Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Crossed posted from The Daily O


Have you ever had trouble meeting people? Have you ever wondered how to approach them? Do you struggle with conversations starters? Hold the phone. Do not dial the nearest communication skills class. Just put on five or six kgs. Actually about 20 ought to do it.
Nothing draws complete strangers to you like a little extra weight does. Chubby cheeks or a butt with a personality is like sugar to ant to the nearest aunty. Who just happens to have a miracle bhopla juice recipe on hand, designed to melt all your fat and drain it out in your pee. Because, obviously anyone fat, must be dying to lose weight. Specially if she's a woman.
This, because there's so much danger a fat woman can get into. She can "NOT HAVE BABIES." She can "FEEL DIPRES". She can HAVE NO FRIENDS. In fact, according to most people, being fat is the equivalent of shaving your head and having a penis tattooed on one side and an STD disclaimer on the other. Or owning two pet cobras who you regularly take for walks on matching pink leashes.
Take for example a regular, harmless visit to the supermarket. You pile your cart with the usual sabji-chawal-heart-healthy-oil-weekend-Maggi-noodle-Harpic combination. But as your hand reaches for the buy-one-get-one-ice-cream party pack, you sense a movement from the diaper aisle. You look up and see an old woman shaking a quavering finger, moving her head from side to side in an ominous "no."
"Just trying to help," she explains in the check-out line, "such a young pretty girl like you…" I like to call this the "With Love from Grandma" Approach.
Then there is the "But I Got My Medical Degree in Two Weeks" approach. "Any problem?" they will ask solicitously, "Just looking at you…" (accompanied by a suspicious two handed gesture that roams over your entire aura) "I feel like… like… it's glandular! Must take tests my girl!"
There's also the "Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink" (NNWW) Approach. "More of you to love eh?" they will say, jocularity and humour brimming over as they bump hips or even stomachs with you. "Yes! Yes!" you're compelled to say by that glint in their eyes that is longing for you to GET THE JOKE. And then you have to laugh uproariously and wink-wink back, while secretly thinking: what does that make a tall person? Or a skinny one? Or God-forbid, a dark one? Is there a special way to love them?
My personal favourite is the "Nostradamus" Approach. You know the kind. You may have met them during a pregnancy, a job interview or during an attempt to cook a meal. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!" they will shriek. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING?!" they will slump back, shaking their head in despairing acknowledgement of this hopeless world we live it. "You will find it very hard. Very hard."
And then, just to prove how nice they are, after telling you in different ways that the way you look is unacceptable to them, they will follow it up with the Logical Apology, "Don't feel bad. I'm simply saying."
Simply saying. I immediately forgive them. Because they are merely exercising their right to say what they feel. Nothing personal.
Or, the Taking One for the Team Apology, "See, if I don't tell you, nobody will."
Or, the Nostradamus Apology, "When you become slim, you will be soooooo beautiful."
And then, they will grow wings and float away on a cloud of shimmering fairy-dust, in silky white nighties and stars coming out of their beatifically smiling mouths. SAVING A FAT WOMAN. If you manage one a day, you can skip pooja, meditation and feeding the poor.
mentSo, here's my advice. Stock up on the sugar and the junk food. Ditch your gym routine, and get to the shape everyone loves to talk to. And watch your social life soar.

Original post here 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Love Yourself. And the Sanity Will Melt Off You Like Butter

Written for the Daily O

The new fat woman gyan is, "You have to love yourself. The weight will just drop off you like butter." As confusing, contradictory and downright mental this advice sounds, it's the most common cheerleader chant you will hear when the race is a lung-crushing waddle-wobble towards size zero, or at least size one-less zero and the champion is the woman who didn't eat an entire cheesecake at one sitting.
Telling a fat woman she has to love herself is like telling people that Jesus was a nice man. Yes. Agreed. OK. Yes. ENOUGH ALREADY, you're not letting me listen to the sound of my jaws making like Godzilla on this cookie making like a high-rise apartment building in NYC! Learning to love myself. If only they had a class on that in school.
It would sure beat muhavare with Mrs. Mathur any day. But, like every other fat woman, I know for a fact, that once I lose weight, every single problem in my life will suddenly get solved. Being thin, will undo all the wrongs. Like the time my script didn't get selected. (If I was hot, my client would like my film.) Or the time my kid didn't get in to the school I had my heart set on. (If I was hot, they would totally choose me child.) 
+So hey! If loving myself is all it takes, I can totally do that. I start by saying "I love you" to myself in the mirror but get distracted by the enlarged pores on my face. They're so huge, I mull, that they can be seen from Google Earth. So then I decide to be kind to myself. But that seems to demand that I serve myself huge helpings of dessert.
Finally, I realize, in a brain wave that destroys five cities, splashes Pluto and then comes and settles in a dripping mass on my head, I SHOULD MAKE A LIST.
 1. I love myself because I'm so fat that if a snake bites me, I will be able to survive longer than if I was thin.
The End.
I write letters to myself but stop believing them when the urge to write fiction takes over and I have myself jumping from building to building in a bikini. I practice The Secret and stick up huge cutouts of my face on J. Lo's body but have to take them down when the maid begins to give me a wide berth.
I ask my friends to put down nice things about me but then, they're my friends, they always say nice things about me. Loving myself leads to a five kilo weight gain and a nasty lipstick mark on my mirror than smudges but can't be removed. Finally it hits me! I need to hate myself. Step one....