What to do when you’re the last girl standing…

The proposal in Alice in Wonderland
The proposal in Alice in Wonderland

When you live in India, you know at some point in your life, you will be married. It’s not a vague idea, rather a certainty. After having graduated, worked for 5 years, knowing the direction your career is headed in, you reach a certain crossroads. You’re not alone at this juncture, you have tons of girl friends for company. And the thing that’s common to all of you is marriage. Some of your friends are already married, some will be in a few months and the others will have settled down by the time they’re 27.

Girl at crossroads
Girl at crossroads

So, you’re still at the crossroads wondering. The road that led you here is burdened with your past. There are relationships that didn’t work or simply weren’t meant for marriage. The other roads are your options. The destination is the same: marriage. Do you take the arranged marriage route? Do you tread down another dating route and see where it goes? Do you just hope to be part of a miracle?

There are so many thoughts clouding your judgement. Every time you log on to Facebook, somebody is posting pictures from their wedding or engagement, making announcements of the same or congratulating someone else. It’s pretty much like the matrimonial times of the people you grew up with. Then there’s your inner circle. While your best friend from school has almost been married a year, your closest friends from college are on the brink of marriage and the friends you made at your job are far from single. What do you do when you’re the last girl standing at this crossroads and there isn’t a boy in sight?

Image source: simplysolo.wordpress.com
Image source: simplysolo.wordpress.com

Don’t get me wrong. I have put myself out there. I mean the whole gamut. From match-making to networking with singles, I’m all there. The ratio of actual meetings to profile exchanges is dismal. I’m single. Should I let that bother me? Are you bothered? Are you feeling disillusioned? Do you want to give up?

What is the correct way to respond to the ‘I’m getting married on so & so date’ announcements? Or ‘he’s the best husband I could’ve asked for?’ or ‘what’re you gonna wear to my wedding?’ or ‘what’s the update? have you met anyone?’ or ‘are you looking?’ or ‘I’m surprised you haven’t found anyone.’ As conversations unfold, you realise it crosses over from gloating to pity. If I can be happy for you, why can’t you be understanding towards me? Where’s the empathy people? Of course, it doesn’t help to run into your exes every now and then and meet their wives or significant others.

Help me out here. I know there’s someone for me out there. I’m probably going to meet him very soon. If I don’t, I won’t be majorly disappointed. But how do I ward off the pressure that’s not only coming from my parents/family but also my friends? How do I explain that it happens to everyone when it’s supposed to? You can’t rush it. And everyone has a different path? How do I explain that it takes courage to start over, put yourself out there and keep the faith intact? How do I explain that it’s possible to be happy even while being single? That the smallest of things can cause the highest of highs? That everything has its own rush?

Single and happy
Single and happy

Maybe you will understand and maybe you won’t. But I’ve learnt, the hard way, that the only way is to keep going. Keep moving along and not look back. I don’t want to look over my shoulder and I’m hopeful. You see, I’m all out of the past and all in for the future. Are you with me?

Do you often wonder if you’re FAT?

T-shirt design
T-shirt design

A heated conversation and chocolate dipped butter cookie later, I’m writing this post. It started with a compliment, “I like the way you carry yourself”, continued with “don’t you think you would look even better if you lost some weight?” and ended with “It’s alright. I was just talking to you as a friend”. As well-intentioned as that conversation was, it wasn’t the first and certainly not the last. Let’s rewind 5 years ago. I was fresh out of college, thin and taking on my first job. In 5 years I’ve progressively put on 15-16 kgs. That’s a lot right? I know it is. The alarm bells never rang for me. Until I was ‘marriageable’ age and my parents thought I was overweight. I started working out – power yoga. It was the most ‘in’ and ‘seemingly effective’ form of exercise. I consulted a dietitian – altered my diet for six months. I lost 5 kgs? I was still 10 kgs overweight. I still am.

