Saturday, July 12, 2014

The predicaments of being a left-handed

To be a left-handed in a soceity plagued with all kinds of myths, prejudices and self conceived notions is an alienating, amusing and annoying experience all the same.

I remember my family stressing on the necessity that I hold my pencil in my right hand and write my assignments, when I was very little, and I used to struggle through it while they saw, not even able to hold my pencil properly. I used to wait for them to look away or something to call their attention, and I would quickly shift the stub to my left hand, scribble the alphabets, reshift to my right and wait with a sweet smile for them to commend. (See! I was not that innocent a child too afterall!)

I also remember when I was caught, they almost fret over it as if it was a big crime. Honestly, I have one of the most loving and co-operating family, but the way soceity saw a left handed was their concern.

In my part of the world, it is a sure sign of misfortune. The child is seen as a forbearer of bad luck and some have even hinted it portends to death in family if not corrected early. It's a crazy world, you see!

I grew up almost believing it too be a grave failure in me, and hating those who made my parents worry over it. As if I was a left-handed by choice!

I concrue it is bad etiquettes to eat, drink, give or receive with our left hand, but what can we possibly to write, sketch and perform other tasks that call for manual dexterity?

It was some relief and quite amusing too when classmates, friends and some acquaintances used to ask me as to how I managed so expertly with my left hand? It was no less than magic to them. They would even try to ape me to see if they can do it themselves. I would simply smile and reply it's just like the way they use their right hand. Few have even observed and congratulated me that lefties are very talented people and harbingers of joy.

But my actual comfort came in the form of science when it explained to me that I was hard-wired that way. That infact, my right part of the brain is the boss which makes my left side of the body perform most of the tasks! And to know that nearly 10% of the world population and many famous personalities like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Napolean, Lincoln and even Helen Keller were left-handed was my liberating factor.


  1. I know what you mean. So much for a myth :( Good read.
    And, I bowl with my left when I play cricket :)

  2. I feel lefties are normally very sharp people. You're childhood anecdote was so funny...I could actually picture you writing on the sly with your left hand ;)

  3. Well said Asma! I was a leftie - don't recall it though - and apparently was 'forced' to use my right hand. I don't know why, but I swear people used to think it was of "the devil" or the like. I think it's great to be left-handed or even better, ambidextrous. It might come in handy one day..you never know! ;) <3

  4. Really, Elly! U were a left handed? People can really be so blindly superstitious at times! But u r ryt, being ambidextrous is d best.

    1. Thanks...and I agree with Vinodini above, I can 'see' you writing with your left hand "on the sly!" ;) <3