Monday, June 25, 2007

Weighty Matters to Discuss

Hey, quick question.

If you had a friend/relative/ acquaintance with say…one leg, and you met him/her once a year or so, what is the first thing you would say to him? “Hey, man, you have ONE leg!!!”? OR, something like “So how have you been?”

I know most people will say the latter, of course, and who ever says the first one? Then my next question would be “Why the hell do you have to point out to FAT people that they’re fat every freaking time you meet them???”

I travel around quite a bit, it’s one of my few indulgences…apart from food. And on my travels I invariably meet up with old friends or relations who I, in my optimism, think it would be nice to spend some time with. You know -- reminisce about the good old days, share a great meal and a laugh with.

Unfortunately for me, what has always transpired for the last 5 years (ever since I gained weight in my early 20s) is very different. These long awaited meetings, often the result of great effort and expense for both parties, start out in the same abhorrent way. They’ll look at me in amazement for a second or two, and then declare with satisfaction, “but you’ve gained sooooo much weight!” Never mind that I've weighed exactly the same the last five years and the last five times I met them. It’s always the same reaction.

For some reason, they fix in their minds how you looked when you were 18 and thin (weren’t we all?) and conveniently forget how you looked ever since. So every time they see you these amnesiacs will go through the same routine of outrage, then hilarity, followed by a totally unasked for earnest lecture on how to lose weight. Every. Time.

Never mind that there’s plenty wrong with them and you just itch to give them a few newsflashes about THEIR appearance.

So instead of reminiscing about the good old days, sharing a good meal and a laugh; it invariably ends up this way: they reminisce about how wonderful I looked half a decade ago (pity that they forgot to tell me that then), they tuck in very heartily but eye me knowingly if I so much as look at anything other than a glass of water ( as if to say, ‘no wonder you look like a beached whale!), and the laugh, of course, is always on me.

And these are the people who like me.

My point is this. I don’t think there is doubt in anybody’s mind that calling someone fat is not the first thing a long-lost friend or relative likes to hear. It mars the atmosphere somewhat.

Second, you know for the last 5 years that I’m fat because you have commented on it for the last five years…ergo, there is no need to do the whole ‘I’m so surprised’ routine every year. (Maybe we can decide to do it every alternate year just so you can get it out of your system.)

Third, as long as I’m not in any danger of dropping dead of a heart attack as we converse, or if I’m not setting myself up for a bitter disappointment at the swimsuit round of the Miss Universe pageant, I don’t see how you’re doing me a favour by telling me I’m fat.

Fourth, I’m fat, not blind…so I probably know it already without you hounding me about it, thank you very much.

So in future, if you and I have taken the trouble of traveling to some distant corner of the Universe to meet up, and have plans of having a great time, restrain your baser instincts.
A nice, polite “So how have you been? It’s been such a long time!” will be more in keeping with the holiday spirit.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

About closets and such like.

Now that people have run out of tart comments to make about my last entry, it is the right time to hold forth on something else.

I read through some of my earlier posts and discovered something about myself. I talk incessantly about lesbians. It’s so strange. But what I actually want to set right here is the pejorative tone I have used in all my allusions to them…because far from having anything against them, I can’t seem to understand why others have a problem with the gay community.

People say about homosexuality: I just don’t get it! Well, you don’t get a lot of things, does that mean its wrong? I think Brad Pitt is such an ugly man, but do I shudder with revulsion and say “I just don’t get it” when I meet someone who thinks he’s hot?

Yes! But that has NOTHING to do with what I’m saying here.

You don’t have to get it, as long as they do. If they’re happy and not forcing YOU to be gay, you should just leave them alone. They don’t get why you find men attractive. (I mean lesbians, gay guys TOTALLY get it.) Can you imagine how awful it would be if someone told you you couldn’t find the opposite sex attractive anymore, because its unnatural? That’s exactly how they feel, when you’re doing your entire ‘I’m right because I’m in the majority and I can throw my weight around’ act.

A good friend of mine has another argument “Animals don’t do it, so it’s unnatural.”

