Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The Heart is in the RIGHT place

My grandmother stayed with us for sometime when I was around 4 yrs old. She was horrified when she found out I was scrawling with my left hand. According to her "Girls should never be seen using their LEFT HAND. It is so shameful!!" It took her some time but she made sure that I used my right hand to write before she left.

And everytime I went on vacation to Kerala, she would ask me which hand I was writing with & I would truthfully tell her "with my right". She would beam with self-satisfaction like as if she stopped a dreadful plague from overcoming me.
What she never realised was that though I used my right hand to write, everything else was done with my left....whether it was cutting veggies, playing badminton or using the mouse. All this I could do with my right hand too....only it would be a degree or two slower.

My best friend Neetu was left-handed thru & thru. Her parents used to relate to me the tough time they had, trying to make her eat with her right hand. When a teacher tried to make her write with her right hand, her mother who is a doctor had a talk with the teacher & told her not to force the child's into anything. When Neetu's cousins used to tease us with "SouthPaw"......we, not knowing the meaning & pride not permitting us to ask, thought it was some bad word to put left handers down.

All through my school years I met a lot of right handed & a few left-handed kids but nobody used both. I often wondered what category I fell under........... whether I was right handed or left handed.

As I grew older a lot of friends told me I was ambidextrous....though the term sounded grand, heart of hearts I didnt agree with them....well, for one ambidextrous people are supposed to be able to write with both hands, which I couldn’t.

A student at the Multimedia Centre I worked in brought me a fat book on left-handers & I went thru it out of curiosity[back then, Google was not a click away]. More than half the book concentrated on emphasising how left-handers suffered severe prejudice during the 18th & 19th century, how it was often beaten out of people and they were shunned by Society resulting in fewer marrying & reproducing.
How traumatic really…..imagine thinking that you are a freak simply because you are left handed!!!!!!!!

And did you know, humans aren't the only species who have left-handed individuals. The equivalent of lefties have also been observed in the animal world.

Through the ages, the severity of reaction directed towards left-handed people has diminished but people all over still associate it with awkwardness and clumsiness. The English expression "having two left feet", the Dutch expression "twee linkerhanden hebben", the German expression "zwei linke Hände haben", the Bulgarian expression "dve levi ratse" and the Czech expression "Mít obě ruce levé" ("to have two left hands") all mean being clumsy.

Ofcourse there are a lot of advantages to being left-handed. Many a time it has aided me in escaping doing my share of work especially at parties & get-togethers……one look at the awkwardly held knife or spoon in my left hand & women will snatch the implement out of my hands in half concealed alarm & impatience. Carefully hiding my elation, I put on a sheepish grin & vanish from there with a valid excuse.

Did you know, left-handers are said to be generally more intelligent, better looking, imaginative and multi-talented than right handers - based on discussions among members of the Left-Handers Club! :)

Jokes apart, even today no-one has come up with a definitive reason as to WHY some people are left-handed, but about 13% of the population around the world are, and it is thought to be genetic ‘cause it definitely runs in families.

But finally……being left-handed or right-handed doesn’t really matter does it???? We all travel a path where our Thoughts & Actions make all the difference to the way we handle the journey called Life. Whether we use our right hand or the left to do it, is not relevant at all.


  1. Your last lines sums it all.

    Anyway be happy to be a left..ty. Recently I know Barak Obama is also your club member!!

  2. Maddy: Oh now I no longer think too much abt it;-P.
    And yes I knw....even I read tht somewhere about Obama...now to see how much "CHANGE" he'll bring about, in the world:-D

  3. You really had a hard time. Unfortunately, the prejudice still exists.

  4. Hmmmm....I guess people in the rural areas still cling on to the age old traditions & habits. But I'd like to think there is a big difference among the educated.
    Infact some of them think being a leftie is, like....fashionable:-P

  5. I don't know about others, but left-handed people seem more attractive to me! Somehow when I see a person do something I cannot, and with ease I am awed!

  6. What a great read Nancy!

    I've been to regions where it was considered gross to be eating with one's left hand, as they generally used their left hands to clean their private areas. In other regions you 'give' using your right hand and 'take' using your left hand or you're considered impolite and greedy.... I have probably been labeled both greedy and gross because I can never get these things right...

