Thursday, 8 December 2016

I. Do Not Belong

The air was chilly. It was late in the night and I was coming back after being dropped by someone midway. Midway. I could feel the chill. But not the one that was around me, the one that was inside me. I don’t know when I started crying. I don’t know how long I cried. The only words that echoed inside me were these, ‘I do not belong’. ‘I do not belong’. I chanted it until all the salt inside me flowed out.

I do not belong to anyone, anywhere. I do not belong to people I call my own, to home I go everyday, to people I serve. I do not belong to the bunch of people I meet every now and then while sharing poor jokes and good alcohol. I do not belong to that one close friend I deeply care about and get intermittently cared in return. I do not belong to that last relationship, the ashes of which I still carry within me. I do not belong to those casual dates which, if nurtured could have meant something. I neither belong to that fling where lust overpowers sanity and self-respect, nor to that one night stand when I went with somebody I didn’t want to.

I do not belong to those chirpy coffee conversations about wedding planning with girlfriends or to morbid conversations about office politics. I do not belong to those lectures where I am moral policed and also to those freewheeling baseless talks when I am told I can achieve anything I want.

I am almost, always out of place. Almost, always I am somewhere I shouldn’t be, with people I don’t want to be around, doing things I don’t care about getting done, talking about things that don’t matter to me, living a fa├žade. And yet, yet I do not know why do I go along. When every fibre inside me wants me to stop trying to ‘belong’ somewhere, someplace.

Because. I. Do not belong.  


Monday, 14 November 2016

Vulnerable

It’s the tightness of the neck which tells me that something is wrong within. I pay attention to other signs. The heartbeat. As expected, it’s fast and loud. So loud that I fear others might hear it. Something strange tugs in the centre of my chest. Like fear beginning to grow strong.  My stomach is in knots. 

But what is the reason? I haven’t had any unpleasant incident today. What is it that is making me choke? I recall the day. One by one, I rewind the incidents, running my fingers over them, touching each one, pressing a bit, seeing if it pains somewhere, tasting the words others had spoken to me, trying to know if any of them tasted bitter or sour, tried smelling the incidents looking for the smell of foul intentions. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I could sense I was missing out on something by the way the thudding in my chest had become louder by now.

Words. It had to be words. I could sense it. I was hit by them. Always am. There is nothing that can affect me the way words can. Deep or shallow, curt or polite, warm or hurtful. It had to be words. They were my panacea. And they were my venom too.

I played the tape of events in my head again. Carefully going through each one them. And just as I had guessed. There they were. My own words. I tasted them in my mouth again. Ran my tongue over each one of them. Tried to flip it around. And they left an ashen taste in my mouth.  

Not because I had spoken something about anyone else. But they were about me. I had revealed something about myself to friends. The kinds you spend your time with by laughing on idiotic jokes and criticizing the people all of you collectively dislike. The conversation innocuously steered towards my insomnia. The way I deal with it. The way I could deal with it better by not spending my time reading. They asked questions. And I had to answer. I couldn’t steer the conversation towards somebody else. So there they were. Discussing me. In front of me.

While I was talking, there was a trigger inside which was asking me to do the damage control, to stop the conversation but I ignored it and now I am regretting. Nothing has happened yet due to my sharing something about myself and yet everything is so different. I feel raw, exposed. I feel vulnerable, weak. Like I am giving the power to other people to destroy me, even though the information might me trivial in their eyes. But to me, to me it’s like handing over a piece of myself and then giving them the power to trigger something that I cannot stop. Somehow, people make me feel vulnerable these days.

On the other hand, there are times when I write about myself and my life. On the blog and on social media. So one could say I am as such revealing myself. I agree I am. But that is the measured part, the harmless part. I am aware of every single word I put out there about myself. The vulnerability creeps in when I am questioned, discussed and probed. What if I say something that will let them know what I think, how I think, what I am going through? That’s the scarier part.     


Does it happen to you? Do you ever feel vulnerable when you share things?    

Sunday, 9 October 2016

I smell of..


