Last weekend I met my college friends for coffee. We were meeting after a long time. They were both into nail art. They were proudly displaying their nails and their neat fingers and they were lovely. I had my hands in my pocket all the time. That meet was a reminder for me not to bite my nails.
Some habits never die. My granny would say "Chriz! Don't bite your nails". My mom would say the same thing. My class teachers in primary school has hit be on my knuckles with a wooden ruler for biting my nails. Nothing stopped me from biting my nails.
When my girlfriend Renu turned down my love proposal when we were in 8th standard, the reason she threw at my face was "Chriz, you bite your nails. A person who bites his nails will not be committed in life". She had one reason or the other that she slapped me with, every year I proposed my love to her. The reason she gave when we were in class 8 is still fresh in my memory.
None of these stopped me from biting my nails. Yes, I have a fancy nail cutter. I use that once in a while. But I do not know how my hand finds its way into my mouth and even before I could notice, the teeth would have bitten off the nails from all my fingers.
There have been times when my teeth have bitten some portion of the skin on my fingers. They are painful times of my life. If people ask me "Have you experienced pain in life? I could of course give that as an answer". That answer cost me a job in one of the job interviews. (Namakku naakkula sani)
All bad habits have a dark reason hidden in some part of history. My nail biting habit also has a historical reason for its intrusion into my life. The incident happened in the year 1988. I was 6 years old ans was studying in 2nd standard. Renu was my bench mate and I was in love with her. My childhood nemesis Shabir who was also in love with Renu was also my bench mate. We would do different antiques to win Renu's attention.
Renu loved people who could play the drums. During school days, our wooden benches were the drums and our fingers were the drum sticks. Shabir and I were good in making rhythm sounds on the wooden desks and we would imagine ourselves to be Tabla exponents when we make sound on the benches. In order to add tone to our rhythmic patterns, we grew our finger nails.
I had long nails, which I concealed from the teachers with great difficulty. You can't conceal long nails and pregnancy for a long time. But I was successful in concealing my long nails for around 3 months. One day when the class teacher told all of us to lie down on our desks and sleep, we all obeyed her. I could not sleep. The rest of them slept off. Suddenly I heard a snoring sound.
I looked around to see my friend Sunitha snoring big time. To stop her from snoring, I pinched her nose. I did not realize that I had long nails. she started to bleed and she woke up with wailing noise. I immediately put my head on my desk and pretended to sleep. Sunitha did not know who pinched her nose. Her crying sound woke up everyone. I was still lying down on my desk. To delete all evidences, I immediately bit my nails in my fingers.
The teacher came rushing to Sunitha who was bleeding from her nose. Immediately the furious teacher shouted "WHO DID THIS?". We were all silent. Then the teacher took a close look at Sunitha's nose and saw a cut and she exclaimed "AH! SOME ONE HAS PINCHED HER. ALL OF YOU SHOW YOUR HANDS". We all extended our hands and the only person who had long nails was Shabir. He was immediately punished with some caning. Renu also gave him a very bad look. This is how my nail biting started.
The very next day, Renu came to me and accepted my love proposal because she felt that Shabir was not worth it.. I was so happy and as I was a gentleman for a 6 year old, I decided not to hide the incident from Renu. So I immediately told the truth to Renu that I was the actual culprit. I thought that when I told the truth, Renu would feel happy and have more trust on me. But it backfired. She immediately screamed at me and said "I HATE YOU" and ran up to Shabir and hugged him. That is how their love life bloomed. Yet another heart break for me at that young age; but I was game for it as I had suffered many heart breaks before that.
Today as I type this post, I am typing this with pride that I have not bitten my nails for the last three days. It is a record of sorts for a person like me who bites his nails all the time. But I am finding it difficult to type these words with my little grown nails. So I am going to BITE MY NAILS.