December 10, 2007

Weighty matters

Dekha hai pehli baar, gaadi pe unt savaar...

My first 'fishpond', and it pretty much sums up most my formative years, right till graduation. I was your average gawky gal, all long legs and arms and clumsy and awkward. A bag of skin and bones move gracefully? Scientifically possible? Nah!! Being called 'Lady Amitabh Bachhan' when walking down the street, or nicknames like 'Lambu'? Every girl's dream!! To add to my misery, till 9th standard, I was one of the tallest students in my class - the only guys who outstrapped me had a good 2-3 years' headstart on all of us.

It was a nightmare for my grandmother. 'Thin', 'scrawny' granddaughters?! Sacrilege!! So, my granny declared war. But none of her efforts- read shoving rich food down my throat- however, payed off. Actually they made matters worse for me, coz it started the phase of ghee-soaked dosas, chappatis and rich sweets. At that point of time, the subtle laws of nutrition escaped me, and I downed pretty much anything that was termed 'fattening'. But to no avail. My granny took it as a personal insult that her granddaughters looked like they were starved or deprived. So, the binge eating continued.

Then something wonderful happened. Degree college. Suddenly, I was popular, and the girls were envious of my weight - or the lack thereof. Overnight, the bane of my life, became my identity in college. I mean, I was the tall, 'slim' girl. 'Slim' !!
Finally!! 'Slim', not 'thin'. It was a shock. For almost an year, I didn't know what hit me. The two things I had been ashamed of since I was a kid, the things because of which I was teased mercilessly, and was one of the 'back-benchers' - those two things were now gaining me approval. My slouch slowly disappeared. Girls were coming up to me and asking how I kept myself 'in shape' and wanted diet tips. Diet tips?! From me? Well, the then-naive me, obviously told them the truth. But come on, who wants to hear about five-dosa-breakfasts and anything-goes diet when all they are hoping for is the miraculous, easy way to lose weight? What followed were tales of martyrdom, and monologues whose gist was that I had it easy. Some even went as far as calling me ungrateful and telling me how I 'lucky' was. At that point, I thought, well here are some of the gals whom I have envied and what were they doing: they were jealous of me!! Talk about a weird, screwed-up world. In all fairness, I guess most of what they said was in a haze brought on by low blood sugar caused, no doubt, by starvation diets and food-hallucinating minds. In retrospect, I should have ignored the comments, but then, that is the beauty of retrospect.
Anyway, confused at the new-found approval, I went through a phase in which I actually lost weight. I couldn't find a single soul who even wanted to understand that I was on the same situation as them - weight was the problem. But for them, I was the enemy!! Bitching about the fact that she is thin!! Imagine!! Who is she kidding?? She just wants to make us feel bad!!

Anyway, the whole weighty-thing required time to digest and adjust. I decided that all this obsessing with weight was a never-ending journey and really pointless. I started reading up on nutrition and moderated my food intake. Oh, some vices remain, like chocolate in any form, pastries, ice cream. Yum!! But I neither watch my weight nor diet. I wouldn't give anything to put on weight. I don't mind how I look, in fact, I love it.

The problem, I think, lies in our mind and not our bodies. I call it the 'obsessive perfection disorder'. And it goes to both extremes, shedding and putting on weight. In the race towards looking perfect. The adage of the grass being greener on the
other side, I think, comes into play every day into almost everything. I have finally made peace with my 'problem' and am satisfied with how I look but I wouldn't mind any change either; weightier or otherwise. For me, more weight or less, I
couldn't be more perfect.


Anonymous said...

"The problem, I think, lies in our mind and not our bodies." is what you wrote. How true. So, you could set your mind to liking Mumbai. -- Papa


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