I smell of longing and sweet nothings
Of passion in eyes 
Merging with those browns

I smell of a divided time
That I counted with my heartbeats
And a black watch

I smell of unsaid words
And written diary notes
After which I fidgeted a lot

I smell of fragility, beauty and everything I cannot undo
Then I remembered
That I smell of you.



Saturday, 10 September 2016

Friday Fictioneers - The Sewing Machine

Samar dreaded whenever Sandra would begin dusting the house. She would come to clean his study room which would trigger another argument about giving away this rusted sewing machine. He couldn’t make Sandra understand that it was precious. It was this machine on which his mother had sewn garments all her life to bring him up after his father left. Whatever Samar was today, he owed it to this machine and his mother’s deft hands on it. But for Sandra it was a blot on pricey interior decoration. He sighed and prepared for another exhausting discussion with his wife.




Written for the photo prompt for this week's Friday Fictioneers

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Terrible to be me

It has rained since morning. Or probably since last night. I woke up to a hazy Sunday afternoon. Distilled and quiet. The balcony is inviting. Shades of green around. My morning (afternoon?) cuppa beside me. I sit with a book, losing my sense of time. Glancing up occasionally at the beauty that only the combination of rain and silence can bring. The contradiction and yet the truth of this.

I choke almost. At something rising within my chest. A longing. A memory so fierce. For someone. Someone familiar? Maybe. Maybe not. Of wrapped arms and intertwined fingers. Of disillusioned realities and opaque dreams.
A longing that could pin you down for hours, or is it days? Who knows. I have already lost my sense of time, remember? Smoked out my rationality. The kind that brings a twinkle in your eyes so bright it could make the stars looks bland. All you hear is silence and your heartbeats. So loud that you fear he can hear them from where he is. Far far away from you. In every sense of the word.
And then maybe he would know what it is like to be me. But let me tell you darling. It is terrible, terrible to be me.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Cigarette Memories






Night sky burning with my vulnerabilities
I see my being rising up in flares
Slow at first
And then it sets ablaze
As I inhale 
Your words that meant a lot
And my naivety as an afterthought

The smoke of our moments inside my mouth
I clench them together
Till my eyes begin to sting
And mist begins to form in their crevice
As I try, I try
To imprison the hazy memories inside my lungs
They smolder me incapable
To breathe, to exist

A bond that ‘once’ was
Begins to seethe
And I choke on my gullibility
And your latent abilities

While I finally release you from me
Trailing behind is the ashen taste
Of bluntness that could nip associations

A bond that was envy of the town
Which now
Has slowly died a slow death

How I wish
Terminal worries too could be exhaled in thin air
Right there one moment
Becoming invisible the next one

A bond that was an intoxication
Left behind a bitter aftertaste
That scuffled with other senses
Blinding, effacing, burning
A ‘me’ a ‘you’ and maybe an ‘us’ too!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

And the sky bled purple

And the sky bled purple like her heart. Probably it weighed like her heart too. Maybe the sky was attached to earth. Somewhere, maybe, they mirrored each other. Somewhere, far away, in the corners of earth and near the expanse of the sky, they were alike. Maybe they were cold and withdrawn on the outside but warm in their insides. May be they were a collection of pieces from the same broken vase. Scattered far away from each other but they knew their connection. Maybe her heart was the sky. Scattered and shattered but was aware of its connections.

P.S. – The pictures above were clicked by me a few days ago. They are a bit hazy and do no justice to the breathtakingly beautiful riot of colours that day coz they have been clicked from my stupid phone camera.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Coffee date. With Myself and some untold stories

Wooden flooring. Wooden furniture. Muted colours and yellow lights. Sunday. Coffee date. With myself. And some untold stories.
Father and son in the diagonal corner. Quiet middle aged son and a cranky looking father. Giving life advices. Maybe finding faults in the way he has been working on his finances.