To which I would like to say first of all - animals don’t wear clothes either. Should all of us wander around stark naked?(Blech!!!) Secondly, there are animals that are gay - some sheep, snails, and horses (especially those in show business) have been known to be gay. We don’t hear more about it because their friends and family don’t think it’s unnatural.

And in a more Indian context, people seem to think it’s a) a ‘modern concept’ brought by b) the ‘West (the bane of the world)!’ To the first I say, read up a bit about the Ancient Greeks and Romans, you’re in for a helluva surprise! To the second I say, remember Radha who was such a good girl because she wasn’t interested in boys, and was so devoted to her friend Shweta they always walked around holding hands and were having sleepovers at each other’s houses all the time? Remember how your Mom held her up as the model of Indian virtue because she did none of those nasty Western things with boys?

Yep. Lesbian.

I’ve met a few and they don’t have three eyes or horns growing out of their heads. They’re normal people like you and me. If anything, one should respect them more for making such a hard choice for themselves (the sexuality is not the choice, but choosing to tell the truth about it is). It would attract far less raised eye-brows, and wink-wink nudge-nudge behaviour from straight people if they just pretended to blend in with the crowd.

And to the guys who go into hormone-overdrive when they hear about lesbians…the very definition of lesbians is they don’t want anything to do with you…so shut up. ;)

(P.S- For people planning on asking whether I am lesbian, please read the rest of my blog before you do.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Our flaws are what make us human...

Of late, more and more, I find myself talking of one of my greatest character flaws with pride to people. My tone is ostensibly regretful, but inevitably betrays a tinge of pride. I speak of it fondly like one would of a naughty nephew you dote on. “Yes, he still wets his bed at 15, that naughty little devil! I’ve never seen the likes of my nephew Spanky!” with a glad laugh and a patently false, rueful shake of the head.

In case you’re wondering which character flaw I’m going on about (I have plenty of those), let me just come out and say it…I have the most god awful temper. (See I’m bragging about it like they hand out prizes for Irritability. Or like if I yell at enough people they’ll induct me in the Bad-tempered Hall of Fame, along with Russell Crowe and my uncle.)

I began to wonder why I make such comments as: “Oh that temper of mine, such situations it’s landed me in!” with a self-deprecating chuckle. And these remarks are invariably directed at people who have been (I am tempted to say ‘victims’ but that again glamorizes the whole thing) on the receiving end of my spleen. So it’s not surprising that they don’t chuckle with you, but in fact fix you with a rather poisonous look, as if to say “Do we have to bring up unpleasant things during lunch?”

I came up with the answer soon enough. I’m ill-tempered but not stupid. Every human being needs to distinguish herself, and vies with the teeming millions on this planet to be remembered in some way. Some drop a few bombs, kill a few people. Others create art: music, literature, monuments. Still others spawn an army of kids so that one day one of them becomes famous and mentions her parents in her memoirs, maybe only with reference to their baby-making capabilities (but it’s still better than complete oblivion).

My way of being remembered and not blending into the crowd is how crazy-mad I can get. I have come across this phenomenon with other people and it has never failed to annoy me. I have met and intensely disliked a girl in the recent past who was fond of saying she was childish. “I am childish, yaa, you know that, no?” she would twitter and cock her head in the most retarded fashion. Another guy I recently spoke to proclaimed quite proudly that he has absolutely NO foresight and should therefore be excused for something I don’t need to get into.

So there you go. Trust human beings to wear their flaws like badges of honor. It was probably a flawed bloke like one of us who said “our flaws are what make us human and different from each other.”

I don't completely buy that... but the thought does make me sleep better at night!:)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Crib's back.

hello my adoring public!(mwaah)

I know you have been pining while I so cruelly deprived you of my pearls of wisdom these last three weeks, but my hands were tied. (No, I dont mean a strait jacket...that's not something you joke about with me by the way.)

But now I'm back...and ready to regale you afresh with my profundities.

So start watching this space again(er...please)...Ushasi's back.