Who knew being a former national-level badminton player could be over looked for ones skin colour?
The young Indian, Tanishka Shinde’s childhood wasn’t as carefree as one would hope for. Being born into a world where one’s physical appearance is treated as society’s property, she was, time and again bullied and body shamed for her dark skin.
It’s the 21st century but we as Indians yet have an orthodox mindset like that of the olden era. Generations have come and gone, each with a new form of acceptance, tarnishing stereotypes in society but racism yet prevails.
The national level player, Tanishka was constantly bullied for her dark skin and body shamed. Playing a sport at that level takes a lot of sweat and tears. For Tanishka it was more of the latter. At her training, she was called names like ‘black panther’ and ‘kaali cowi’ that broke her down piece by piece. The young Indian’s panic attacks would start an hour prior to her training and with no way out, she would muster up the courage and go play the sport she loves at the cost of her mental health.
But the bullying and racism didn’t stop there, her peers at school took every opportunity they had to make her feel less of herself. Made to feel insecure of her body, she resorted to people pleasing with hope of the bullying coming to an end but instead she lost her true self and began questioning her existence. It came to a point where she contemplated to end her life but was saved by a friend.
It often takes our worst to turn our life and make it the best. With no one to talk to, young Tanishka began writing as a resort of letting her feelings out. She was able to write stories and control how it turned out- something she craved for in her own life.
Through writing she picked herself up piece by piece and dared to live once more. Although it took her 3 years to make peace with her trauma she now is more than what her bullies made her.
Tanishka Shinde went from being a victim to a warrior fighting bullying and here’s how she wants to thank her bullies.