Friday, June 18, 2010
Reading Manasa's Blog this morning brought home certain aspects about our lives and the Communities we belong to.Here having experienced only the Indian outlook I'll just assume that other Societies too are the same----and all this goes under the heading "Humour"!!!Bah and Nah to this Classification!!!
I don't know why most of us see only others as being either overweight or fat----don't we look into a mirror and see ourselves?Maybe we need Mirrors like the one Snow White's Step Mother had----one when asked "Mirror,Mirror on the Wall---who is the FATTEST of us all?"-----pat would reply "You"!!!!I am at a total loss to understand the root cause of these malevolent tendencies---petty Jealousies,Inferiority Complexes or just plain Maliciousness???Whatever it is----it hurts one somewhere deep inside---acknowledge it or not and more often shakes one's basic Security and Confidence----creating unnecessary complexes.
I have seen both sides of the Picture---I was very thin and scrawny before my Marriage and at that time I was labelled as a "Stick" or worse" a Starving Specimen from the Drought ridden area"-------later after both my daughters were born and I gained oodles of weight---touched 105kgs. in fact in 1989-----every adjective that defined being Fat was thrown at me---by people maybe slightly trimmer than me but otherwise falling in the same category!!!
My sister Ritu is another one who's had to live with this well meaning "humorous" jibes.She's 5'9" tall and weighs around 85 kgs.now---she used to be 105kgs.too---was a big baby with a broad, heavy bone structure giving the impression of being "huge" ----compared to the average petite sizes of Indian women. She was ribbed all the time being at the recieving end of such jibes from all and sundry all through her babyhood, childhood,adolescence and adulthood.After my father's death my mother and sisters stayed with me for 2 years till the Flat Mummy'd bought was ready.There were these boys in our Compound---a year or so older than Ritu---who'd tease her with catcalls and snide jibes in the Compound as well as on the Street.One fine day Ritu just stood squarely in front of them,looked them in the eyes and asked them whether they were supplying her her meals?If not,they had no right to talk-----next time she warned them--she'd slap them hard---and seeing their puny physical attributes---they'd definitely be licking the dust if she did that!!!!That done she sailed home majestically wih her head held high---leaving them gaping open mouthed after her!!!Needless to say--that was that!!!!That the experience was humiliating and painful is understood.
Most of us thanks to this---- focus too much on the Physical appearances and attributes----your Intelligence,your Knowledge,your Education----all gets trashed under this heading of "Good Humoured Ridicule" and "Loving Familiarity" and only those so called Minus points get highlighted instead!!!!We begin to concentrate on "Appearances" and develope problems like Anorexia and Bulemia----instead of concentrating on Healthy Food underline the Unhealthy tendencies instead.We become obsessed with various Dieting techniques and harm ourselves unnecessarily.Some learn to live and come to terms with this from early life like Ritu----while some who are just marginally chubby are targetted too by such people---I have come to the conclusion that this in itself is a Compliment----because it underlines the fact that despite our "Weight" we have that special illusive Charisma and can still give those who consider themselves "God's Gift to the Human Race" a run for everything they have---and still come out the WINNERS!!!
So 3 Cheers for all of us who have been treated thus
"HIP HIP HOORAY"!!!!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sounds drift across my Consciousness
Stirring my relaxed and supine Senses
I lie back and experience the sensation
Luxuriating in just being here,now, Alive
So much to be Grateful of,to give Thanks for
So much to do,to Experience,to Share
So much to Delight in,Enjoy and Appreciate too
Each single Instance is new,Unique and Rare
The simple fact that Life is this Moment, Now and Here
Time goes by inexorably forward, never to Return
Life is a Silent River flowing on,at times Muddy, at times Clear
The Wheel of Events is irreversible in it's every Turn
Stringing together all those invaluably precious Memories
Like a myriad shimmering Jewels in my reverent Clasp
I lock these away in the Treasure Trove of my Mind
Lest they slip out like Quick Silver from my Grasp!!!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Basically I feel Indians specially the women are an inhibited lot.since the time we are born we are taught the "proper" etiquette and to conform----anybody who raises a question is termed a "rebel" and gradually pushed to one side-----natural impulses are either subdued or controlled.Each one of us has pet peeves---most of these are connected to our appearances and social behaviour.My parents came from a comparitively broad minded back ground and so there were not much restrictions on me till I started School----it was the Nuns who made me aware of the "Good" and "Bad" aspects of being a girl.
