Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Lessons Learnt from my Body


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 ...

[To read the full post, kindly click here.]


10 comments:

  1. So relatable post Sakshi... We do adapt to love our body as we grow and fear it as well. Especially when fear comes in the form of a stranger ogling at you in a strange lane or gropping at you in the well concealed walls of a crowded bus. I did not slap but had shouted at the top of my voice to an old drunkard who had tried to 'feel' me. The bastard.

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    1. Writing about it doesn't help, except that it makes others open up their darkest memories to strangers. Like you did. And in sharing there is comfort.
      Thanks for reading, Preethi.

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  2. You brought back some growing-up memories. I didn't attend a convent school (thankfully) and didn't experience that kind of 'checking' but experienced some of the other stuff when I travelled back and forth to university for five years in DTC buses. This was much before your time and sad to know that things haven't changed much, perhaps they have gotten worse. In our times we at least had those Ladies' Specials run especially for the university, I wonder if they still have those! A thought-provoking write-up, Sakshi!

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    1. Oh, things haven't changed at all, Beloo. In fact, right you are to think they have only worsened. I think there are University Specials in DU, but haven't come across a Ladies' Special. Except, of course, a metro rail car.
      Thanks for reading, Beloo.

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  3. Your post is for every woman in this world, you have been the voice ambassador. It made me proud to be a woman, made me to be more learned about what we go through and how we handle it. Hats off!

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    1. Those are very kind words to say, Keirthana. I do believe we all will have such a post waiting to be written. :) Thank you.

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  4. Straight form the heart :) Was good to read it from your point of view Sakshi :)
    Good Wishes :)

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  5. wow!!.. just wow!!.. beautiful post...It is all so familiar ... For me it kind of started from my home you know, strict instructions on what to wear and to keep wearing it even while sleeping, the bra you know..
    It was only during swimming classes, much later when I was grown up enough to join the batch exclusive for ladies only that the lady trainer strictly forbade us to wear a bra as it makes breathing so uncomfortable under water ...

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    Replies
    1. Thank God for swimming! :D
      Thanks for sharing your experience.

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