“it is very noticeable, especially on your tummy!”
“Extra weight doesn’t look good on you!”
“Everybody is asking if something is wrong with you.”
“We have a wedding next month, your own brother-in-law!”
“yes, our own family celebrations!”
“Sari does not look good with tummy sticking out!”
“We love you, that’s why we are asking you.”
“yes, do something. You need to lose some weight!”
Her mother-in-law and the two aunts continue the bombardment. Everyone else is quiet, as if silent witnesses to the ugly situation.
She sits on the edge of her king size bed, her legs dangling. Her mother-in-law sits on her left side while the two aunts on the right. Her sister-in-law leans against the wall facing her. Her husband stands near the door, his armed crossed, as if guarding the room. Her father-in-law rests in a chair in the far corner of the room, perhaps trying to hide himself from the whole thing.
“You have to!”
“it doesn’t look good! I am telling you!”
“Please do something!”
“We love you! That is why we are asking you.”
“You can join the gym if you want!”
“yes, or whatever works for you!”
“Yes, dieting is a must!…..”
She does not say anything, looking down, barely blinking; the gaze fixed towards her own toes. Her long brown hair – open and unkempt, cover a part of her face. A small tear trickles down her left eye..down to her red cheek. She quickly wipes it off with the back of her tight hand.
The suggestions, the advice, and the preachings fade slowly. Perhaps the women are tired of repeating the same thing, perhaps they just gave up.
“Let’s go downstairs. It is a beautiful evening!”
“Come on! it is dinner time!”
One-by-one, they walk out of the room, everyone except her.
They gather around the big dining table. A big dish of fried rice, a pot full of butter-chicken, oily vegetable curry, a plate full of egg dosa, a big pile of puri’s – the fried bread…..and a chocolate cake. Perhaps they have more stuff but there is no more room on the table.
“She really needs to control her diet!” says her over-weight mother-in-law as she generously pours the clear butter on top of her big bowl, the bowl already full of rice, chicken and vegetable curry.
They ardently start to devour the food in no time, while she sit alone in her room and cries silently.
Other Short Stories
- A boyfriend, a husband and the God
- A father’s Pride
- The night before Babbu’s wedding
- The Life Abroad – I
- The fading hue
- Just a job
- The Tea Time
- 911 – The Emergency Call
- Khao, pio, aish karo!- Eat, drink, enjoy life!