Are you left handed? Do you have a child who is left handed?  Yes, then this may not be alien to you. If not, this may interest you even more. 

Let me begin by stating I am left handed. My parents discovered this when I was very young and thankfully never ventured into changing my instincts to the “right” hand. I was never pressurized to do things with the right hand. But the societal pressure over the choice of hand was immense three decades back, perhaps a bit even today. 

My parents did do one thing out of social pressure. They made me learn to use my right hand while eating by hand. Let me set the context here. Macher jhol-bhat (fish curry and rice) is not something you eat with a spoon in a Bengali household and usually (by common norm) the left hand is designated for chores that are not considered very hygienic. At lunch and dinner invitations, I would cause lot of discomfort and raise eyebrows. So for the sake of relishing my macher jhol-bhat, I learnt to eat with my right hand. But for the life of me, I cannot hold the fork or spoon in my right hand. So when eating with a spoon, I use my left hand.

The only other thing that I remember distinctly was if I offered something in the temple with my left hand, either the priest would refuse it or give me a stern look. Ma would prompt me to use my other hand. I never told my mother, but every time that happened I secretly cursed the priest. Bad Karma! So be it. 

Now this social pressure that I mention was strangely linked to left-handedness as if it were some sort of disability. I have heard people asking my Ma “Did you give it a try with her right hand?” Many would look at me and remark “Oh! She uses her wrong hand.” Never figured, what was so wrong about it?  

Things have changed since then. Today being left handed is a reflection of your intellect and linked to being genius. So today, when my daughter picks the crayon with her left hand and tilts her coloring book slightly, before she begins to color, there are far less raised eyebrows. Although many have asked me how did I figure it out? Was it simple because I am left handed? 

My answer is simple. Leave objects that you really need to grip on to perform a task with it – a pen, pencil, craft scissor or a heavier toy. You will find your answer if more often than not it is the left hand that comes forward. And if that is not simple enough watch how your child claps. A left handed child claps his left hand on the palm of the right and the right handed vice-versa. 

Now there are some, who can use both hands with equal comfort. I don’t know if that is something that people practice or whether it comes naturally. All my life, I have wanted to do so but have failed even after much practice. 

But there are few other things I do with my right hand ONLY. I figured I do that only because my options are few and limited. I use the scissor with my right hand since the blades are not sharp enough if I do it other way around. I use the can opener with my right hand. I invariably struggle with it and mostly summon the task to the husband. 

And for this very reason, this very store in San Francisco needs a mention. It is one of its kind and unique. Something I have never seen before. What they sell in the store are options for you such as the scissor or can opener designed to be used with your left hand. There are host of other items. They had a lot of merchandise with an interesting tag line. 

 “I am left-handed and I am always RIGHT”. 


This post has been contributed by one of our very frequent storytellers Piya Mukherjee and was originally published on her personal blog. Little did we know about any discrimination on the choice of hand. The store for the left handed makes it an interesting find. Is there an interesting fact in your life that you would want to share with us ? Is there a place such such as this store that you would like tell us about ? Please do. We are also eager to hear.
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