MAY YOU ONLY GROW FAT­TER

If you keep stress­ing all the time about whether you’re look­ing fat, this is the only wish you’ll get from me

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Leisure - SONAL KALRA

There are so many weird peo­ple in this world. As you read on, you may feel this sen­tence has no con­nec­tion what­so­ever with the topic of this week’s col­umn, but pa­tience rakh lo yaar. You’ll soon get to know why I am say­ing this.

Any­way, lis­ten to my story. Went to a shop­ping mall. Mis­sion: to buy a dress for a cousin’s wed­ding (yes, I did try to dis­suade him. Like most sui­ci­dal peo­ple, he didn’t lis­ten).

There was this young girl in the store who had come with an aim to try ev­ery damn dress man­u­fac­tured in the history of that brand. So, she kept zoom­ing in and out of the fit­ting room, with two dis­tressed and hap­less guys stand­ing out­side. Her boyfriend… and the sales­man. What’s in­ter­est­ing was she would come out of the try-room ev­ery three min­utes and ask the SAME ques­tion to both. Yes, to both. Even to the sales­man. “Am I look­ing fat in this?” The boyfriend was, well, a boyfriend, and hence quite adept at shak­ing his head even be­fore she could com­plete her ques­tion. The sales­man was also clearly some­one’s boyfriend, and hence an ex­pert in han­dling the ‘not at all, what are you say­ing?’ part with painful ef­fi­ciency.

Af­ter ob­serv­ing this close to 17 times (haan mu­jhe koi aur kaam nahi thaa, do you have a prob­lem?) and be­ing who I am (now read the first sen­tence of this write-up), I de­cided to play kill-joy. The next time she came out and asked her favourite ques­tion, I de­clared a loud ‘yes, you are’, be­fore rush­ing to hide in the next try-room. I think I spoiled the evening for the boyfriend but what the heck, he didn’t look happy any­way. I do feel guilty for the sales­man.

Any­way… haylo peo­ple, itni badi ka­hani suna di… now do you know what I’m talk­ing about? Yes… it’s the ‘I-don’t-look-good­e­nough’ stress that I want to at­tack with full-force this week. Hope you are with me on this be­cause this, trust me, is the sin­gle cause of dis­tress for most peo­ple in the world, re­gard­less of race, cul­ture, gen­der, blah and blah. ALL of us are, in some way or the other, dis­sat­is­fied with the way we look. Yes, even Ka­t­rina Kaif or Brad Pitt or who­ever is per­fect in your eyes. This has to be God’s cru­elest prac­ti­cal joke on us. He made all of us in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes… and then made all of us dis­sat­is­fied. Start­ing to­day, I’ve de­cided that the joke’s not on me any­more. Here are three res­o­lu­tions… yes, even if New Year is still far away.

1 I WILL NOT ASK ANY­ONE IF I’M LOOK­ING FAT: And if some­one asks me if they are look­ing fat, I’ll say yes. Dekhiye ji, this is one ques­tion, for which there is just no happy an­swer. You ask some­one if you are look­ing fat… if that per­son says no, you’ll in­vari­ably turn around and say — aise hi jhooth keh rahe ho to make me feel good. God for­bid, if he/she says yes, it will re­in­force your neg­a­tive thoughts about your looks. Lose-lose sit­u­a­tion, isn’t it? So, it’s bet­ter not to ask, you al­ready know the an­swer. 2 I WILL NOT LET MY SELF-ES­TEEM DE­PEND ON MY LOOKS:

There’s no deny­ing that we ought to be healthy in life. Oye, I’m re­fer­ring to well­ness. If any Pun­jabi takes it lit­er­ally, like the way we use ‘healthy’ for ‘fat’ (... ladki thodi ‘healthy’ hai). We should prac­tice ev­ery­thing it takes — good diet and ex­er­cise to en­sure that we stay fit and avoid dis­eases. But be­yond that, I refuse to see any con­nect be­tween the flesh on my waist or tummy and my im­age in my own eyes. For the world to be­lieve that you look good, you first have to be­lieve it firmly in your own head.

And shall I tell you a se­cret? The world ac­tu­ally does not care. You may kill your­self fret­ting in front of the mir­ror, but I’m yet to come across a boy who loves his girl­friend less be­cause her waist went up two sizes. Or a girl say­ing, ‘you know, my boyfriend is pos­ses­sive and treats me bad, but thank God for those bi­ceps, at least!’ Aisa nahi hota hai.

We like or dis­like peo­ple for their over­all dis­po­si­tion, for how they make us feel. If you want to lose weight, sure go ahead and do it, but do it for your­self and not for any­one else. It doesn’t bother or mat­ter to them as much as you think. Sach mein. 3 I WILL MAKE PEACE WITH MY BODY, JUST THE WAY IT IS: But when it comes to mak­ing a de­ci­sion, the only per­son who can help you is you. For once, sit and fig­ure out an­swers to key ques­tions about whether you are at the right level of age, ed­u­ca­tion, fi­nan­cial state, emo­tional ma­tu­rity etc to get hitched. And once you’ve de­cided — ei­ther way, stick to your de­ci­sion. Don’t keep go­ing back and forth on your thoughts. Also, do not let the world en­force their pre-con­ceived no­tions on you. Lis­ten pa­tiently when the whole world tells you things like you must get mar­ried by a cer­tain age or else you’ll have trou­ble con­ceiv­ing, ad­just­ing with the in-laws, get­ting good rish­tas etc, but do what your heart tells you to do. There may be some prac­ti­cal wis­dom in all these dik­tats but there’s more prac­ti­cal wis­dom in not mar­ry­ing if your heart, mind or body is not ready yet. Re­mem­ber that the reper­cus­sions of mar­ry­ing late can be han­dled, but the reper­cus­sions of mar­ry­ing wrong can ruin your life.

4 STOP SEEK­ING AD­VICE: It’s good to as­pire and keep try­ing to look bet­ter. But if you think all prob­lems in your life will be solved and you’ll be per­fectly happy af­ter shed­ding those 5kgs, well, sorry.

Life doesn’t be­gin af­ter those lost 5kgs… life is what you have right now, and you are wast­ing it by wor­ry­ing day and night about your looks. Aim to dress right ac­cord­ing to your body type, have the right pos­ture and con­fi­dent body lan­guage, and most im­por­tantly, feel good about the way you are. There’s no size-zero girl or a six-pack guy who would be able to stand up to you if you love the way you are. Are you with me on this? Please say yes or I may just call you fat...

Sonal Kalra has de­cided to ditch the weigh­ing scale, af­ter she heard muf­fled screams com­ing out of the poor gad­get. Oh, by the way,

how’s her col­umn pic­ture? Does she look fat? Mail her at

sonal.kalra@hin­dus­tan­times.com

or on face­book at

face­book.com/son­al­kalra13. Fol­low on Twit­ter @son­al­kalra

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