This happened long back when I was a girl of 3 or 4 years of age, but continued till my 1st grade.As a girl of 3 years of age, I used to observe people and duplicate their habits. My mother used to struggle a lot to pull me out of those habits.My father's mother a lady in 70's, she worked in our field planting trees and plucking fruits. After her work in the field her unclean foot was covered with mud and dirt. She cleaned her foot under a tap outside our house, while cleaning she lifted her skirt(mundu) a little i.e upto her knee, so that it will not be wet. Me as a mischievous girl learnt this habit of her's and practiced it with my knee length skirt. I did this act of lifting my knee length skirt every now and then. I lifted my skirt whenever I felt angry at people and their talks. Both my dad and mom tried changing my habit of lifting skirts at people. They stopped buying me skirts and frocks, instead I was bought up wearing trousers and pants till my 1st grade. They tried and struggled a lot to change my habit of lifting skirts before people, though I never did want to. I still remember my mom who made me wear trousers under my school uniform so that even if I lift my skirt, it would much be a lesser issue. According to me I was doing something which I learnt from my grandmother and it was not arrogant or wrong, but since my grandmother had her skirt till her ankle lifting it upto her knee didn't matter much, but it was not the same in my case, since I always wore knee length skirts. I still remember the days of Onam celebration when girls wore traditional skirts and blouses, my mother due to her doubt of me lifting my skirt, made me wear trousers along with the traditional blouse. This habit of mine moved on for days and days. One day I had to go for shopping with my parents. It was then my dad found out how worried and scared was the little girl in me on seeing dummy statues in the shopping complex. He told me those statues were not dummy pieces instead would eat those children who disobeyed their parents. Me as child had to believe the cooked up story of my dad since I didn't want the statues to eat me. That day back home I slept with the scary thought of statues eating me up.And it was then I tried and stopped the habit of lifting up skirts before people. Turning back into my past I feel shy and also I give away myself for laughing aloud thinking about the act of mine. LISHA ANTONY St. TERESA'S COLLEGE ERNAKULAM II DC ENGLISH LITERATURE
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