    I agree with the left-hand club though, you guys are the full package ;-)

  7. Ah whats the big deal! I never get it!

    I know lefty's have it tough..

  8. Can always trust you to come with something exceptional in every post, and i now know why.;)

    Guess what I was naturally left handed too, but i was 'cured' of it, and I so regret it to this day!! The DH is left handed, and I love it. I was pretty sure the BB would be left-handed, but he seems inclined the other way now. I am always intrigued by left handed people, and just feel that there is something exceptional about most of them.

  9. Nancy all I can say is Thanks for enlightening me....Have a good day...

  10. Its sad that the prejudice still exists. Atleast back home, it does. Infact I think people ought to be educated about it. Trying to force a child into using a right instaed of left hand and vice versa, can actually have harmful effects on the brain. A study was so conducted. But anyway, its ridiculous, as are so many things in our system, the way left-handers are viewed as specimens that ought to be preserved and kept in a museum for all to see.

  11. hey i am also a left hander, brcause of the hammering of elders i started only writing from right hand..rest evrything I still do with my left, and my family finds it quite amusing to see me doing ec-verythibng so dextrously with my left hand:) as they cant do it.

  12. Prejudice against lefties? This is really news to me; And it seems so silly.

    Even I always had the impression that you guys are err... 'gifted' Loved your title for the post - Heart is in the RIGHT place :)

  13. Jira: Even me..especially when they write...I guess coz its the one thing I cant do;-P

    Agnes: Thank U:-D!!!!!!
    The first bit I know but where do they practise the giving with right & taking with left.....in India both give & take is usually with the right hand.

    Winnie: "Ah whats the big deal! I never get it!"
    So do I Winnie, so do I:-S!!!

    Goofy Mumma: Thank U:-D!!!!!!
    Even Naina looked like she was going to be a leftie but gradually she started using her right hand on her own.

    Sukku: Have a good day too & thanks for visiting me:-))!!!

    Piper: It is not just in India tht this prejudice exists but thankfully it's fading now. Among the youngsters, nowadays it is quite fashionable to be a leftie:-D.

    Renu: Aaaaaah just like me:-D.

  14. Rakesh: The word Prejudice sounds so harsh doesn't it????
    Actually I also never knew it was so prevalent....the ways of the world are so strange sometimes, instead of fighting against evil & other wrong things, people waste time on nitty-gritty stuff.

  15. I still fail to understand,Nancy why do people make such a big fuss about being left-handed?Is it really a stigma?As I was reading your post I thought and asked myself 'isnt being left-handed hereditary?'
    And then you said it "even today no-one has come up with a definitive reason as to WHY some people are left-handed, but about 13% of the population around the world are, and it is thought to be genetic ‘cause it definitely runs in families.".

    I know of a boy who was left-handed and then he was forced and nagged to be right-handed to such an extent that he turned into a recluse,eventually a rebel.
    So,my point,to force a person to choose what he doesnt want to affects his personality in a very harmful way.The sooner people realise that,the better it would be.

  16. wow you can work with both your hands! I can never do that.

  17. hehe, so u a left hander...thats good to know...I have too many friends who r left handed...I also hav a close friend who is left handed, and she is the only one who I have seen in left handers who write so differently....
    Anyway, i actaully hav never noticed any prejudice and probs till now and never knew that there r people who looked down on that...humm, hey wats the big deal, while some do thinsg with right, others just do it wit left...watever is convenient and all...otherwise y b bothered abt it at all...

  18. Wow, that is some research on left hand you have there! But yeah, I do feel bad when lefties are forced. It is definitely going against nature and I am sure that it hits the confidence at some point.

    But that party thing u mentioned was really clever! See there is a silver lining in every cloud!

  19. Well I adore lefties :D...they are indeed special...i wish i was one :D

  20. Deeps: oh so terrible to hear abt the boy....what people have to suffer bcoz of ignorance.
    But the good news is tht most people are becoming more aware & not forcing their children anymore to use only the right hand, etc.

    Deeplydip: Yeah I can use both hands tho right hand is a bit rusty coz its unused most of the time;-P. And u never answered my question....deira or bur dubai?????

