This might not be my best post but this is definitely one that comes straight from my heart. As the disclaimer goes, this post is based on true incidents but some examples are totally fictitious or exaggerated.
So, who is fat?
Please don’t look at me, I know the answer lies in some index called BMI and there’s some cut off and limits but all these are medical terms. When do you realize you are fat?
a. When you are loitering around with a group of girls and suddenly you encounter a weighing machine and then while all other girls are sighing and complaining of their weight loss, your heart is too afraid to pump blood to your brain and wants to elope.
b. While you are in a statistics class and the teacher talks about a data set comprising of weight of the students and you stare at him in anticipation of being declared an outlier on higher side.
c. When you buy a lot of chocolates and snacks for your friends at the college canteen and the regular guy at the cash counter blinks at his colleague standing beside him in a gesture that says, “I told you so, she eats so much. Perhaps we can give her a bulk discount.”
What do I think of myself?
To be honest, I searched a lot on the Internet how I should structure the flow and from this collective consciousness of the Universe, I found this particular viral meme and who does not want a free ride.
People ask me, “What have you done to yourself?” and most of the time, I am like, “What have you done to your sensibility?” I know I am on heavier side but I am as normal as my classmates are. I eat normal food and not junk food, I am not even a couch potato. I like moving around and the answer to the most common question now- “Yes, the lean and beautiful girl in the old pictures is really me and I do not have a twin sister. If you ask me the only reason I would like to reduce would be to get good clothes in the shops which either do not stock clothes for girls like me or there are too many girls like me.
What do my friends think of me?
I wish I could enter into their mind but yeah… I think these are the three attributes that on an average must have been passing through their brain:
a. Unfortunately, the depiction of fat people as comedians in movies and TV series has posed a major threat to fat people’s freedom to be serious. You might not know when your friends would taunt you for your extra kilos and before you can even fill your mouth with air of displeasure, they would laugh it loud saying that they were just kidding. You often tend to feel depressed because of your weight and in order to make yourself feel better, you sometimes crack jokes on yourself. But the problem is your best friends take your lightness so seriously that they start considering you as the butt of all jokes.
b. In his book, “Predictably Irrational”, Dan Ariely talks of decoy effect. According to Wikipedia, The decoy effect is the phenomenon whereby consumers will tend to have a specific change in preference between two options when also presented with a third option that is asymmetrically dominated. For example, if given the following options for a honeymoon – Paris (with free breakfast), Rome (with free breakfast), and Rome (no breakfast included), most people would probably choose Rome with the free breakfast. Ask why? It’s because people will get two options to compare which makes it easier for them to explain why they like Rome with free breakfast offer. Bingo! now I know why my friends request my company in parties and take hours to get ready while I am always in casual T-shirts.
c. Well, days are not the same always. Sometimes you feel so depressed that you want to jump out of the same window where you stand everyday and peep into your neighbor’s balcony. However, the moment you see a friend frantically trying to fit into jeans for one full hour, you take a deep sigh and tell your heart, “All is well.” That sadistic pleasure cannot be bought even by using American Express cards.
What do boys think of me?
Lolz… in 3 sweet little words: “Heroine ki saheli”- the sacrificial goat that toils a lot to get the heroine and hero together and is kicked out of the scene afterwards. (Disclaimer: No offence meant and no generalization, need to take these tequila shots with lemon and a pinch of salt). If ever boys include people like me in their dream sequence song, they give me a role similar to Kalki Koelchin in balam pichkari- that of a sidey.
There would be some guys who would give me a special place in their life, would love to share every nitty gritty of their life including their heart breaks and tears but I would never be able to put up in their heart because of two gate keepers- “The best friend” and “Just another guy”. Either I am just a good friend or else I am just a bro and not a girl at all.
One fine day in the marketplace- “Jaanu, am I fatter than that fat ugly girl staring at the books?” Although I was pretending to read, it was obvious to me, she was talking about me. “No sweetu, why do you think so? That girl is nothing compared to you.”
What do garment shop keepers think of me?
Challenge accepted! And then suddenly, the TV series and movies loving bhaiyas of local garment shops become a doctor. Glancing and analyzing you from head to toe, they become a consultant and can perhaps give you a tip or two: “ Didi ji, ye aise kurte na Bunty aur Babli me Rani Mukherjee pahanti thi, bahut jachega aap pe, ye jo aapka kamar hai na, ye acche se cover ho jaega. Sabse accha waise ye Prerna aur Kumkum style kurta hai lekin aapko chota hoga. Ye madam jo aapke saath aayi hain, inpe bahut better lagega.” This is the point where he subtracts his customer set by one. But even tailors don’t help much. After having a heated discussion for about half an hour, the tailor gave up and said, “madam, three quarters sleeves kahan se laun? Aapke kurte ka gherai itna bada hai ki haath k liye jagah hi nhi hai.”
What does society think of me? (This includes elder female relatives)
a. An advice seeking despo: You know what are the most abundant elements found in India? Not CHON (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen) elements but CHONA- CHON + advices
And then if you are fat, these advices come with complementary implementation plans too. Last time I visited my mom’s family, I found myself surrounded by a group of middle aged women who claimed they had tried everything under the Sun but the only method that works on the stubborn fat is the one that suits them and not that I am following.
b. A future Brahma Kumari maybe: On surveying 15 women present in the recent family gathering, I came to know that about 14 women said that the biggest concern that I should be having is that I would not be able to find a suitable match, would overwork, overeat and lose my mind and perhaps would leave all the worldly pleasures. By the way, the only one who had a different opinion is a doctor and felt the need to showcase her skills.
c. Baba Ramdev Junior: In order not to join Brahma Kumaris, I should follow baba Ramdev, do pranayam daily to get the best of three worlds- weight loss, spiritual joy and our culture.
And at last, the last nail in the coffin…
What does my mom think of me?
Why don’t you ask her? You know someone once said, “If you have a doubt that you are not good, talk to your mom, she would tell you that you are the best.” Perhaps, I am the only exception because I have the biggest problem on the earth, bigger than USA’s government shut down.
a. An eternal patient: Ever since I started putting on extra kilos of weights, my mom started reading extra pages of the magazines that claimed they have the home remedy for every problem and since then I am her favorite guinea pig. From having only 1 teaspoon of sugar in tea to drinking bitter gourd juice, I think I have become a veteran in this field.
b. A crack mind with a circuit board with NOT gates only: Now here I would like to state Newton’s First Law- Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it.” If our country provides freedom to expression, movement, religion, occupation etc then who knows may be right to eat also must be there but unless it’s not there I have every right to use a veto such irrational commands. And guess what, I have become a rebel suddenly and that’s what generation gap is.
What does it mean to be me exactly?
This is perhaps the most important and most overlooked question. It’s not about being fat or ugly or shy. I think it’s about how you see yourself. Whenever we are served with a bowl of soup, we either put salt, vinegar, sauce or chilly according to our taste. The world too goes with the same rule. It tries and would always try to change you as per its liking. I think it’s not even bad to change for people but only if you understand what are the things worth changing. And also, it’s good to change for loved ones but not a good thing if you are changing in hope of being loved. That’s why I am still fat but a lot happier than I always have been.