A newly married couple on their right. Their dewy eyes. The way her mehndi clad hands brush against his. Unknowingly. Or rather knowingly. The eagerness in him to see her eyes smile.
On the next. A college group of four. Too busy in their own selves. The only worry is attendance in the college enough to let them appear for the exam. Crushes. On friends. And teachers too. An overwhelming age. When everything seems possible. When your friends are your therapists and relationship experts.
Four friends again on the next table. Girl gang. Women who hold you at the time of your first heartbreak and also save you from your fashion disasters. Women who share the same impulse of buying shoes. May be bags too. Of choosing wrong guys as well? May be.
Farthest corner. Strangers. I can guess from the stiffness in their body language and also from the regular hot cappuccinos on the table. A chain marketing effort. There are pens and notepads. Ferocious scribbling. ‘For example, if you invest …’ a voice from that table.
Exactly opposite. An occasional look around the room. An occasional longing to hear what others are saying. But mostly in his own self. With his laptop and headphones. Like me. Probably a loner. Like me.
The place smells of coffee. And of untold stories. Only if you are keen to smell. The smell of brewing strong family bonds, of fizzy new love, of warm friendships, of promising business opportunities and of being complete in oneself.
Sunday. Coffee date. With myself. And some untold stories.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

I am my Heartbreaks

I am a collection of my heartbreaks. There is no single tragedy that has been strong enough to break me. It has been a series. Persistent and deep. One after another. Each one different from its predecessor. Each one teaching a harsher lesson than the earlier. Each one burying me deeper in my own self. Each one teaching me about my own strengths.
Image Courtesy: Google search

There was no pattern in this series of heartbreaks. Nothing was consistent. Except Me. I was the pattern and I was the one consistent.

I played it with all my heart. Every single time. There is nothing called moderate in my dictionary. The passion that can scare even my own self. Still I do not learn. Still I do not relent.

Heartbreaks. Where each one longed to be my last. Because it's the last one that gets the credit of breaking a person, isn't it? But there is room for more within me. There will always be room within me.

I am a collection of my heartbreaks. I stand drawing collective strength from my heartbreaks. I am my heartbreaks.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

‘So what does your dad do?’

You know what, it is burdening to lie every single time when somebody asks, ‘Oh, what does your dad do?’ After mumbling a few incomprehensible words, you hope and try and wish that the conversation steers in some other direction. Every single time, it feels as if I have committed a crime and I am hiding every aspect of it, trying to build stories around it and trying to sound as convincing as possible. Most of the times, I fail myself but hey, I haven’t been caught till date.


Today, I wanted to write some fancy poetry. Unfortunately I am bad at poetry and I don’t think I can put it in words what I feel right now. So I am just going with the flow. This entire month, fitness companies, bakeries, online shopping portals and many more have been bombarding my email account with gifts that can be bought for my dad. I go through every email diligently. Except for the fact that I can’t buy anything. I just cannot. Today. Father’s Day. Sunday. I open my Facebook as I do every day after I wake up. My timeline today is full of people uploading their pictures with their fathers, statuses wishing them and thanking them for whatever they have been to them. I close my Facebook after a few minutes. Tears rolling down my eyes don’t let me see it for a long time. I cry in the bathroom. I know if I cry in open, others will too. I also know somewhere they have cried too. So yeah, I cannot wish my dad, a Happy Father’s Day or put a status message or change my picture with him because he isn’t with us anymore. 14 years ago we lost him. To cancer. (Btw, Fuck you Cancer)

I do not remember what it is to have a father. I do not. In spite of the fact that I was 16 when we lost him. Still, I don’t. Except some glimpses of his sternness towards me all the growing up years and his not showing of emotions that he loved his children (Well, mom says he did and I will have to believe her I guess). I do remember his last months though. In the hospital and at home, seeing him get weaker by the day, losing him bit by bit every single hour, awaiting the doom that clawed its way into our lives minute by minute. And most of all, what I remember is hope. Hope that he will be better. He didn’t.

