Be the size that matters!

A part of me gets really annoyed with the socially constructed idea of ‘beauty’. I have been to social gatherings where the first thing that I am often asked is “have you lost weight?” And then I am expected to spend an entire afternoon or evening with the same person discussing ‘beauty’ and ‘weight’ and ‘life’. 

Why is “have you lost weight?” an acceptable social statement? And if it is then why is “have you lost some of the gray matter of your brain” not such a popular social statement? Or “have you lost your soul?” not popular either? Are these not as important as “weight?” 🙂 A part of me feels that I would lose myself the day I lose my mind and soul. Body is so very transient! 

I am not in favour of being unfit and eating bad. Rather I am in favour of eating healthy and exercising but I do have problems with the mass attitude when body “size” is all that matters! I heard someone say one day “being size 8 makes me feel better” and I sat there thinking – I don’t understand. I understand that being fit can make you feel better irrespective of a number that you put to it but not this size 8! 

To me it seems like a data sorting exercise where especially women feel the need to arrange their body in an descending order with age.

Rather shouldn’t it be more like arranging your life in an ascending order given the knowledge that you accumulate over the years and given the experiences that you and your body have been through? And then eventually you would be a size bigger than today and bigger than yesterday and bigger than a year ago and so on .. Rather an “ascending” order of the body with age might be an honest representation of you. 

Moreover who says that a size 8 is a suitable size for a woman in her late 30s and a size 12 isn’t? Who says that a women if a woman can pull off a size 6 bikini in her late 40s with a flat tummy is beautiful than a woman who can’t? 

Ah well. I don’t think I would ever put a number to my body .. The wrinkles and the aging skin are enough to provide evidence to the life that I have lived on this very planet. I would surely say that use numbers but use them where it matters 🙂 

I think the day you can put a size to an aging soul – that day a number on the body could be justified too. A long way to go and that’s why I say be the size that matters not what’s socially forced to matter. 

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Asha Jaoar Majhe (labour of love) is beautiful

I watched Asha Jaoar Majhe (labour of love) at the London Indian film festival. I was skeptical when I went in to watch the movie cos I had heard there aren’t any dialogues in the movie and I clearly wasn’t in a mood to watch a silent film. But my apprehensions got washed away as soon as the film started. 

A story of a married couple, their love for each other, their concern for each other is so beautiful that you can’t help but smile as you watch the screen. The love flows through the mundane tasks of life and you can feel it, which’s magical. The changing faces of the city of kolkata added shades to the day and night where it grew from dark gray to pitch black to orange to bright white. The cyclical nature never stopped and neither did the routine life of these two individuals. They never paused to say “I love you” to each other and neither did they buy each other presents. All they did was their own little bit to make each other’s lives a little bit easy .. And isn’t that what ‘love’ is all about 🙂 

Another aspect of this film that stood out for me was the undefined aspects such as the beauty in the ‘wait’, beauty in the ‘routine’ and an undefined beauty in ‘holding on’ .. Whether you wait for the sunset or the sunrise or whether you hold onto your own belief or the person you love or whatever it is – every bit of it has an undefined beauty attached to it. It was abstract more like the beauty of Riemannian geometry! 

As I said before a lot has been said and written about this film already and I am not even qualified to critic it but cos I love movies, I like to write what I feel about them once I have seen them .. So in one word I would say this directorial debut of Aditya Vikram Sengupta is ‘beautiful’. It’s realistic, it’s serene and it’s simply beautiful. He’s such a talent! 

PS : I think this film is as beautiful as Reimanian geometry 🙂 and the pic has Aditya Vikram Sengupta, Jonaki Bhattacharya and Soumik Dutta. 

  

the two time mystery!

When I first went to Benaras, the Indian restaurant in London, I absolutely hated the food. I didn’t like the food at all. I thought it was too oily, too messy and tasteless. Opposite to the popular belief and perception, I remember coming back to work the next day and complaining about how bad the food is at such a reputed place. But I never gave a public feedback or reviewed it openly cos I think at several levels when I dislike something, it has a lot to do with me too so I take my own time to think through and evaluate things in my own little space. Well, yeah, I am slow!

Anyway, so last night when I was invited for dinner again at Benaras, I was very skeptical but like always I struggle to say ‘no’ and I ended up at Benaras. In the most intriguing and fascinating way, I loved the food. I loved the dishes and I loved my lassi. In short, I had a nice evening with great food.

