Friday, 13 September, 2013

The Fabulous Man, and Am I One?

This post comes to you in two parts:

Part 1: The Fabulous Man

Yesterday, my friend and I were at a railway station, waiting for a train my friend was to board. As we were standing there, talking, something magical happened. Rather, someone magical happened.

From a distance approached this mystical being. A man, not taller than 5 feet with the waist size of Kate Moss was walking towards us. Actually, he wasn't walking. Walking is for lame earthlings like me. His walk had purpose. This man, his walk had fantastic swagger. He was swagging.

His hips swayed to ramp music perhaps we were too deaf to hear. His catwalk could have given even Naomi Campbell a run for her money. I was mesmerised. And so was my friend, and everyone around who looked at him.

As I unabashedly stared at him, I saw he was talking on the phone. And as he walked past, I heard him speak in the loudest, most high pitched voice ever. As if his swagging wasn't enough, this man gave us more.

He walked the entire length of the platform that way. I stared at him until he completely disappeared in the crowd. And it was then I decided I wanted to be this man. This fantastic person who was just being himself. This fabulous, fabulous man. The Fabulous Man. That's what I decided to call him.

They say that some people walk into rooms and own them. Well guess what? The Fabulous Man owned the railway platform. And if ever I see him again, I am going to tell him that he is fabulous and I want to be him.

In fact, I think we all need The Fabulous Man in our lives to remind us to not take ourselves too seriously. And to be fabulous, of course.

Part 2: Wherein I am Made to Question my Gender

This incident occurred not even an hour ago. It was around 1.30 in the night then, when all the crazies of Bombay take to travelling by train. Seriously, I have met some very weird people at this hour. And today was no different.

I was coming back from work, and my stop was approaching, so I got up and stood near the train's door. Another woman (?) got up behind me. I felt a tap on my back. I turned around, and it was the woman (?).

"Aapka naam kya hai?" She (?) asked.
"Supriya," I answered, without thinking twice about telling my name to a person I had never met before at 1.30 in the night.
"Kahan rehte ho?" She (?) asked again. This time common sense prevailed and I didn't just hand her (?) a detailed map to my house.

"Kya aap whdunsuhdueh ho?" She (?) asked. I couldn't understand, so I asked her (?) to repeat.
"Kya aap whdunsuhdueh ho?" She (?) asked again. I still couldn't get it, and at this point I was getting annoyed.

"Kya?"  I asked again.
"Kya aap ladies ho?"

What. Did I just get asked if I was a man?

How do you even respond to a question like that? I didn't know what to say. So this woman (?) asks me again. I said I was a woman. She then asked me if I was married and if I had children.

Fortunately my stop arrived and I sped, without looking back even once,

My first reaction was anger. But then I remembered The Fabulous man and felt a little better.

Once I got home, I took a long hard look at myself. Do I really look like a man? Why would someone ask if I was one? I am not the most feminine of dressers, and neither am I very demure in my mannerisms. Does that make me a man?

I don't know. How would you deal with someone questioning your gender? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, stay fabulous.

Thursday, 5 September, 2013

Winning Awards and Other Happy Things

Even though I have been out of the blogging circuit for a while now, I was recently bestowed with a Liebster Award from the very cool Nikhita, who has an amazing blog called Of Chaos and Couture. I am so happy to be acknowledged for this blog of mine... inconsistent and often silly as it is, it is still mine, and I am grateful! Thank you, N!

A Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to bloggers. Once you have been nominated for a Liebster, you have to do the following:

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4. Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers. They should be bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love.
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominated to answer.
6. Let all of the bloggers know that they’ve been nominated. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

Ok, here we go!

1. As I mentioned before, thank you Nikhita! I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I have some favourite posts, which I keep coming back to from time to time. Also, I was inspired to buy Happy by Clinique after reading your post on Perfumes for Every Occasion. (I love it!)