What followed was sympathy. Pretty obvious right? Except for the fact that I wasn’t ready for it. So, just after the first few days, when a close friend’s mother asked me what would happen to my school fees and that she could pay it for me because they do a lot of ‘charity’ as such, I decided there and then that I shall not reveal that my Dad is no more to anyone. And I have followed that till date. Except a few closest of the friends (seven to be precise) nobody knows this. So when I write this today, understand that it has taken immense amount of courage to come out about this.

I do not remember what it is to have a doting figure who will take care of all the things. I do not know what it is to not be worried about what will happen in future. I also do not know how to think that there is somebody at home who will solve all my issues, emotional, financial or anything else. Well, it is said that daughters are way too close to their dads. But. I do not know. That being said, it does not mean my father wouldn’t have done all this while I was young. This just means that I have a bad memory, may be because I was young and may be because I too have inherited his genes of not showing emotions to people around. (I write about them though. Don't know what he did)

I don’t know why I chose to write this post. I think it’s mostly because I haven’t been able to talk to anybody about this all these years and the burden sometimes gets on to me and most importantly I think I got overwhelmed by all the Facebook activity of dads on my timeline. Yeah, Facebook sometimes does that to you!

If you are reading this, here’s one thing I expect out of you. If you know me personally and have just come to know about this, please do not ask me awkward questions the next time you see me and most of all, please do not sympathize at all.

I sometimes think it was a decision taken in childish zest (I was sixteen. What else do you expect) Maybe that woman was really concerned or maybe it was just the tone of her voice that made me want to hide and not see such ‘charitable’ people again. But I stuck to my decision. Left school. Graduation. Post Graduation. Job. Bus friends. Random friends. Blogger friends. Acquaintances. I kept my word to myself. And kept on answering one awkward question after another. ‘So what does your dad do?’ My answer from now might be this, ‘He watches over us. Somewhere from far far above.’ Happy Father’s Day Dad !


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Spill Yourself Again

Searching for you
On those empty endless nights
Between blank paper stares
Hide and seek it used to be
Extinct you are completely
Talk, laugh, scream or cry in pain
But spill yourself again
Your creator anxious awaits
My dear muse
Where are you?



Saturday, 28 May 2016

Words

A nudge. Sometimes, that's all that is required. That it's about time you recede your steps. A hint. An incidence. A phone call. And a repetition of all that has broken you. And you begin to grow. Inward. Start your journey back. Give up the emotional cushion you had begun leaning on. Unintentionally though. Because you know better now. You aren't prepared for hurt again. So you know it's the best time. To retreat. Find comfort in things that don't treat you like an option.

Words. They have always been there whenever you have needed them. To heal you. To warm you. To soothe you. To cure you even. Always. Though you have been mocked, time and again for taking refuge in words. In fiction. In life away from reality.

Words. Because they mean much more to you than just some alphabets put together. They mean darkness inside you spilled out on paper so that some light can enter, at least. Because they mean solace. They mean preference. Because they are your words when you write them. And they are written for you when you are reading them.

Words. Because they mean the world. Because they don't treat you as an option. Because they are yours. And you are them.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Silence

A silence
That looms between us
Hanging around like summer air
Hot, humid and stifling
Relationship or not
Illicit or what
Melancholy hanging in the air
Hot, humid and stifling
I taste smoke on your lips
As your hands trace my silhouette
The silence still
Hot, humid and stifling
A joke here, a nugget there
The new music you heard
A good book that I read
A steely silence thereafter
Hot, humid and stifling
I seek the reasons of our togetherness
All I hear is silence still
Hanging around us
Like a dull ache

Hot, humid and stifling 


Saturday, 9 April 2016

30 and loving it

30. I turned 30 this week. To be true, I don’t even know why I am writing this post. Maybe it’s because 30 is a so-called milestone. Maybe because I am loving the idea of calling myself a 30 year old.  


When I sit to write a post, I always have an idea as to how I want the post to turn out to be. Today, I have none. So this is going to be my first unedited post. Yep. No cuts, no pastes, no edits. I write while I am still drunk on the thoughts of being 30.

