Monthly Archives: July 2010

Body Image

She tells me about her struggle with weight, coming to terms with it. And she quotes another friend who said that she had to stop obsessing over it, to stop making it the be-all or she’d never be happy. I point out that I said the same thing, a year ago. She pauses and in equal measures of honesty, vulnerability and courage, says,

“You are….a slim person.”

I know the unspoken words, I can complete them in my own head. How then, do I explain, how do I prove to her, that I really do understand? Let me tell stories, instead.


Age 7

“Let’s play StarTrek. I’ll be captain. You be the pointy-ears guy.”

“Who’ll I be?”

“There’s only two women, one fair one and and one dark one.”

“I’ll be the fair one.”


“Yes, you can be the fair one. Let her be the dark one. She’s quite black anyway.”

“I don’t want to be the dark one.”

“Fine, go away. No one wants the dark one, anyway.”


Age 22

“You are so black. And all these pimples….13…14…15”

“Don’t count them! I can’t help them.”


“Please stop. Please, please, please stop.”

“I’ll won’t be seeing you for six weeks. Get your face cleaned up by then.”

Two hours later

“Bye, I’ll call you once I get settled in.”

“I brought you a little bye-bye gift.”

“Eraser face cream?”

“My dad recommends it to all his patients. Be sure to apply it every night. I want to see your pretty face without having to count those scars.”


Age 13

“You can’t wear that!”

“Why not? It’s a great print! I love tie-ups!”

“It hangs on you. Look, let me show you how it should look. You…you don’t have the figure for it.”


Age 18

“Put your shoulders in a bit.”

“Why? That’s bad posture.”

“A decent woman doesn’t put her bust out to the world.”


Age 23

“You walk with your boobs thrust out. It’s like carrying a signboard that says ‘I’m easy’.”


Age 23

“You’re ugly. The only reason a guy would be nice to you is because you look easy.”

“You are so ugly.”

“My friends don’t think you are hot. So I don’t want them to know about us. Don’t talk to me when they’re around.”

“Don’t hold my hand. I don’t want to be seen with a black girl.”


At every age

“No, madam, we don’t stock that size in ladies wear. Your feet are too big.”

“Why do you have to wear those ugly army boots? You just like to scare people, don’t you? They make you look like you have polio.”


Age 12

“What are those things on your legs?”

“My knees are like that!”

“They look funny. People like you should not wear tights.”


Age 16

“Where are you? I lost my friend!”

“Ha ha. It’s a loose kurta, okay? It’s comfortable.”

“You look like the pole inside a tent. Seriously, girls like you should not wear loose clothes.”


Age 16 onwards

“Madam can I show you something for those scars on your face?”

“Dark people should not wear red.”

“What are those marks on your upper arms (pointing to stretch marks)?”

“Open pores. Blackheads. Acne. You need help.”

“Is that hair on your back? Don’t you wax?

“Bags under your eyes.”


Red is my favorite colour.
Most of my garments are sleeveless.
I buy facepacks and lotions and scrubs. The skin stays mostly the same, give or take a few spots.
The knees are generally concealed in denims or attention is diverted away by a bold neckline.

No amount of exercise or dieting or bleaching or creaming is going to change my skin. Well…it holds my organs in. I try not to think about it. And I cover my thin skin with a thick attitude.

Yes, love, I do understand. Really.

Silver & Style At HippieHolly-SimpleSally's Place

I love silver. It’s so versatile! Rings, pendants, eartops, hoops, bangles, bracelets, charms, chains, necklaces, stone-studded, filigreed, engraved. The only challenge with silver is keeping it gleaming in a humid city like Mumbai. My open secret is to use ash (the kind that temples give you with kumkum; they’re available in stores if you ask for vibhuti). Scrubbing with coconut coir is even better than your fingers or a toothbrush or any other implement. It doesn’t scratch the silver but makes it gleam instantly. Drinking from a silver cup is said to calm fiery temperaments and promote good health. So, in a nutshell….I love silver!

Which is why, I found Hippy Holly & Simple Sally’s giveaway contest irresistible. The prizes are a pair of smoky-quartz studded eartops, filigreed hoops and a silver pendant on a woven-thread necklace (shown below). The challenge is to write how I’d wear them.

Here’s how I’d do it:

My current look is fusion with a lot of cotton/silk, Indian designs/prints on western garments and kohl’d eyes. All three pieces of jewellery fit the look perfectly.

1. The filigreed hoops are pure tradition. I’d wear them with my chikan-and-hakoba white kurta which is sheer and has a deep neck. I usually wear it with a navy blue singlet inside and team it up with dark blue jeans, mojris or embroidered chappals for a classy fusion look.

2. The smoky-quartz eartops, more versatile could look modern or traditional depending on what they’re worn with. I’d wear them with a full white chuddidar-kurta ensemble for a traditional look. For a modern feel, I’d team them up with  my block-printed miniskirt, a white singlet and black jacket with embroidered sleeves. Alternately, these could really work with a plain black blouse, black harem pants and a dupatta tied around the waist like a belt. Or a plain navy blue dress with other silver highlights in jewellery.

3. The necklace would work with all the looks I mentioned above. Independently, I’d also wear it on a plain tee-shirt with jeans/ cotton pants/skirts. The pendant looks detachable so I’d also try wearing the thread chain around my wrist with charms (or a lighter pendant or two) attached to it.

I found this blog mentioned on Purple Peep-toes (spreading the link-love, as they suggest!). If you like dressing well (but not outrageously) and with style (but not necessarily high expense), this blog is for you. Holly & Sally’s blog, on the other hand, appear to focus more on accessories and creative ways of dressing. I enjoyed the Back to Black (well, almost) post particularly for its grey/black/blue themed illustrations. Check them out and participate in the contest if you love silver too!

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