Few months back I was out for a coffee meeting with a friend , we were catching up on a while and so it was something I was looking forward to. I wore a blue printed shirt with black pants.. The minute I walked into the coffee shop, I was generally scanning the place to see if my friend was already there. I then went over to a table for 2 and took a seat. There was a couple in the table next to mine. I looked up, made eye contact with the lady who after a second smiled a half hearted smile. I smiled back and began to rummage through my bag for the book I was carrying.
Couple of minutes later, my friend landed and we began yapping away. During the course of the conversation she mentioned how it was nice to see me in stuff apart from Salwar kameez. She said she wished she could also bring herself to try something different. This statement had me frowning and I suggested she give it a shot. I went on to tell her how these days I barely wear salwar or kurti, it is always something different and am enjoying it. Especially given the fact that I can find clothes that fit me easily.
Jokingly, I asked her how she was managing the saree and 3/4th sleeve blouse, especially in this hot weather. She commented "err, how can women of our size wear all these clothes?".... "some are short, show off our butt, hips, arms and well doesn't look nice na"
The Aarti from 10 years ago might have agreed with her and sighed. but today I disagree.. I looked at her with a straight face and told her "who the eff told you so?" "have you looked around you, noticed how pretty you are and that you can actually carry off anything you wear?".. "Also, why do you care about others..."
She sheepishly admitted that all she wanted most days was to blend in and be a part of the background, almost remain invisible. Her husband keeps telling her she is big, she is fat and should stick to salwar or saree. Now that is a topic for a later post.. but for now, I was just zapped. The R that I knew was a spunky girl, one that loved dressing up in bright colours, she would wear lipstick and eyeliner even if we were just stepping out for a movie.. And today she has become this...
It was a moment of revelation. Words can take such a toll on one's confidence and this in turn affects all other aspects of their lives. They get beaten down royally, left thinking they are not worthy of love, affection or a second glance and resign to living this way... wtf right..
Not only that, but she is so caught up with this whole scenario that she refuses to see there is more to life than the words hurled at her... she needn't cower and cave in. Sigh. After our coffee, I took her along to this store I shop from and got her to see some of the cool clothes they had. She tried on a few, infact loved almost all she had tried on but hesitated to pick them up. Why- cos her husband would not approve... I took it upon myself and got her a top and trousers, telling her to just give it a try.. maybe wear it the next time we met.. She reluctantly accepted the package, but not without protesting and making excuses.
I am yet to see her in those clothes, asked her about them once but shall wait for her to make the change on her own... Just wish she sees herself for who she is and not what others say.