The word "Ladylike" applied to everything---the way one walked, stood,sat,ate----there was a ladylike way of wiping your face----you just didn't scrub it dry!!!
This new education led me to the awareness of my body---it's shape,it's bad points----which according to me far out weighed the good----and in turn this awareness led to creating inhibitions where none existed.As I grew older,the self awareness and the self criticism grew stronger.For me my body was far from perfect------I was thin,gangling and wiry,flat chested but had a paunch and heavy hips------this was my perception of my shape----therefore far from perfect!!!!I never wore Pants or Jeans or tight Dresses because I felt these accentuated my weak points----preferring instead the full gathered Skirts,flowing Kameezes teamed with tight Churidars----my legs were my plus point according to me!!!!I felt that my nose was too big for my face and my face itself too square!!!I have a cleft chin---a very pronounced one and high cheekbones----which I felt gave my eyes an almond shape----making these look small and slightly slanted---when I really wanted huge eyes----like most Indian actresses those days had!!!My hair was another cause for worry-----each hair was very fine but the growth was extremely thick and long!!!We used to plait our hair in two plaits which would then be folded and tied up with bows of Black ribbons---we called these "Cocker Spaniel's ears"!!!My up turned plaits reached my waist and would rise up an inch on both sides of my hair parting-----causing Mother Marcia-----our Mother Superior----to ask me to open my plaits and drag a comb through these---she suspected I'd back combed my hair to get that Bird's nest look!!!I looked like a witch for the remainder of the day----Mummy used to plait my hair everyday---I didn't know how to!!!!
We were taught the basic "musts" of behaving in a proper manner---the extremely traditional and conservative atmosphere surrounding the School added to the strict discipline we adhered to within it's precincts.From here I went to a Girls College--only for Girls!!!This was the place where I was initiated into the basics of personal care----waxing my arms and legs,plucking my eyebrows and mustache-----the fact that my arms and legs were unwaxed made my situation so pitiable thanks to the "smart" students surrounding me---I literally came home and wept!!!!Mummy went out and bought 3 bottles of Hair removing cream---and next day I went back to College with silky smooth hairless limbs!!!It was a painful brush with the grown up World---and I wanted to crawl back into my safe School years-----College was a pain!!!I was very dissatisfied with everything---my body,my face,my hair------and regular hair removal from my limbs was an added pain----nothing was the way I wanted it to be!!!
Marriage to Sudhir was Godsent---he was very good for my ego----he loved the way I looked,he was obsessively possesive about me and after a long time I became the central focus in someone's life again!!!His support made me start becoming comfortable with being ME------I began developing and gaining a personality of my own and though didn't lose all my awkwardness---did acquire a fair amount of polish.I have always been very inhibited while mixing in a mixed male-female crowd---I either talk too much or not at all!!!!I'm very conservative and my dress code is totally old fashioned for myself----I wear long,loose Sari blouses with lots of safety pins holding the "Pallu" of my loosely draped Sari in place----or I wear loose high necked Salwar Kameezes---loose enough to hide my sizeable paunch!!!Wearing clothes that accentuate my non-existent curves is not for me---I hate to overflow any of my garments!!I used to be very sensitive about everything---never wore Chiffons after putting on weight though I adore them because I thought these emphasised my bulges.All this changed in 2002---the Dengue put me at the mercy of the Nursing Staff----I was undressed and sponged by them without any heed being paid to my requests of needing to be covered up---some of my discomfort melted away.The next step was the Cancer Surgery-----every time I went for a check up tossing off the Kameeze was the done thing----not wearing a bra was another!!!Finally the Heart Attack melted the ice completely----today I'm a pro at doffing my clothes---I have a paunch---so what?A big butt---so what??I'm fat and chunkily chubby--so what???To the Doctors and Nurses I'm just another scrap of humanity---a very large one--- who needs their TLC and that's that as far as they're concerned!!!!
I realised that my physical side was of no consequence---it was my shell not ME---so I began to make an effort to accept and then like my physical attributes---and slowly these ceased to matter.Today my physical shortcomings are no longer a point of pondering over----I have learnt to be comfortable with myself and my appearance.Today if someone says I walk like an Elephant I tell myself that I'm majestic---I tower up above the rest of the minions down below!!!
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