Reinvention and the woman

Leopard Print peep toe gold speckled wedgeheels. Multihued hair thanks to the indignity of random henna being slapped onto old and faded highlights. Tshirts straining to contain growing corpulence and euphemistic prosperity. Deep Indigo Next Jeans that once fitted snuggly and now have ugly roll of far lolling undignifiedly over waistband. Legs that look like plucked chicken, massive cellulite thigh and scrawny knee down. Gold bling bling Guess bag that would have nicely counterbalanced its bulk when carried by slim model type person, but adds to the overall sense of rotundity. Kungfu Panda dark circles adding to drained goth look face. Eyeliner streaming in every direction. Powder compact unfortunately a couple of shades lighter than the regular thanks to having been bought in a rush from badly trained counter salesperson—L’Oreal, are you listening? Manicure ruined by neglect and stress inducing chewing. Any wonder I almost screamed and leaped away in fright when I caught a glimpse of myself reflected in a mirror in a public place.

This being the month of reinvention, according to one of them bibles one reads assiduously to improve one’s mind and wardrobe, namely Marie Claire, which has done us the favour of making Mandira Bedi new and improved and featuring simultaneously, IN THE SAME ISSUE, a complete rundown on the various looks adopted by Madonna through her long and illustrious career, one needs to bury one’s head in shame and pack the sand around it. Or one can leap up, like a spring just got pokily prodded in one’s butt and decide to do a complete reinvention of self. I talked myself into choosing to do the latter. Where do I start with the reinvention? Am all in a lather and confused and rather like a bird which has meandered into a room with no windows and a fan at high speed.

First things first. The scale has to swing. And quick. Random strangers are walking upto me and congratulating me, asking me when the baby is due. A load pile of weight has just slapped bang into me over the past couple of months, and this when I am eating chicken feed, subsisting on fruits and milk at night, walking two hours a day and have become the equivalent of a saint and eschewed alcohol and all things sweet and calorific. Blood tests and such like have not revealed nice things, and medication is being administered to tackle the issue. So hopefully one will be back to levels where there is some differentiation between the indent of waistline and hipline soon.

Something needs to be done about the hair. If ye kind souls cast your minds back to the anguished plea few posts down the line about the hair falling like the Blessed Damozel’s tears (yup, overdose of Wodehouse happening, I confess happily), rest assured that the Blessed Damozel has spent all the tears she could spend and has none left for shedding anymore. Read that as the scalp is showing through the few strands that are left attached by root and bulb to said scalp. Have reconciled myself to the loss of hair that was once pride and glory and lionmane like and am now buying hair clips and rubberbands and butterfly clips and such like to keep the remnants off my face, given that a few stray strands fluttering in the mean monsoon wind donot a pretty picture make. And no, don’t go by the picture in the header. That was over a year ago, and life and weight has come a long way since.

The wardrobe too needs some reorganizing. Given current weight situation all tight fit tshirts have been shoveled to the bottom in the optimism that I would one day shrink enough to fit back into them and not look like a leg of mutton dressed like lamb and such like. The loose tunics, the stuff that doubled as maternity wear, and horror of horrors, kurtis have made it to the top of the pile. The mother snorted in disgust. You might as well wear kaftans and roll around like a ball if you want to camouflage your weight. No one gets fooled, she says, and says so with righteousness and rightly. The looser the clothes one wears the faster one expands, imagining innocently that no one can see the fat cells on multiply within the loose folds of clothes covering them. Till kaboom, one fine day, you cant get into them loose clothes too! The moral of the story, according to the wise and aged ancestor is to stick to them tight clothes never mind how ridiculous one looks, which then works as a motivation for one to get cracking to reduce levels of ridiculousness and develop thick and impervious hide to deflect stones thrown by them urchins as one passes.

