Saturday, November 23, 2013

Raising the bar


               Sumona barged into the hall with a reddened face. Her clothes stuck to her skin, giving out all the bulges of her overweight body.
             "Now don't dump yourself in front of the laptop. Get a shower and go to the supermarket. We need some grocery." Her mother shouted from the kitchen.
             "I just came back. Let me at least breath!" Sumona shouted at her mother.

            "Oh! How many days are you going to continue this morning walk?" Her younger brother pulled her leg.
           "Just shut up and go to school."
           "What is this Sumona? Why are you always snapping around?" Her father reprimanded her. She stomached the acid that was rising in her mouth. No matter what she wanted to shout, she was scared of raising her voice in front of  her father. She sulked in silence.

            "Here, take this wrist band. I bought for  you." Her brother told sheepishly.
            She loved her brother to bits and felt guilty of always taking out her frustration on him. She hated herself more.

             She stood under the shower and thought about her plan to get slim. She was fed up of all the fads that she had followed. She could never stick to anything. Her brother was right, she wouldn't continue anything for long. At the end of the day, she always weighed the same!

             "Sumona, we have to go to a function today evening." Her mother told her when she stepped out of the bathroom.
             "Where?" She asked, as if it mattered.
             " My colleague's daughter is getting engaged. Wear that blue salwaar kameez."
             "No, I don't want to come. I have college work."

             This had become her standard excuse. She had stopped going to social functions. It always came to some random stranger giving her weight loss tips. She found it difficult to mix in the crowd. She eyed every girl in the function and mentally figured herself in the picture. One day, she wanted to be that size. She felt as if people would watch how much she ate and only picked at her food.

            Her mother did not argue with her. She left for work after reminding Sumona again to go to the supermarket.

            She went to the supermarket with the list that her mother had given her the previous day. She was standing in the queue at the counter when she saw him. He was shopping in the electronics section. She left the queue and approached him.

           "Nirav, I have been trying your number since morning. You didn't tell me you are at home today."
           He did not expect to see her there.
           " I was busy yesterday."
           "You switched off the phone yesterday."
           "Because you did not understand that I was busy. I can't talk to you as you wish!" He told her.
           "Nirav, I m your girlfriend. I deserve at least that much. Do I ask you for anything else? Can't you talk lovingly for a few minutes?"
           "Don't start this here. I have other things on my mind. I can't always whisper nothings to you!"
           "Always? When do you ever do that? Tell me do you even love me?"
           "Would you leave if I said no?" He asked her.
           She did not answer him.
           "Had I been thin, you would have loved me right?" She asked.
            He did not answer her and simply walked away.

           Back home, she dumped the bags on the kitchen counter and dashed to her bed. She sobbed her heart out.
           Deep inside, the hurt was spreading. Her chest was heavy with the overwhelming feeling that she felt. She called Nirav repeatedly, only to get "Switched off" message. She hit her hand against the wall several time, until it became swollen and red. The pain did little to subside the inner turmoil.

           She had done everything, only to fail miserably. She had even tried throwing up the food by thrusting her hand down her throat. The act was so disgusting to follow everyday that she had given up.

          She stopped posing in pictures with her friends. It terrified her that those pictures would get uploaded on social forums. She avoided meeting new people and always kept wondering what they thought of her. It was important for her to keep Nirav in her life. It was more for her own self importance than for love. She hated her relatives who taunted her for her weight and smiled sadly at the jokes of some of her classmates. She had to keep a straight face and not cry. Every day was a struggle that she fought without swords.
          Every morning she woke up feeling hopeless. Every time the mirror laughed at her. Every time she felt the attendants at malls giggle when she couldn't fit the size.

          Every taunt, every neglect, every ridicule was making deep holes in the thin layer of self confidence that she now had.
          She pulled her hair sometimes in anger. The swollen hand usually helped to lessen the pain that circulated in her heart. This time the pain was much deeper. Not only had Nirav ignored her but also shut her off from his life. How much longer could she keep him forcefully after all. He deserved a better girl. A girl less fat and miserable than her.

         This time the emotional hurt was too much to keep away by her swollen hand. This time she raised the bar. 

           Blood gushed from the cuts she made on her leg. The pulsating pain made her forget Nirav and her weight issues for a while. It numbed her brain and she surprisingly found relief in the red liquid that oozed from the cuts. 
          This time ,she raised the bar of pain. She raised the bar of self hatred... 

                                           If only she had been told once

Self harm is a way of coping with emotional pain for some people. It might provide a temporary release but the act in itself goes deeper than it seems. 
Signs of someone doing self harm can be:

  • Increased isolation
  • Increased anger
  • Unexplained wounds
Read more about SELF INJURY here.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

This time your entry must contain, ‘This time, she raised the bar…’



kalpana solsi said...

Some prejudices and stereotypes run deep into the psyche.People think it their birthright to advise obese or thin people . Why can't they be left alone as any other people? This attitude affects their personality and thinking.

Jayanthi Gopal said...

Wonderfully articulated. It resonated very well for me and I am sure it will for many others. I liked the image over there which said ' you are more important than this number'.

Anonymous said...

i liked your style of narration....

Anita Jeyan said...

I cannot stand people who are complete strangers but think it is their duty to advice. Deep inside they are actually happy and I know it. Even though I never had weight issues, I had pimple issues when I was in my teens. Acute and aggravated acne all over my face. Whenever I go out, people gush and put their hands on their face as if they saw a ghost or received some breaking news. Then starts the home remedies and list of dermatologists ! It is so damn frustrating...end of the day I felt like this girl in the story !

Red Handed said...

I am been there, but you know I was huge but somehow the mirror made me look thin. I never hated myself or thought i was fat. Though the numbers showed otherwise. People said otherwise. Maybe my self confidence was overpowering their advices. I dont know if that was good or bad.
Self harm is not a way. self pity too is not the way.
Great post Maith.

Anonymous said...

self harm is not good. nicely narrated

A Fineapple said...

Really nice post. Self harm is not a way out of emotional turmoil. One of my friends in college used to do this and it is really difficult to help such people.

Chandana said...

I hate random strangers commenting on people's weight and eating habits and dishing out useless advice. I've faced it all too... but for being thin. With time you learn to ignore and laugh off such comments. Self-confidence and self esteem is all that matters.

maithili said...

This attitude affects some deeper than others. Why can't people realise the damage they do to someone's self worth?

maithili said...

Thank you. If only more people realised this fact that we are more important than that stupid number

maithili said...

Thank you :)

maithili said...

It makes people happy to dole out advice and sound superior. It is the obsession people have with outword appearance. We can't even lecture then back for being lame :P

maithili said...

More than self confidence it is the self love. Self love comes from being valued and sadly that is not the case with many.

maithili said...

Thank you.

maithili said...

Thank you. Contrary to the belief that such people need sympathy, they just need more acceptance.

maithili said...

Commenting on weight and physical assets is the favorite timepass of the nation. Some learn to ignore with time while some spiral down the depression.

CookieCrumbsInc. said...

This makes more sense to me after 2013 happened to me... great account, Em:)

maithili said...

Thank you Peevee.. Your 2013 seemed torturous :(