On Tubby Legs and Heavy Hearts

•July 9, 2013 • 16 Comments

I watched a video on Upworthy today. A video about Dustin Hoffman on his character in the film ‘Tootsie’. I’m sure it was shared somewhere on your Facebook walls or Twitter timelines.

If not, here it is — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPAat-T1uhE

Watch it again, if you haven’t already.

Now, I haven’t blogged here in a very, very long time, but today, this moved me to immediately pen down my thoughts.

Mr. Hoffman, at one point in the video, says he couldn’t believe that he wasn’t more attractive when he was made-up to look like a woman. For me, this hit the proverbial nail right on its narrow-minded head.

I’ve struggled with weight and self-esteem issues for as long as I can remember. Apart from being a skinny toddler, I’ve always had the chubbiest cheeks, the tubbiest legs and the dimples on my elbows that so many kids in school seemed to lack.

Back then, it was cute. I was pampered and smothered with love. People would stop my mum on the street and comment on how adorable I was.

Now, as I face the problem of being overweight, it’s not so cute anymore.

I have no excuses to make for my weight, and I don’t choose to look for any. Simply put, I love food. I love everything that is bad for me and I lack the willpower to say “no” on a regular basis. But I don’t think that’s stopped me from leading a happy, relatively active lifestyle. I travel a fair bit, I run around for meetings all day and I rarely turn down an invitation to go dancing. The problem is that I’m constantly afraid of what I look like.  If I dress up at home before a night out, I feel like I am pretty, until I step out on to the street. I look at the dresses women around me wear, and the fact that they can flaunt parts of themselves that I’d never dream of inflicting upon the general public.

Many times, I’ve tried to combat this feeling. I’ve worn knee-length shorts to Bandra and received strange looks on my way. I’ve worn an off-shoulder top and been asked to change, by my parents.

I’ve been out with friends and heard people say, “Dekh dekh, kitni moti hai”, as I’ve walked past them.

I’ve run into people from school all over the city, and a fair number (not all) of them have said the exact same thing – “You’ve not changed at all! Still fat!”

Once, I’ve been told that I must “be so funny because I have to compensate for my weight.”

It’s come to a point where I recently refused to go to an event that asked you to “Flaunt Your Back”, partly because I was terrified that I’d be the only one who wasn’t able to bring herself to actually do it.

I’ve always had skinny friends, and, when we go shopping, I stand and look at jewellery while they rummage through the latest collections, because there’s no way I’ll get clothes my size.

I go to a tailor to get a lot of my clothes stitched, and I never tell people that because I’m embarrassed. Instead, I’ll “forget” where that shirt is from, or say, “My mother bought it.”

My favourite instance, though, was when someone who used to follow this very blog many years ago, got talking to me and asked if we could meet. I agreed, semi-reluctantly, and we went to a neighbourhood coffee shop. I was having a good hair day, and I wore my nicest top and jeans. I reached five minutes early and occupied a prime spot. 

As I waited for this person (Let’s call them “A”) to show up, I nervously checked if my kajal was smudged. just then, someone who i suspected could be “A” walked in, looked at me and walked out.

I was too nervous and shy to say anything, so I sat and waited. “A” sat at a nearby table. We both ordered cups of coffee, drank them and left, without saying a word to each other.

I messaged “A” later that night, after hours of toying with my phone and dealing with feelings I was unable to completely process. The reply to my question, “Where were you?” was, “I came in and saw you. But you were very different from what I expected. So I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can be friends.”

Instead of letting it go, I pushed for a clarification. In no uncertain terms, “A” messaged back – “You’re too fat. I’m sorry.”

Now, I’m not saying this to garner pity or anything of the sort. I’m not looking for you to say, “Awwww, you poor thing”, nor am I pretending that there’s nothing I can do about this.

But this isn’t my point. 

As I watched this video, it hit me – I’m conditioned to believe that, just because I’m overweight, I am not beautiful. I am not someone you’d chat up in a bar, nor am I someone you’d claim to have a crush on.

It’s me, more than anything – I refuse to accept compliments under the guise of being coy. I immediately discount the fact that I could be remotely interesting to anyone, because, hey, look at me.

I am blessed to be surrounded by close friends who’ve never made me feel the pinch, so to speak. They’ll sit by quietly as we slowly suffocate to death due to lack of space in a rickshaw and move the table a little further away from the seat when I have to get up at a restaurant.

I guess, at some level, I’m just writing this to say, we all face this everywhere. No matter who we are and what we do, we will always find imperfections within ourselves – some obvious, some invisible to anyone else.

After watching this video today, I find myself sitting here with tears streaming down my face, because, even though so many years have passed, “A”‘s text still rings in my head every time I check myself out in a mirror, or look at photos of myself.

I will probably never feel beautiful or attractive. No matter how my body changes over the years, there will always be something to nitpick about, and, to be honest, I don’t know how I will ever combat it, and if I’ll ever be able to move past this negative body image.