2. And here are 11 random facts about me:

1. I have an unhealthy obsession with makeup. Even though I do not use much on a daily basis, I have an urge to own all kinds of makeup. The most expensive thing I own is a YSL lip gloss which set me back by almost Rs. 3000.

2. People like collecting stamps, I like remembering dog breeds. Clearly, I love dogs.

3. I don't watch movies or TV shows if people tell me to watch them, no matter how popular they are. However, one day if it strikes me that I should watch it, I watch it obsessively in one go.

4. No matter what movie I watch, I go and read its Wikipedia page just to confirm I didn't miss the plot.

5. I stalk strangers on Facebook, but I find it particularly enjoyable to stalk teenagers. I don't know why.

6. My top two favourite pop culture villains are Darth Vader (Star Wars) and Gus Fring (Breaking Bad).

7. I waste a lot of time on BuzzFeed.

8. I can go from being completely social to a hermit within a day.

9. I have very weird pet peeves. For example, I hate when Indians, who have never even gone abroad, speak in a fake accent with foreigners. And I hate them with a passion.

10. My favourite season is winter. I love being cold.

11. I love the smell of apples, but I hate eating them.

3. Here are the answers to the 11 questions I got from Of Chaos and Couture.

1. Coffee, tea, or chocolate? Since I am not addicted to any kind of beverage, I am going to say chocolate. Specifically Dairy Milk Crackle.

2. Why did you start blogging and when? I started sometime in 2006. I started blogging because at that point I felt I had a lot to say, and maybe someone could empathise.

3. What is your favorite workout? Eating chips in front of the tele is working out, right?

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I am going to say New York. From what I know, it is a better version of Bombay, my love.

5. What is your favorite dessert? Kheer made by mom.

6. Name a book or movie that changed your life. This is going to sound very lame, but Wake Up Sid had a huge role to play in the person I am today.

7. Name a mantra that you live by. Satya, Prem, Karuna. This means truth, love and kindness.

8. Describe your perfect day. Sleeping in till 11 am, a great home made lunch and Hum Saath Saath Hain on Zee Cinema.

9. Do you eat to live or live to eat? I love food so much, I live to eat.

10. What is one trait you wish you had? Self-control, definitely.

11. Name one thing you’re grateful for today. I am going to say crows, because they are so photogenic!

Unfortunately, I cannot fulfill point 4 of the requirements for the award. As I said, I have been so out of blogging, and I haven't read too many blogs either. But I promise to give this away to deserving people soon.

And that's it! Thanks for reading.

P.S. I have received so much feedback for my previous post. All I can say is I am overwhelmed. I will do a follow up post soon. Bye for now.

Thursday, 29 August, 2013

Fat Shaming. It exists and It Hurts

When was the last time you flipped through the television and saw an obese person as the lead character? When was the last time you saw a movie which treated an obese person as an actual human being rather than a comedic device? Never? I thought so.

Fat shaming is something that has been in existence since a very, very long time. Ask any obese person about their daily life, most will tell you they were bullied that day because of the way they look. I am a fat person too. Worse, I am a fat woman. And every day that I step out of my house is a living nightmare.

Everyday I am met with stares. People look at me with a range of emotions-from absolute disgust to disbelief. I have had men and women double, even triple back at me, if they happen to overtake me while walking. This is what I live with every single day of my life.

I wish it ended there though. After the stares come the giggles, the whispers and the obvious name calling. There is not a single thing you could say about me that I haven't heard before. Moti, saandh, haati,The Big Show, Yokozuna, are some of the more regular ones. Children walk up to me and laugh at me. They ask why I have such a big face. I have often brushed their comments aside in the hope that perhaps it is their innocence that is making them inquisitive about my appearance. But it is not so.

Children are conditioned to believe that anyone who doesn't look like them are to be mocked. Sometimes they learn this from what they see on TV and movies and most of the time they learn this from their parents.

So many times I have observed parents poking their children, encouraging them to look at me and laugh. If this is what they are taught by their own parents, how will they know any better?

