This post was written thanks to Sumeetha Manikandan, who asked me to contribute to her beautiful space 'Lessons Learned from Indians'.
An excerpt ...
My body has been talking to me.
Once upon a time a body, to me, meant black circles for heads and sticks for hands and legs. As a child, that is, drawing on paper with crayons and sketch pens, picturesque scenes I had never seen before and bodies so far removed from what they actually looked like, yet real in their sameness of being. Short-lived were those days, because when I was taught to a happy tune how chubby cheeks and dimpled chin and blue eyes and curly hair make one the teacher’s pet, the reflection in the mirror told this child’s head I could never be her. I had held the picture of the cherubic girl in the nursery rhyme book in front of the looking glass. Next to my reflection. To look at dark coffee next to peaches and cream. A horse tail next to luscious curls the colour of sun. Eyes with not even a drop of the blue ocean the teacher’s pet mirthfully looked at me with. In the mirror.
And my body sighed! Loud enough for me to hear its echo for a long time to come. It told me as it thought aloud that I could never be loved enough, because I looked different – from the girl in the book. Even from the doll in my bed who I dressed in pretty clothes. So pretty, my best friend. And so different, from me.
In my first school which was an all-girls convent, Monday mornings were ...
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