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July , 2017
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Lefty1

Way back in 1976, 13th of August was celebrated as the International Lefthanders’ Day for the very first time and since then the tradition continued. In 1990, an exclusive Lefthanders’ Club was formed in UK, which aimed at spreading awareness about the advantages and disadvantages of being a lefty. In 1992, this club held an annual event, where left-handers all over the world got an opportunity to celebrate their left-handedness. This event is now celebrated worldwide and is characterized by many interactive events. Ankur says, “My friends, who stay abroad tell me about events like left-v/s-right sports matches, left handed tea parties and pubs using left handed corkscrews, which I found very interesting. Apparently, there are also events that encourage the right handed people to try out left handed equipments to make them aware of what the lefties face when they use a plethora of right handed equipments”. After celebrating it last month, for the 33rd time since it was first celebrated, it is very fascinating to know about interesting differences that lefties possess and what they go through in their basic day-to-day life. (Picture: Writing The Unconventional Way. Credit: Inverted Frequency)

In the earlier generations, when our society was highly influenced and characterized by superstition, the new born babies were forced to get used to doing things with their right hand as left hand was considered the ‘wrong’ hand. Even toddlers, who instinctively used their left hands more than their right ones were forced into shifting to their right hands. Times slowly began to change as people left the discrimination against the ‘left hand’ behind and thus, the frequency of number of left-handers began to increase.

Once this phenomenon of left-handedness began to increase, there were many scientific studies made and interesting results began to surface. While some said lefties come across as being more creative than the right handed people because of the fact that they have better control over the right side of the brain, the others said that lefties tend to be more accident-prone.

A Left Footer In Action Credit: Inverted Frequency

A Left Footer In Action Credit: Inverted Frequency

The scientific researches and various kinds of study on this phenomenon gave rise to a lot of preconceived notions. “I’ve heard people say that lefties have a shorter life or some similar crap… how ridiculous can things get. I’m sure I’m going to live as long as possible”, says Rahul, a southpaw. Another couple of notions doing the rounds are that ‘lefties have a very bad handwriting’ and ‘lefties are very bad with directions’.This is totally not a fact that can be generalized. Maybe, there are a few left-handers with a bad writing and a bad sense of directions but that cannot be generalized. I myself have a lot of lefty friends, whose writing is very legible”, says Sushmita.

Bad Handwriting? I know lefties who are extremely artistic and possess the most beautiful handwriting. Hence, these are just baseless notions which are targeted at left-handers”, points out Rohit.

Apart from the notions, ask how this right-hander dominated world finds this ‘reverse’ phenomena and there are interesting replies. While some people find it normal, some find it very fascinating to see a left hander at work. Trishnanta says, “I feel it’s a pretty normal phenomenon. It is like what right hand is for me, left hand is for them. But they do seem fascinating when they are work. So I can’t stop myself from asking them all sorts of questions regarding their left handedness. It’s fun to know about them”.

Jeswin says, “I’m of the opinion that left handers are gifted. They are a talented lot. Strictly talking about sports, I find lefties look elegant. Be it Adam Gilchrist or Lionel Messi, they are a treat to watch”. Since, right handedness is by far the pre-dominant phenomenon and 8 out of 10 people are right handers, some of them find lefties very baffling. “I have no freaking clue how my sister manages to write with her left hand. I find it totally fascinating and mind boggling at the same time.”  Priyanka says, “Fascinating or not fascinating, lefties are rare and there could be 100s of reasons for them. Be it Superstitious societies or peer pressure due to which kids at a very young age is forcefully converted into right handers even if their initial natural instinct was their left hand. The fact that they’re rare makes them seem to be more attractive”.

The Predominant Hand Credit: Inverted Frequency

The Predominant Hand Credit: Inverted Frequency

In spite of being the ‘unconventional’ kind of people and hence seeking loads of attention always, lefties face a chunk load of problems in this right hander dominated world. From a simple chair in a classroom to all kinds of equipments, scientific and non-scientific, seem to be lefthander-‘un’friendly. “I understand the logic of table manners and general etiquette, but what I don’t understand is why I can’t greet people by shaking hands with my left hand. I don’t see what the problem is and it feels sad when people give you weird looks when you instinctively draw forward your left hand. I’m a lefty and that’s how I’ll do it”, says Parth.

Classes lack left-hander friendly chairs, labs lack left-hander friendly equipments and the list goes on. “I know there are such hiccups that we guys have to face but its real fun. I struggle with the computer mouse and even with scissors that are not very friendly to us. Whatever it is, I’m different from the majority of the people and I’m proud of it”, chuckles Prakash, a southpaw. While some tend to struggle due to their rarity, some have found success because of that. “During my B.Tech final year, we had campus placements and  it was a very tense atmosphere and I was very nervous. When I went in to give my interview, I was asked to solve a sum on the black board. The first thing that the interviewers noticed was the fact that I was a lefty and started asking me about it. As I started to tell them about it, I began to feel more comfortable and came out of my nervousness. So, I give the total credit to my left-handedness and I’m proud of the fact that I’m a lefty”, says Deepthi, who is now a graduate from IIT-Kharagpur.

The lefties really do have a very fascinating life. In spite of having their share of difficulties and hurdles, they enjoy an equal amount of attention for being so rare. Raunaq, a lefty says, “It feels nice to be different. People notice you and sometimes even wish that they were lefties as well. That feels really nice”. Sharanya, another southpaw says, “It feels awesome when people ask me about my left-handedness with sheer amazement. I do face difficulties in doing certain things but seriously, it feels great to be special”.

Even as it turns out to be a mixed bag of sorts, their lives, in this right handed dominated world will continue in this fashion and their day will be celebrated every August year after year.

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