Hit your 20s and the marriage chitter chatter is as regular as a breakfast bowl of cereals in any young Indian girl’s life. It’s that radio channel you can’t change because on your system, a.k.a family, that’s the only one you’re getting.
Then starts the ticking off of all childhood friends who one by one take the plunge (love you guys with all my heart, but this one is about moi). With each one you tell yourself things to the tune of — ‘she’s not my inner circle, so I still have time’, ‘not till blah gets married will it hit me’, ‘oh, blah did get married, but then she was always going to’.
But more than when will you finally have to confront the M Monster head on, is a little she-devil that strikes every time a soon-to-be-married pal announces THE date.
She says date.
I say, ‘Damn, I got only so much time to lose weight.’
Now here’s why that reaction strikes me as odd but not really.
On most days, while I fret about my weight only to do nothing about it because I am a fairly secure individual who strongly believes that no body type is the ‘wrong’ body type and I am comfortable in my dusky skin, on this one occasion, something deep kicks in.
It’s the centuries-old patriarchal batter that’s been almost coded in a woman’s DNA: must look thin and good at all times (disasters not counting, but even then, make sure you’re modestly covered when caught in a bomb explosion). Especially when thou art on display at a family event or wedding etc. (Thank god funerals, also family events, are one place that rule doesn’t apply but here looking too well-kept is a problem — not sad enough, they’d say).
So when a friend tells me that she’s getting married, I on reflex, count the days I have left to lose some weight.
Every. Freakin’. Time.
And this when I’m generally poor at math.
And thus begins the watching of what I am eating, a hunt online for Zumba classes that I can join, an embargo on the stitching of the blouse of the lovely sari I’ve saved for just this sort of function, in the hope that I’ll lose weight, so must get it stitched then for correct fitting.
On top of this, I make everyone around me aware that this mission is in progress. So please keep your pizzas and whiskey cakes to yourself. Really now. Though I don’t mind a bite, of course.
Time passes, I go for 5 out of 12 Zumba classes. Rest I couldn’t attend because I was traveling for work, tired from work or just plain not in the mood.
None of the above of course justify the guilt.
Time and tide, and the bride wait for none. Soon the wedding festivities are upon me and as I’m getting ready to go for the sangeet or the cocktail, a few thoughts pop in my head:
“I am so happy that my friend is happy with her chosen partner.”
“She looks radiant. He makes her happy. That makes me happy.”
“Looking forward to getting drunk and dancing like silly!!!!”
“Do I look nice? Yes. I look like me. A more fancy me, but still essentially me.”
Time to party.
Do I wish I had lost that weight I’d promised myself? No, because I am too happy and too busy to care. I love the warmth and joy of a wedding. I don’t care how my losing 3 kg could have added to my fun.
So patriarchy, screw you. You might get into my head at times but my body is always going to be mine.
Till the next wedding. Which is in December. What am I going to wear…