    Enigma: "hey wats the big deal, while some do thinsg with right, others just do it wit left...watever is convenient and all...otherwise y b bothered abt it at all..."
    Aaaah thts the beauty of the younger generation....we are more aware & not bothered with the small stuff like the older generation....cant blame them also, they were not educated abt such things.

    Bins: Luckily times have changed...nowadays its more of a novelty:-D

    Prakhar: Thank U, Thank U!!!!!

  21. am aghast to know of all the things that left handed people used to be subjected to. really? that s crazy.. infact amongst bongs, the left side is considered auspicious., infact i dont know when I picked this habit up but i always step out of the house with my left feet first .. doesnt make sense i know
    coincidently my best fren is a lefty too
    n yes, she indeed is very pretty :)

  22. Brilliant article.....
    yeah, I have known people like that as well....
    The school disciplining them for using left hand....
    The last lines were perfect....
    yeah, it does not make a difference whether we are lefties or righties....

  23. An Aquarian and a left handed one at that! You really must be something, Nance!!! :D

  24. Ish: Actually even among us Mals the left side is supposed to be good for women.....u knw if the left hand scratches, u can be sure tht u'll receive money from somewhere & things like tht:-P
    Only using the left hand seems to be sort of shameful:-(. Though its way better nowadays...still they give a damned good try before admitting defeat:-S.

    Ajit: Thank U!!!!!!!
    Yeah...it is the thinking which has to be changed instead of the wasting time on physical abilities & diabilities.

    Wannabe: was sporting a grin for 5 mins after reading ur comment:-D.

  25. nancy it is finally your time!
    did u see this about US prez, not just the latest and greatest? http://www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk/presidents.html

  26. I wonder why the prejudice? could never figure that out. I use my right hand for mostly everything, but sometimes I like to eat with my left hand.
    and lady, you have awards waiting for you to add to your long list :)

  27. sorry i am getting very forgetful! im in bur dubai!

  28. I have met many people who only wright with their right hand and do every thing else with the left one including my father and my eldest sister. The very reason for this is that when one is young enough the granny's and grandpa's force one to wright with the right hand because being lefty is cosidedred abnormal in our society. Thanks to the cricket matches on television, where we have realised that the left handers are doing better than the right handers. Keep it up, i mean your left hand :-))

  29. Seriously, the superstitions ppl believe....so ridiculous!!! You summed it up perfectly, its our thoughts & actions that matter.

  30. Lan: Yeah when I went to chk something on the net abt left handers I saw tht abt US presidents:-D.

    A: Some age old rules which refuse to die cause all these problems:-S.
    And U bet I've chked out my awards.....thank U....will put them up sooon:-D

    Deeplydip: U knw I already guessed u were from there;-D

    Balvinder Singh: U knw, after u mentioned the typos I went over ur comment again just to see them....actually I hardly noticed them the first time coz the meaning was clear enough:-P.

    Shalom: Seriously!!!!! Thank God for literacy and a twisted fashion sense......the new generation is much better off than the old:-D

  31. I sooo relate to you on this. Even i can write with my right hand and do all my work with my left hand...my grandma made me give up my right hand writing :(
    I also had to go thru the paradox of 'am i left handed or right handed'.

  32. bhere are ju ??

    No nu posht phor a lawng tym!!

    dont post this one ;)

  33. what an excellent write up!! I think I liked what you said about left handed people being more intelligent :) better looking!! :)

  34. datsme: U knw, several others have told me the same thing...lets all join together & form a club. what say?????

    Winnie: No taime I say...aaallwaiys bijji nouvadays:-(

    Anjuli: U thk so:-D

  35. i agree with u that it doesn't make a difference at all but somehow i feel attracted to left-handers i feel they are unique and a lot smarter :D i really dono y!

  36. Former sansmerci: Thank U, thank u:-D!!!!!

  37. A very interesting post. My hubby was left-handed back in his school days, and my MIL used to tie up his left hand so that he would write with his right. Now he is a righty. Sad but True!

  38. Priyanka: Sheesh so terrible, but those times were like tht. Seems like a lot of us have gone thru this torture :-(.
    Luckily for our kids, we are a more aware lot.


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