Do I want this post to be something like - what wrong things I have done in my twenties? Or what lessons I learnt? May be the good times I had? The regrets of things not done? I have no idea. So I am just going to write whatever comes to mind. May be all of it. May be none. 

I also know that I am not going to be a changed person suddenly. I shall not suddenly start showing different personality traits. Because the changes in you as a person happen only when you are not looking for them. That’s what you call growing up I guess.

When I look at the last decade, all I see is naivety and passion. The naivety of believing in people and passion of loving them with all my heart. I lived the last decade with so much precaution. Doing all the right things. Behaving the way I was supposed to behave. Shielding my heart from hurt. A life without risks. A life with caution. But that’s the worst part of it. Even the life lived with least friction couldn’t stop me from getting myself wounded. I was broken and bruised, tired and tattered. I got hurt and didn’t walk for some time. But eventually I did. Eventually. One step at a time. 

Whatever I am today, I am because of the falls. And I wouldn’t trade my current self for my younger self at any cost. I don’t want to go back to being what I was. When I heard older ones say this, I used to laugh. Why would anybody not want their younger selves? I mocked thinking this was like the sour grapes incident. You can’t have your youth back? So why not say you don’t need it anymore.

But when I say this today that I don’t want to go back to being a younger version of myself, I say it with conviction that only comes with age. I know I sound like I am 60. But that’s the truth of it. I never thought I could write such a pensive post. I never thought I would write serious things about me on the blog. And yet I sit here doing the same.

I don’t wish to preach people in their twenties anything. We all know there are enough posts about the topic and some of them are really good. Plus I am not somebody who is good at advices. To each his own. That’s what I believe.

In the societal version of myself, I should have been settled in a marital bliss by now. But I am not. And I don’t regret it one bit. I know I would do that eventually but not because it is the right thing to do in the eyes of the society but because I would want to.   

If I had to say something to my younger self, it would be this.
  •  Read. Read whatever you can lay your hands on. Read because you are going to love it. Read because sometimes it would be the only thing that would save you from drowning. So read.
  • The second advice to myself would be this – Take risks. At the most it would turn out to be a wrong turn. But so what? It would at least add to the experience.
  • Travel a bit more. That’s one thing you haven’t done at all. So go for it.    

So if the above is what I wanted to do with my last decade, I hope I shall be able to do the same in the next. So when I sit down to write a post a decade later, I hope I would have followed the above and will have new advice to give to myself. That is of course if I am still around that time ;)

Now that I have given advice to my younger self, let me share some for my future self too. Like let me just say what I want to do next. I don’t know how much of it will actually work out, but still, here we go.
  •  Learn to express yourself. I know, that coming from a writer is weird. But yeah, I suck at expressing myself in person. Whether it’s expressing love or being assertive.
  • Be the badass that you have never been. Don’t take shit. Give it right back to those who deserve it.
  • Indulge yourself a bit. You’re worth it.  

 I don’t know if this post makes any sense to you. Its unstructured and all that.  I don’t know if it would make sense to me if I read it again some time later. All I know right now is that I am 30 and I am loving it ;)

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Lovers and The Leavers

The lovers who turn into leavers. The leavers who you try to take as lovers. You sometimes have an inkling from the very beginning that they aren't meant for you. That no matter how much they mean to you, you are never going to be as important for them. You see it coming. Their absence. Your expectations. And the combined hurt.

You probably have thought about it in your head. You think that you will survive through this too. After all you've seen worse. You've felt far more unwelcome in their life while you were with them. I mean how much could this hurt? How bad could it be? Maybe that's why you have prepared yourself for it. Rehearsed the whole scene. Tried to guess the reaction. Yours and theirs too.

Then why did you have that lump in the throat? Why did you have to reprimand yourself all the time to be strong. You wanted to feel that it wasn't hurting. But it actually was.

That's when you realize that no matter how much you prepare yourself for someone's leaving, you are never going to be prepared until the precise moment comes. That every person in your life leaves their impressions in you.