On my way back I thought of why I didn’t like it the first time that I was there and then it took me back to most things in life including food and people and movies and books and literally everything and upon reflection I realised that I tend to develop a taste and get drawn into things eventually.. When I say ‘eventually’ for me it happens the second time round but not necessarily though, at times I have had several attempts at things before I literally dismissed it or accepted it completely.

I did say that I am slow but then is it actually me being slow or is it the fact that like most things in life, well like everything in life, it’s the power of perseverance and the ‘keep at it’ attitude that pays off? I don’t know.

I know that people have spoken about ‘pursuit’ of happyness (happiness with a Y) but then I believe it’s a pursuit of life encompassing your likes, dislikes and every tiny bit of your decision-making 🙂

So then, here’s to the energy that embraces the ‘pursuit’ in order to move through ‘life’ at every tiny step! 🙂 and of course to acquired tastes in life, of life!

Because I started with Benaras and my last night’s dinner, I would recommend Benaras to everyone. Please go and try the innovative dishes – I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed. If you feel disheartened the first time – give it a second chance 🙂

and My Phone ..

67% charge and that’s all there is by and large
My phones battery dictates my life since I was five!
I love each moment that we spend together
Whether I type or I read
We live in each other’s mind and app’s feed
When it beeps, I’m swept off my feet
Is it the guy I love or is it random
but it’s hardly an imaginary fathom
We are as real as real is defined
That’s precisely why the charge of my phone reminds me of the life that’s so very confined!
I can’t remember the 33% that got washed away in breaths while checking the phone
So much so that I even find it hard to recall the formula for calculating the volume of a cone ..
But can’t complain cos I have a life even if it gets defined by my phone.

At times .. 

my pain is not because I got hurt and can’t move
It’s because you believe that I shouldn’t move

my pain is not because of the labels that I carry
It’s because you believe that I should carry them

my pain is not because I treat myself to dust
but because you believe that I am an object of lust

my pain is not because of my low self esteem
It’s because you believe I deserve to live on the seam

my pain is not because of who I am deep within but because you believe you hold an explanation to the existence of my soul herein

to A Friend of Mine ..

I’m not the best of people around and neither am I the perfect friend to have!

I’m flawed at many levels and I’ve hidden act.

I’vent been the best listener when you needed one and neither have I been oratory fun!

I’ve been busy in my own world when perhaps you needed a hug.

In my mind, I did admit that I was all wrong until I received your message that read you love me for I’ve been your prettiest song! 🙂

Not very lyrical and certainly not melodious but am glad we sailed through life beyond what’s termed ‘cyclical’.

a better life? 

Last year I went to Kolkata and stayed at a friend’s place. Her maid came in the morning. A lovely beautiful woman in her early 30s. My friend had already told her that I was coming to stay so she knew everything about me! The first thing she said “I have heard so much about you that I was dying to meet you”. I replied “I have heard a lot about you too! She said that you are a great cook!”.. I couldn’t control myself so after a brief pause I said “I have heard that your husband has left you and your two kids. He now lives with another woman. Why don’t you divorce him and start a new life?” 

She laughed and said “divorce? Our marriage is not on paper that I would ever get any kind of legal separation. This is how it is in our village.” I asked “don’t you feel you need a better life and be with someone better than your husband, for your kids if not for yourself?” .. 

She said “define better for me? A better man who would not beat me! A better family who would treat me well. At the end of the day I have to do the same things. Cook, clean and look after my children and my husband. Better than this for me would mean that I don’t get beaten up by my husband – that’s all. Rest everything stays the same. But here I have my family. My society. My people. So I prefer staying here. I don’t want to leave this place.” 

By a better life, I continued, “I mean live for yourself. Do things that you want to do. Read, learn, there are so many things out there that you could do!”

She stopped me and said, “you say all this because you have been brought up like that. When I was growing up my parents used to say, one day you’ll get married, you’ll have children and you have to look after your husband’s household. So that’s what I am doing. It’s a shame that I got a bad husband who doesn’t treat me well but then I have my family around. So I am okay.” 

My conversations with her still flash in my mind. I couldn’t explain what it’s meant by a better life to her! What do women in general do? Yes they cook, Yes they give birth, raise their children, take care of their families, Yes they take care of their husband but besides all that they have an identity too! But how many women do I know who have an identity besides being a wife and a mother and a daughter and a daughter in law? And is this craze for an identity so undernourished in general that girls grow up not knowing what it is to be an individual first before all the other identities that they go along adopting one after the other in life?

I don’t know.