Are you left-handed? Have you ever faced any kind of difficulties just because being left-handed? Today is the International Left Handers day and PRINCE FREDERICK discusses some challenges that come in the way of left-handers.

Ninety-three per cent of the human population is right-handed. And those who rely on the other hand are often uncertain about their place in this right-handed world, where everything, from scissors to writing desk, has been designed with right-handers in mind. The left-hander is treated as if he does not exist. To make amends for the suffering caused to lefties through the year, a day is set aside for them — August 13, called International Left Handers’ Day.

The day is used to spread awareness about the challenges surrounding left-handedness and also make the lefties feel great about themselves. In the West, ‘left-handed compliments’ are the order of the day and activities and places (such as pub) are redesigned to favour lefties.

Narrotam Kumar and Samudra Gupta, both left-handers, think lefties deserve this preferred treatment. Considering how much these two have adjusted to a right-handed world, this response is natural.

When he was with the National Cadet Corps, Narrotam was at a clear disadvantage. “As the bolt was on the right, all my right-handed counterparts found it easier to load the gun and shoot.” Now a management professional, Narrotam encounters other disadvantages. “Most computer mouses are made taking into account the shape and curves of a right hand. Using mouses was a problem until I moved on to laptops,” he says.

Samudra Gupta, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Blacklisted, says there are no guitars for the left-handed. Those that are made abroad come at a jacked-up price. A 19-year-old college student, Samudra is yet to come to terms with right-sided flap-style writing desks. During exams, these desks add to the problem of writing. When they are writing in languages (such as English) where the lines are written from left to right, left-handers have to adjust the position of their paper and wrist so as not to smudge the words. “Thanks to this adjustment, my writing is slowed down. I rarely complete an exam paper. During my Class XII Board exams, the English II paper was the only one I completed,” says Samudra.

He faces his worst ordeals in the social domain. “Using the left hand is considered gauche and ill mannered. At family get-togethers, elders admonish me when they see me eat with the left hand. Right-handed people do not understand that the left-hander is just as discriminating in the use of the two hands. The leftie uses his right hand for ablutions.”

While the leftie is handicapped in many areas, he is admired, even worshipped, in sports. In fact, a term is reserved for left-handed sportmen - southpaws.

Budding cricketer Shravan Krishnan is what you call ambidextrous — he bats left-handed and bowls with his right hand. “A left-handed batsman is looked upon with awe,” says Shravan, an 18-year-old all-rounder who plays for India Cements in First Division and has played for South Zone’s Under-19 team.

“As a bowler practises at the net, bowling mostly to right-handers, left-handed batsmen have an edge over their right-handed counterparts.”

There are fewer things more beautiful than a lefthand batsman on song. It is not surprising that David Gower is still the epitome of elegance in batting.

Left-handedness has surely contributed to the charm of the tennis stars John McEnroe and Rafael Nadal.

“Advantages and disadvantages go with both right and left handedness. It is an equal world where everyone has his rightful place, left or right,” says Narrotam.

Unknown Facts

According to a study, there are more left-handers among men than women

According to a theory, a left-hander’s brain can process multiple ideas at the same time

In many European languages, the root word for left-handedness denotes evil or clumsiness

In China, left denotes dominance and the male aspect of a personality