Weighing scale
Weighing scale

There are some people you meet and you come away with thinking of them as ‘fat’. I don’t consider myself one of those people. There are also some people who try really hard to lose the extra weight and succeed. I’m not one of those people either. You see, I’m a rebel with a cause. I don’t want to lose weight because the prospective boy I’m going to meet is going to reject me. I will only lose weight when it’s a health concern. Is it? I’m going to find out very soon. I’m scared shitless. I don’t want to find out that in addition to everything else, I have to worry about a major health issue.

So what is my problem? The freaking double standards. Every time someone so little as comments on my weight, I wish they would take a good hard look at themselves and tell me they’re fit and healthy without batting an eyelid. Most times, they can’t. Being underweight comes with its own problems. Of course, there are the boys who want their girls (friends or dates) to be ‘slim and trim’. Do they have a six-pack, are they good-looking, are they strong? No. Very few of them are.

Why, as Indians is it our national hobby to talk to people about their weight? Why is it that we can’t accept and flaunt our beautiful curvaceous bodies? Why is it that our actresses are getting skinnier? Why is it that we concentrate so much on weight when obesity is a national concern for another country? We have far bigger issues, as a people, to worry about!

Fun quote
Fun quote

I didn’t always look like this and I’m not going to either. I’m constantly changing and so is the structure of my face and body. I’m a beautiful person and I believe that. I don’t need to convince anyone. I know my body type, I dress accordingly and as of last week, I fit into a dress sized M from Forever 21. I take tests when I’m asked to. I don’t always follow-up with the medication. I want to be mentally healthy as a top priority. A fat girl doesn’t reside inside me. You can point out all my bodily flaws all day long but you won’t convince me.

Health is important. Weight isn’t. Love, family, support count. Judgements (especially other people’s) don’t.

Every now and then some of my friends talk to me about weight issues. Despite flared conversations, we don’t reach conclusions. While it feels great to fit into a bikini and college denims, it feels equally great to bite into chocolate and a cheesecake. The solution is balance, containment and contentment. The answer is to do everything guilt-free. Enjoy it all. Live a good life. Because that’s what matters.

Every body is beautiful
Every body is beautiful

Ask yourself this. When you meet someone new, are they going to remember you as a ‘fat person’ or an interesting person? And how they do is a good enough indicator of whether you want to continue knowing that person. Do you have enough clothes in your closet to take you through a month or a fortnight? If yes, you’re doing just fine. Do you have a good set of friends and actual well-wishers around you? Then you know who the gossips are. Do you have someone to hold your hand when you take tests, lean on if you are suffering? Then you don’t need someone enjoys your misery.

Make informed choices. And just work towards being happy. We have so much to take us down. A real superperson is one who knows how to uplift themselves.

Me. Now.
Me. Now.

I want to tell all of you, my friends and readers included. I’m comfortable with who I am. I’m aware of my flaws and I also know how to work them. Yes, there are days it doesn’t seem like it. But I’ve learnt to accept myself. You should too.

Tommy Hilfiger Spring/Summer 2012 Collection Review

Alice at the Tommy Hilfiger Store, Mumbai
Alice at the Tommy Hilfiger Store, Mumbai

Photographs: Himani Shah

Isn’t it tricky what you should wear when you go shopping? I was headed to the Tommy Hilfiger store in Mumbai to review their spring/summer collection and hopefully, make an addition to my wardrobe.

What I wore: Flower Pot Printed Dress – Chemistry | Clutch – BlackCurrent at Bliss | Shoes – Platinum Mall, Bangkok

Posing in a striped dress at Tommy Hilfiger
Posing in a striped dress at Tommy Hilfiger

What I tried: I put together three different looks so you get a feel and idea of the range.

First up, it was a blue and white dress with piping on the neckline and a waist belt to match. I loved the casual avatar. The fabric is perfect for the summers, the striped pattern is classic and the silhouette comfortable. And you don’t need to break the bank to own it, it’s aptly priced.

Continue reading Tommy Hilfiger Spring/Summer 2012 Collection Review