Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Preposterous Paunch Predicament

It was the Operations Management Lecture, and I had my 'first cold call' of life at IIM-A. (A cold call is a situation where a professor catches you, and asks you to answer a question.) I had kind of prepared for the class properly, and was confident that I should be able to answer most of the stuff he might ask me do to on the board. But little did I know what lay in store for me. He asked me to draw a process flow chart, and I confidently went about drawing it, before the bombshell dropped.

Professor : Shrinivas, your handwriting is the complete opposite of your personality

Before I could comprehend what he was trying to tell me, the entire class was laughing big times, and banging their desks, parliament style. And it was then that it dawned on me, that the professor meant to say I was writing in unacceptably small font size on the board. And obviously - the 'personality', as you might have guessed, was in reference to my paunch. 

Off late, I've gotten used to the ridicule, due to the 'tyres' around my waist. Be it the "Dai, Enna da Barrel maari irukka?" (What man, you look like a barrel?) or the "I can see your face, I can see your body. But where is that part of the body called the neck in your photo?". Things have gotten so bad, that I got a book "Only fat people skip breakfast" from my friends from MANIT. And like all self help books, that was a good motivator actually, that I'm hardly eating 5 meals over 3 days on an average now, in an attempt to reduce the paunch, and it all seemed to be working out. Until a friend popped up on Twitter with an innocent query - "Have you considered the other option of actually 'working out'? ". 

All this, and I decided I'd rehash a piece I wrote for Excelsior, at MANIT. (A reply to Geetanjali Kaur's opposite version). And here you go. 

An existence of sumo-wrestler like looks is extremely disconcerting, in all my earnestness.  Every time I see guys talking about ‘six pack abs’ and ‘gym’ed bodies, and I look down at my own ‘family pack’, all that goes through my mind is ‘Screw Salman and Aamir’ !! I’m here to expose the bitter realities and misfortunes of the over-sized obese lot. Fatso, Hamburger, Bulldozer are some of the nicer nicknames you get to listen to through your life. 
The word ‘obesity’ is considered synonymous with your name and sometimes you are even made an example to kids who don’t eat their dinner. "Mote waale uncle kidnap kar denge" or "If you don’t exercise you’ll become like him". Everyone thinks you have ultra-rich parents, who give you money to waste eating food outside, every other day. Especially if you are in the hostel and despite mess food, manage to maintain a fantabulous paunch.

It is no fun at all when you go shopping, when you spend more time searching for shops that stock your size than choosing clothes. (Of course, in case of the fairer sex, this time might be equal :-P) Things are demeaning, when you come back empty handed as they don’t have jeans fitting your size, and have 100s and 1000s for jeans for the lower sizes stacked all over the place. Even worse when you are suggested to get pant material and get fitting trousers stitched! More the worse when the guy next to you buys 1.3 m of cloth for his, and you are asked to buy 2 m. 

When people ask how much you weigh, they expect your answer to be in ‘tons’. Sometimes you get insulted by friends asking you to stand on the ‘industrial weighing machine, than on the normal ones. It is assumed that you eat anything and everything. Come a treat, and you become the in-house dustbin and are dumped with anything and everything that might otherwise go waste. Everything in the world, from falling sick to failing a fitness test, is attributed to your weight. There is no other disease that plagues your life apart from the few extra kilos/ tires around your waist.

It isn’t the best feeling when you are asked to lift anything that is mildly big and people scream saying ‘Are yaar, uta liya’ when you are done, making it all the more worse and grabbing attention to your weight first than the task you’ve done. Travelling in an over-crowded auto with friends, by default makes you the one on whom everyone sits. An unfortunate consequence being a potential family future damage for guys, thanks to the bumpy Indian roads. It isn’t amusing that if you people ask you when you are going to get married when you are hardly 18, or introduce you to their baby as ‘XXYY uncle’, not because of your age. When earthquakes or tsunamis occur, your friends message you asking if you jumped off the stairs or anything.

And last but not the least, you are mostly ignored by the better looking species of the other sex. If at all you manage to get noticed, come rakhi, you’ll find yourself with plenty around your hand. 


Pavithra Srinivasan said...

I really feel your pain. No, I'm not being sarcastic. I've been the butt of such jokes (and in my case, for my skin colour as well.) So yeah, this post really got to me. :0

Also, nice style you've got going here. Unassuming and racy. R

Hariharan V Reddy said...

as soon as i completed.. a famous tamil pathetic song and a famous dialogue stroke my mind....

" satta kizhungiducha thachi uduthikalam.!!! nenju kizhungiduchu enna seirathu pa.. :P"!!

"Y blood..!! same Blood"... :P

A similar track here too.. :'(...

sayan said...

yup i can relate to that :(
I too was a butt of ridicule during my school days & coleege freshman yr due to my weight :(
But this only motivated me to hit the gym & not only get back into shape but also participate in bodybuilding/weight training competitions :)