Being fat is one of the most difficult things to live with. Being a fat woman, doubly so. Not only am I called names on the basis of my looks, I am also harassed with sexual terms. One day, I was walking with a friend and we were passing by a group of men. As we were walking past, one of the men shouted, "Ghar jitna bhi bada ho, darwaza to chota hi hota hai na!" They all burst out laughing. At that moment, I wanted to kill them all. And in all honesty, if I could get away with murder, I would have.

I have the best family, and some great friends who support me no matter what I look like. Yet, they will never understand the amount of shame I am made to feel everyday. If these people, who know and love me do not judge me, why should strangers?

Unfortunately, conditioning happens both ways. So while people are made to believe fat is ugly, I am made to believe that too. I have extremely low self esteem and self worth. I do not believe any man will ever love me, I mean why would they? Look at me! It's come to a point where I now consider myself asexual because I know there is no point in even hoping for love for a person like me.

My passion for travelling has been diminished because of fat shaming. Travelling in Benaras was the worst experience of my life. It was so bad that I would plug earphones in my ear and put Metallica on blast just so it could drown the name calling and laughter. I now find comfort at being home and not going anywhere. It's my safe haven.

There is a lot more I could say, but as I am going through this post, it is sounding more and more like a pity party, but sadly it is my reality. Not only that, this is also the reality of every fat person you have ever known. Some have very carefree, happy go lucky attitudes, but I can say with all earnestness that it is a front. Inside, we hurt like crazy.

So, why did I wrote this post? Obviously, I am angry, I am hurt. And hope as I might, this post is not going to make a difference to people's outlook towards fat people. But maybe a parent reading this will teach their child about love, compassion and understanding. Maybe a bully reading this will understand what his/her victim feels like when they call them names. Maybe a fat person reading this will empathise. Maybe they will share their stories.

Or maybe nothing will happen and I just wrote this to let off some steam.

Wednesday, 24 October, 2012

Being Alone is Cool Sometimes

When you've been single as long as I have, you sort of learn to be self-contained and happy with yourself. I have friends, sure, but I find joy in taking myself out on 'dates'. And as I have learned, these come with a lot of benefits too. So, even though I risk sounding like a #ForeverAlone person (which I am, so more power to us!), I present to you five reasons I like going out alone:

1. No More Waiting!
So I am not the most punctual person around, but it really irks me when someone doesn't arrive at a stipulated time and you have to sit around and wait for the person to show up. When you take yourself out, there's no waiting, baby! The minutes or hours you would generally spend waiting for your friend/date to arrive can instead be spent on having that extra mug of beer.

I do not enjoy sharing food, not particularly. Eating out by yourself is the best way to avoid stray hands grabbing your french fries. It also makes eating a more pleasurable experience. Instead of engaging in conversation, you engage yourself in the gastronomical sensations you experience while eating.

3. Spoilt for Choice
"Where do you want to eat?"
"I don't know. Where do you want to eat?"
"Hard Rock?"
"Too expensive!"
"Too far!"

Hate such conversations? Well, you won't have them if you're taking yourself out. Go wherever you want, the world is at your disposal. New abstract art show at the museum none of your friends want to go to? Go by yourself! French documentary about chairs no one wants to see but you? Go go go! Don't let someone else decide your plans and do exactly what you want to.

4. Contemplate, contemplate!
Being alone gives you a lot of time to contemplate, think about the bigger things in life and perhaps even get answers to some important questions. Go to a coffee shop, grab a cuppa and zone out into contemplation mode. Grab a notepad, write. Making things clear is a lot easier when you are with yourself.

5. General Badassery
Last week, I was at a seedy bar with my friends and there was this woman there all by herself, drinking, smoking, the works. And I thought to myself, "Wow. Badass!" Being out with yourself gives you an air of mystery and a general badass vibe. And what else can a #ForeverAlone person ask for anyway?

So there you go. Going out alone sometimes can be an enriching experience and I urge you all to let go of your awkwardness and inhibitions and take yourself out. It will be fun, I promise.

(All images sourced from Google)