Beautiful

Well, of course I was fat.

Nosy Aunty, who sat at the neighbouring veranda was having a fine time telling me exactly how much.
I, on the other hand, was contemplating Homicide.

‘Its the arms, sweetheart.’ she purred, ‘You can’t do anything about it sitting at home. Have you considered joining a gym?’

Just by the way, I had a great job in an IT firm and worked on night shifts. Somehow, that qualified as ‘sitting at home’ because I was at home when she was awake.

I had been eating right and exercising regularly for as long as I could remember.
That wasn’t because I wanted to become Katrina Kaif. I had long since realized that I was one of those women, who just couldn’t be thin. Genes? Slow metabolism? I didn’t know. Neither did I care.

I had always felt fantastic in my skin.

Obviously, Aunty (who weighed an easy 10 kgs more than me) didn’t share my sentiments. Because she JUST wouldn’t stop about Goldy’s Gold Gym.

And then she said something, which really should have put her in  jail.

‘I tell you this only because I care about you. You look like an elephant. You have to take care of yourself.’

Even after years of hearing the same comment over and over again, it always stabbed like a knife in my heart.
Maybe people weren’t as smart as we gave them credit for. Why else would they call a respectable, hard-working and successful young woman, an elephant?

Just as I was furiously blinking away tears, unable to think of a suitable come-back,
I heard a squeal of joy and a tiny body raced out of a car, which had just pulled into the driveway
And bounded into my arms.

My four-year old, rosy-cheeked nephew, was my favourite person on the planet.
My anger evaporated at the sight of him,
Leaving only a tingling sadness, which never really left.

He gave me the brightest smile, threw his arms around me and
In a voice so true, proclaimed to the world,

‘Maashi, you pretty!’

And I knew right then with startling clarity, that no matter what Nosy Aunties said and how much I weighed,
I was Beautiful.

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