The Fat One Speaks
– by Sandhya Narzary
Hello, I am Sandie, and I’m fat. You did not just walk into Obese Organisms Anonymous, or any other such forum. I just wanted to get it straight out. Friends with polished etiquettes tell me I’m ‘healthy’. The not-so-refined friends say my appetite disgusts them. When I laugh, ripples are created in the cellulite I have accumulated over the years. And on a good day, I will fit into an XL sized tee from Nuon in Westside.
I’m not going to lie, nor would say that I’m happy with how I look, and I’m not going to say I love it when the tires in my tummy put the tires of huge Punjabi trucks to shame. But if you gave me a chocolate brownie from Loyan’s, I’d devour it before you could say ‘watch your weight’. I can’t stop at one jalebi. Hell, I can’t stop at five! I don’t know how it feels to not have an Almond flavoured Silk in one go. Everytime I go shopping for clothes, I will vow to cut down on dessert helpings. But then, the custard Mamma makes magically grow arms and pull me towards it and before I know it, I would have consumed two big bowls of custard with generous dry fruit garnishing. Friends and family used to marvel at my ability to consume voracious amounts of food, but now they just sigh. There is a collective sense of failure amongst well-meaning people who tried to instil in me a sense of healthy food habits.
Even though I will always need that particular dress in a larger size (which is invariably unavailable), there is something in me that doesn’t allow me to forgo that extra slab of peanut candy. My idea of the healthiest breakfast ever is Kellogg’s Chocos. Two bowls, no less, at that. And I cannot for the love of God sacrifice food at the altar of fashion. I will opt for Golden Fried Prawns at Mainland China any day over that slinky dress in Glam Diva. Food gives me a weird kind of high.
Sure, it’s not always that cheery a scenario. There have been times, so many times, when those particular pair of shorts makes me look like a cross between a hippo and walrus. It is saddening to look like a whale in all the photos you are tagged in on Facebook. But over the years, you realize that there is so much more to life than thigh gaps and hipbones that pierce your skin. Relationships forged over scoops of ice-cream cannot be compared to relationships forged over green tea in some health cafe. Phuchka after a tiring day seems more refreshing than that oil from VLCC that claims to get rid of your double chin. I’ve been blessed with friends and family who will love me despite my ever expanding girth. And as long as I have people to have dessert with at odd hours of the night, I will happily wear all those extra kilos on me. I’m not advocating sheer morbid obesity here, all I’m saying is that there will be more of me to love.
When I was born, I was a fat kid weighing 3 kilograms. Aunts and uncles told my mother ‘she’ll lose it all when she starts walking’. And I started walking, but ironically, only towards edible stuff. Well-meaning friends and family said, ‘Let her start school, she will slim down.’ I started school, and they said ‘Let her start college, she’ll lose weight out of peer pressure’. I’m in my second year of college, and I’m yet to fall in the ‘normal’ category, weight or otherwise.
However, I have been blessed abundantly, in size, and other deeper and much more meaningful aspects of life. I have family to cheer me up when those particular shorts don’t fit me. I have friends who love me despite my heftiness. I have known unabashed declarations of love from humans and animals alike. Little things they are, yes, but they go a long way in helping you realise that weighing more than 50 kilograms is not the end of the world.
I will always go for a second bowl of chocolate pudding. I will always want extra mayonnaise on my burgers. I will continue to find Bournville utterly orgasmic. And as long as my body can take it, as long as health issues don’t stop me from going for another round of Darsaan, I will have them all, because sometimes, you need an extra scoop of ice-cream. Because according to my shallow and heavily biased opinion, food will always be the most beautiful thing in the world. And as long as my thighs fit into the curves of my guitar, as long as my weight does not create health issues, I will not fret. If happiness is a choice, I’d like my happiness to be served with a side of food and delight.
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