That every person who leaves, adds to the emptiness. That every time you find someone to distract you for a while is creating a bigger hole inside you.

That's when you start living the froth. Showing the foamy parts of you. The prettier version. All made up. Because you don't want anyone to see the hole. In the hope that one day, maybe even you would not be able to feel it. Maybe. Maybe someday.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Oh, you have a Government Job??? Aish hai ..

BlogAdda's Tangy Tuesday Pick

The first thing that I hear after I tell anybody that I work as a Government Officer is this: ‘Aish hai’ (Read: You are really lucky. No work. Good pay and so many holidays.) I have lost count as to how many times have these words been spoken to me in different permutations and combinations. Each and every one of them remarking on how a government job is a dream job for them and that I am living my dream with no work and good pay. (Read bribes included) So yeah, this is a rant. Against the so-called stupid myths surrounding government officers. Here we go.

We work:
First and foremost. We work. As much as this sounds alien to you, but we, the Government officers work. I know it’s difficult for a lot of people to digest that we actually do something in return for the pay that we get, but yes, we do. We are concerned about projects getting implemented and work getting done on time. I agree it takes time to get your permission papers in place but that is not because we aren’t working, that is because we are bound by procedures. The procedures that are there to safeguard public interests.

Fixed working hours? Not always !
Another so-called perk that we Government officers ‘enjoy’ is that we have fixed number of work hours everyday. We do. But so does every other organization. And just like every other organization, there are days when we sit way past our official leaving time just to finish our work. Here’s a Ripley’s Believe it or Not for you: We have worked even on Sundays and public holidays. In offices and even from our homes. And you know what, we do not get paid extra for this extra time we put in. We do not get eligible for out-of-line promotions because in government, everyone is equal. You work or you do not work, everyone is eligible for promotion or pay according to rules. And yet that does not take away the dedication some of us have towards our jobs. 

Unlimited leaves - A big No
Picture this. A distant relative was celebrating her son’s birthday in a grand way and I was invited. I agreed but told them that I shall have to see if leaves are available. And then came the very expected remark. ‘Oh come on, Jyotsna. You are in government. You can take as many leaves as you want. We know you can manage’ I was told, followed by wink. And I could do nothing but stare in sheer surprise at the ignorance.

Here’s my reply. No. No, we cannot take any number of holidays at our will. Because just like our private counterparts, we too have bosses. As I said above, we also have work. We have procedures to be followed and plus we have limited number of leaves that are granted to us every year like any other organization. So our quota of leaves doesn’t get replenished all by itself any time of the year and hence even Government officers need to plan their leaves.   

We have rules:
Rules. We have them. We follow them. We dread them. Just like any private organization. We are known to be notorious for doing whatever we want on files. I beg to differ. The answer is again a big no. We have audit systems in place. We do have checks and balances. Yes, we do have job security. But that is not a gate pass for us in going around and doing things however we want. As I said, we have rules and regulations and policies in place that we are supposed to follow.     

We are changing:
Get over your image of old sarkari offices that you have in mind where babus are not to be found on their table and if found are just whiling away time looking for lunch and other breaks. Or the women are busy weaving sweaters or pealing pea pods for dinner. Sorry but that is the thing of the past. We are changing. We don’t go around running our personal errands in office time.

I am not saying we, as Government organizations have attained perfection. No, we have not. We still have a long way to go. Just like our country. But we have improved and are improving day by day. Just like this country. I am not saying every government officer you meet is an epitome of dedication towards their work. No, they aren’t. But not all of them are lazy buffoons who got lucky by getting a government job and all they have to do in office is while away time. We, in government have our share of ‘hard’ working and ‘hardly’ working officers. Just like any other private organization.

Some of us in Government are trying to make things work in every little way possible. I do not know how far have we succeeded or how long will we take to succeed. But next time, please do not belittle some of us or our work by saying ‘Aish hai’.  