It will always come as a genuine surprise when someone tells me they think I’m pretty, and I will never be able to positively respond to such a statement.

But, I will try. 

Will you? 

Anatomy

•September 15, 2012 • 2 Comments

This started out as a conversation about being tired and feeling the need to cuddle up to someone, and led to me thinking of all the intimate connections you make when you lie in bed next to someone; be it a friend or a lover. 

It’s been a very long time since I wrote, so this may make no sense in a couple of days. But, I’m happy. Happier.

[Note: I don’t know why the paragraphs aren’t reflecting. 😐 ]

Anatomy

Colours merge as we do,

Entangled; our toes tracing lazy patterns,

Making wavy lines across blemished skin,

Tarnished with scars from battles

Misshapen forms, yearning to be heard.

Noses rub against each other,

Breathing in scents of the day we’ve spent

The streets, the drudgery,

The wars won and lost,

The faint scent of that morning’s perfume, buried in the hollow of your neck.

Chests rise and fall, as we murmur incoherently to each other

Our intimacy, reflected by the mundane details we reveal

What you had for breakfast; what the office whore wore,

Closer and closer they move, as gaps are bridged

Comfortable silences and hushed giggles course through our veins.

Lips, pouting and widening as the mood shifts,

A gentle finger repeats outlines of the curves of your mouth

Repeatedly, so as to be able to recall every detail at will

An errant chuckle escapes you

A curl up at its corners, like punctuation marks.

Hands, casually thrown over each other,

Stopping to feel a quickened heartbeat

Intertwined, made to fit so naturally, as if by no mere coincidence,

Falling back into place, searching for spaces between another set of fingers

Animated, thoughtful, tender.

Feverishly scrambling over words, gestures, moments,

Tendrils of hair fall carelessly over meticulously arranged limbs

The last of the words have been spoken; the last sigh—set free,

Watch as we surrender; with amber tainting our cheeks

Finally, a perfect fit.

I want to be 16 again.

•October 20, 2011 • 7 Comments

I want to be 16 again.

Not because I liked the people I hung out with then.

Not because I particularly miss who I was.

Not because that was the best year of my life.

I want to be 16 because of how it felt to throw myself into whatever came my way–surrendering myself to a situation, without thinking about expectations, implications or anything beyond that moment. The moment where it felt like the right thing to do.

I want to be 16 because I could run away from things–my friends, my problems, myself.

I want to be 16 because then, a shopping trip to Colaba made everything better. Old Monk was still new and exciting, as were Gokul and Janata.

A lot of amazing things have happened to me over the last two years, but I can’t seem to shake the feeling that somewhere, I’ve lost something that made things less complicated.

It’s ironic, because now’s the time for me to say, “I don’t like drama. I don’t like complicated situations.” Yet, the fact that you’re expected to not have expectations bogs me down.

I want to have experienced a little less hurt, so that I’m not scared if I see that a pattern might, just might be repeating itself. I want to be able to fall again and again and pick myself up, moving on–stronger.

I want all these things, but to be honest, if I did manage to attain all of that, I’d still be unhappy.

I guess that’s something else to think about.

My girl.

•February 9, 2011 • 6 Comments

My girl would never have done something like this.
She would never have paraded around the neighbourhood in those clothes, inviting all the boys to look at her- making a spectacle of herself.
I’d never have let her.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

This one looked so much like her. Had she had those shoes as well?
Yes.
I bought them for her when she’s turned 16.
My girl.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

“So, where do you live?”
“This is a fancy neighbourhood. What does a guy like you need to do this for? You seem like a catch!”
____________________________________________________________________________________________

The same curly black hair.
The same long eyelashes- like in one of those advertisements for make-up.
The same eyes- looking up at me trustingly…
____________________________________________________________________________________________

“Don’t worry about it! But I’ll still need…Oh, yes, I see it. Thanks.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________

The same eyes- looking up at me trustingly.
My sweet, innocent little girl.
I’d never have let any harm come to her.
She was all mine, to hold.
Her long arms, entwined around my neck as we danced that night.
Her laugh, as I told her exactly what I’d planned for her- a life with me.
We’d be each others’ friends forever.
We’d never, ever need anyone else.
Her lips- slightly moist, quivering ever so slightly, inviting.
Her voice- with its many moods.
Her clothes- still in her room, smelling of freshly cut flowers- smelling of her.
Refreshing, young.
My girl.
Forever.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Disclaimer.

•February 8, 2011 • 1 Comment

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably already noted a pattern in my writing. A theme- an…interest.
If you’ve just dropped by for the first time, I’m now doing what I probably should have done a while ago.
A disclaimer.
This work is complete fiction. I observe people, read books and watch films that interest me. Then, some days later, I think about these things and,because I have an inherent interest in the slightly morbid and macabre, attempt to flip a situation on its head- add a twist, explore an entirely different thought process to a seemingly minute action, or add a dash of the dark to an everyday situation.
All this work is original, and merely inspired by things I see, hear and read.
My next piece is called ‘My Girl’. In keeping with my favourite style of writing, I’ve left it a little untied. I thought about this after watching ‘The Girl Next Door’- based on Jack Ketchum’s book of the same name.
I hope you enjoy it.