Therefore, have cut out pic of Madonna at fifty and stuck on the cupboard door. Wear itsy bitsy garter and corset type ensemble, Cleopatra eyes and red lips and looking like something any redblooded man would fight lions with barehanded to get a fair chance with. Kidding myself I’m more Monica Belluci than Kate Bosworth doesn’t work. And seeing the husband wipe drool off his chin at a recent pix in the papers of La Dixit rehearsing for her US shows doesn’t help a bit.

If that doesn’t push me to reinvent and improve self, nothing will.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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10 Responses to Reinvention and the woman

  1. Sunita says:

    Aah!! I recently cut my hair short and got highlights done with some hope or reviving lost days and gave all a shock…. not that, past days were any colorful but atleast nobody was calling me aunty without blinking.
    How about doing a “How to redesign your wardrobe” post. I am sure it will help the kinds of me who have very little or almost nil clue of how to do it.

    Been through the highlighting. Did it for two years and now am grey. It looked gorgeous while it lasted. But would rather have some hair left on that head. Egads, I get aunty all the time, and not just from the kid’s friends. Should just curl up and die in some corner.
    Am posting an article I had done for New Woman on the same recently. Not that I follow any. Enjoy.


  2. dipali says:

    Kiran, give the meds a chance. You’ll be svelte before you know it!

    I put my faith in God, the doc, and your words Dipali.


  3. phoenixritu says:

    Ahhh my child – it happens to all of us… I have been singing Hum Honge Kamyaab Ek Din for a long long time. And losing weight miligram by miligram. Sigh!!! Wonder why one gains by kilos and loses by mg.?

    When you figure it out, will you let me know the secret????


  4. ggop says:

    I effing hate when people come and ask you “if there is good news”.
    Happened to me twice before. I’m pregnant and have all the permanent rolls of fat to look forward to.
    My sympathies. It makes me depressed that you are eating right, blood tests reveal nothing (I take it you have checked your TSH, they found that in me)

    No such luck babe. TSH hyperventilating. Me on medication. Explains a lot of things. But makes me sadder and sadder.


  5. kbpm says:

    middle age really sucks. i have very nearly given up trying to lose all this lard. nothing helps. the more i think about it, the more i am tempted to eat chocolates. if you have wardrobe type tips coming up i am all ears (& eyes)!! of course for my hair fall (which was REALLY bad last year), the prescribed Iron supplements seem to help somewhat. So, as Dipali wisely says, maybe the medicos have something on us!

    Lol. Am pinning half my hopes on the medicines, and picking up self and exercising butt to streamlined perfection on the other half. Am not about to wait for the medicines to act and blimp out more if I can help it.


  6. As Dips says, give the meds a chance K! And DO NOT STARVE.
    Oh, and throw out the skinny clothes. You’ll want new ones as rewards when you shed them kilos – start making room already! 🙂

    Big hugs.

    Thanks babe. No, not starving by a long chance. Hanging onto the skinny clothes. Motivation to get back into them.


  7. Abha says:

    i gave away my thinnest phase clothes (cant dare call it skinny anyways) to M’s cousins!! was too tired of feeling miserbale!!

    but you go girl!! 😀

    tho i know you aint fat!! :p




  8. Dottie says:

    K, you will be all slim and slender in no time. As Dipali says, give the meds to show their magic.


  9. Dottie says:

    oh. btw. you should see me.


  10. Priyanka says:

    There was a time when I used to be ok with looking into the mirror in my newest inner wear. Now I don’t even dare look into it until I am fully dressed. Who knows if I might end up looking at stretch marks or bulges that might prompt me to go off my beloved chocolates and pastries. If the clothes start getting tight, hey!! Motivation to shop some more!!! Who said you can’t brainwash yourself? 😉
    Come on, Kiran. Am sure you are not that fat – your pic and video are proof. But then, we wouldn’t be women if we were completely happy with our bodies. I wonder if Maddona or Madhuri are??

    Oh Priyanka. I can look into the mirror in my newest innerwear without grimacing. Childbirth does that to you. Makes you immune to scary sights.
    No, not that fat, true, but there’s always scope for perfection isnt there?


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