Monday, 15 February 2016

What actually matters is inside you

I knew it was my last chance to save what I had then. A last chance to save my relationship from slipping away into oblivion. It had taken courage to dial her number. It had taken contemplation of days. Numerous drafts of messages that were written, edited and then deleted. Re-written and re-edited and when the ‘send’ button was finally pressed, I felt my breath being stuck in my windpipe till I received the reply.

It was a plea to meet. It was a plea to be able to at least put my point of view. A plea that I would be devastated if he left at this point. And she was my only messenger at that time. She was his best friend. Somebody he listened to. She was privy to everything between us. The fights, the arguments and the lovemaking too. I had felt violated in some way when I came to know that she knew everything about us. One might be the closest friend, but what happens between lovers should stay between lovers. But only I believed that, not him.

She agreed to meet over a weekend at a popular fast food chain near her office. Entire day, my stomach churned with nervousness and my heart paced like it was running a marathon. I rehearsed the lines I would say to her in my head. I wanted to tell her about the good, bad and mundane times we had shared. I wanted her to convince him to not leave me at a time when the marriage was on the cards and when I had moved mountains to convince my family. 

I reached on time and waited. I saw her walking towards me and something inside me dreaded this meeting. But I was determined to take my chance. We went inside, ordered the food and took our table.

We started talking about work and other stuff munching on the French Fries. I tried steering the conversation on the reason of our meeting. She probed what had happened. I told her whatever I could in an urgency as if my life depended on every sentence I uttered. But, my every argument for saving the relationship was counter argued with narration of every fight we had. It pinched hard that everything between us was already out there in front of a third person. My mouth was turning bitter with the bitterness in her voice. I was already declared a culprit. But like every alleged culprit I had to put my points hoping it would be my saving grace.

‘You know what I have been telling him since last three years to break up with you. He never agreed then. When you are not compatible with someone, you should just move on. What is the point of being unhappy and be in a relationship?’ she said dipping her burger in ketchup.

‘Three years?’ her words stung my ears. But we had started having arguments just six months back. How could she be convincing him to break up with me since three years? The questions loomed large. The answers of which I wasn’t ready to listen.

‘See’  she continued. ‘You have to be practical. You can’t be with someone who isn’t compatible with you. Do you understand what I am saying?’
I didn’t. Her practical advice felt like acid on my skin. I continued staring at her while she munched on her burger nonchalantly as if she were talking to somebody who was asking her advice on where to buy reasonably priced groceries.

‘Have you seen yourself in the mirror?’ I heard her.

‘Huh?’ I asked.

‘Have you seen yourself in the mirror? Just look at yourself. You are overweight. Much more than him. Don’t you think he has already been too kind in accepting you this way? I mean he looks way better than you since he isn’t fat like you.’ she said.

I stared.

‘I know you both were in a relationship and all that. But we have to be practical. I mean which guy would accept your weight while he is so fit. So I think you should tone down. Not just physically but also as a woman. Accept whatever he says. Do as he wants. He is the man after all. Plus he is accepting you with the weight. No man would want to be with you if you are healthier than him.’

Her words hung around me like stale air. I choked on them. She was another ‘woman’ I was talking to. An educated woman. An educated working woman.
And there she was. Telling me that I didn’t deserve my relationship just because I was overweight? That I was receiving some favour because the guy was fitter than me? That it was absolutely okay to pull down a woman by another woman just because she had more layers of fat around her than her man?

The noise around me had suddenly increased. A child bawled on the adjacent table. Something was nauseating me. I felt claustrophobic. Because there were too many people around? Or was it something else? Maybe the thought? That the only parameter a woman lays down for another woman for being in a relationship with somebody was her weighing scale.

The relationship eventually ended after I found that the real reason for the misunderstanding was not me but his interest in somebody else. But it was too late till then. Because somewhere deep inside, I blamed myself and the weight for everything that happened. Because I was judged for the outer appearance that I carried. Until I accepted myself for what I was. A person with stories to narrate, a person with poetry inside, a person who was not just her appearance.              

  

Did you know that:
a. 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.


“I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals.”
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