This year in AP, Ganesha came and went and I didn’t even realize….there is something to be said for the exuberance with which Mumbai celebrates the coming of the Elephant God. This photo was taken a few years ago in a statue makers shed, near K.E.M Hospital. What struck me about these statues was the shape or figure they had. Having always seen Ganesha fully clad it was interesting to note that his body structure was much like mine!!!! And that got me thinking on some weighty issues. I pondered that all our Indian gods are healthy and not what we in today’s time and age would describe as being fashionably thin.
So our male gods have comfortable paunches (note there are none with six packs like those of the Greek pantheon) and carry a content look, like they might have just risen from a satisfying meal. Our goddesses are curvaceous and buxom, surrounded by sweets and fruits and various other goodies. Our divinity even have their own personal favorite dishes: Krishna likes butter and anything made out of ghee, Ganesha likes his dal and coconut filled modaks and the goddess likes tart and spicy food. Which got me thinking of the state of affairs we face now…
Indians have begun to think slim (read thin…size zero and such like). So they diet, gym and read up on the latest nutritional fads to be ‘with it’. That is, everyone except those poor souls who starve due to a lack of food. They look on in perplexed horror as the privileged indulge in a orgy of health food, anorexia, bulimia and body image issues. And this is where the common Indian woman comes in. A woman like me who cannot say much for her figure other than the fact that my body could be described as comfortably fat. In the olden days I would have been considered living proof of my husband’s prosperity…but now a days having a figure that does not adhere to the thin norm can be quite a pain. Everyone feels they have a right to tell you what to do about your “condition” as if being fat is a disease (here I make a difference between being fat and being obese). They tell you how to eat, walk, breath, sleep and live. Everything is at fault, for you to have been cursed with this horrid figure. If you are a child, its even worse. Your school mates and friends think nothing of calling you an elephant or a kaddu (pumpkin) and your family starts worrying about whether you have a thyroid problem or maybe you are heading towards PCOD. And shop keepers think nothing of telling you that they do not stock clothes in your size (the smirk as they look you up and down adding insult to injury).
Here’s what I think- so I am fat…so I can’t wear all the clothes that look soooo lovely on the skinny people…but hey I am comfortable as I am. I know I should try and loose weight but I do not aspire to be the next Kate Moss nor am I going to kill myself to get slim by tomorrow…I want to be healthy yes, but I am not willing to give up my favourite foods, my chocolate and my rice and sambar to fit into a pair of skinny jeans. It would make me down right miserable if I had to count calories with each bite of food that enters my body. I think that instead of trying to change ourselves so that we can get into some outfit, its so much better to find clothes that suit us and our body type. I feel that instead of trying to look like the latest super model lets be inspired by Ganesha and celebrate life and all the goodies that come with it. After all we only have now….tomorrow I may look like Lisa Hayden but then again I could also look like Tun-tun!!!!! So I choose to embrace myself, curves, tyres and all…I love meeeeeeee!!!!!