and white era is etched into my psyche. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I dwell in nostalgia. Here’s why: I love old buildings; I don’t follow trends when it comes to fashion; I was, in all likelihood, the last person in the world to get Instagram-literate; my most cherished conversations have been with old timers; I keep the radio in my car tuned in to All India Radio for the classics hour; And in idle moments, I wonder what it would be like to live in a time when there were pathways instead of roads. – Shalini K Sharma

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