Now Playing.

•January 27, 2011 • 2 Comments

Now that I’m officially unemployed (and looking, potential recruiters!), I’ve had the chance to listen to a lot of great music! Thanks to Fabian Beckett, someone with an extremely interesting choice in music, coupled with endless YouTube surfing, here’s a list of 15 tracks I’ve been listening to:

Little Dragon- Twice.
Such a chilled-out vibe. Lean back, close your eyes, and let her dulcet tones wash over you.

Lady Antebellum- Need You Now.
When you can’t help missing him/her, and you know music will probably be the only thing that helps.

Jessie J-Price Tag.
I like the ‘cha-ching cha-ching’ and ‘ba-bling ba-bling’.
Oh, and it’s philanthropic too.

Example- Kickstarts.
The young professional’s ‘Whip Your Hair’.

Cylsound and The Drill- Get Drilled and Work.
Filthy, filthy.
Rawr.

ROA- Ne Place (Nay Pla-chay)
He’s Romanian, and he’s awesome! Ioana and I heard this on the radio when I was in Bucharest, and it was love at first note. Definitely worth a listen.
P.S: Ne Place means ‘We Like It’.

Smiley- Love Is For Free
Cheesy name, cheesy song, but I love it.
Sue me, I’m all warm and mushy inside.
(He’s Romanian as well)

Russian Red- Loving Strangers.

From the soundtrack of ‘Room in Rome’

It’s a beautiful song, and if you haven’t watched the film yet, go.
Go.

Eliza Doolittle- Pack Up.

Paloma Faith- Upside Down (just because ‘New York’ is old now).

I always said I was born in the wrong decade, but with this kind of music, it doesn’t seem so wrong. 🙂

Lowkey- Something Wonderful.
*Gasp* He’s NOT singing about wearing fancy clothes, driving a fancy car and banging hot women in clubs!
Hallelujah.

Duck Sauce- Barbara Streisand.
This is the original:

And then they ‘Duck Sauce’d it:

Dennis Ferrer- Hey Hey.
I only just heard this, and it’s growing on me.
Whaddaya think? *Russell Peters face*

David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland- When Love Takes Over.
A club. Your closest girl friends. Screaming the chorus in each others’ faces. Feeling the thump of the beat under your feet, in your heart, up in your head.
So much fun.

Now, I know I’ve reached 15, but Boney M doesn’t count, and anyway, you’ll be so glad I cheated.

Dan Balan- Chica Bomb.
Once again, Ioana introduced me to this. And I will be eternally grateful.
As a friend of mine put it, ‘This is one of those videos you can watch without needing to listen to it’.
Mmmmm hmm.

Lastly, for all you freeware junkies reading this, have you heard of http://www.zamzar.com?
It’s a website that allows you to input the URLs of YouTube videos and convert them to .wav, .mp3 and a variety of other video and audio formats.
If you know of something better than this, let me know, but I use this for the time being, and it’s awesome.
If the beginnings and endings irritate you, you can always download Audacity and chop ’em out.
That’s all for now, folks.
Happy listening!
P.S: What are your favourites? It could be anything.Classics, songs I may never have heard of, or something we can gush over together. Let me know. Really. Anything.
Just not heavy metal, pliss. It gives me a headache and then I feel old. 😦

Cynicism.

•January 2, 2011 • 5 Comments

I don’t like who I’m becoming.
Everyday, I feel like I’m losing a little piece of myself- the job hunt, a general sense of failure. A sinking feeling that, just maybe, I won’t achieve the things I want to.
I hope it’s temporary, but the growing cynic in me begs to differ.
There’s so much uncertainty surrounding me now. When I think of myself a year ago, the world was my oyster. I could have done ANYTHING. Been anyone.
Now, I just feel like anything will do, but I don’t want to settle. I’m stuck in a vicious cycle of irony.
2010 has been a very interesting year.
A very important relationship ended, but it’s for the best. I will always believe he is a great guy. We just didn’t fit.
I met someone else, but learnt how mixed cultures can interpret ‘taking the next step’ SO differently.
I made some amazing friends, but I’ve seen that sometimes, the tiniest little slip on someone’s part can change my impression of them forever. I’m not a very forgiving person.
Maybe this is just a rant. It’s not how I want the new year to begin. Some amazing things happened last year as well. I travelled, made a documentary, got some fantastic work experience and learnt a lot about myself.
Maybe 2011 won’t be such a bitch.
I do know, however, that it’s time to take the rose-tinted glasses off. Again.

 
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