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fat: update


I’m a few hours (and a good night’s sleep) removed from the statement and I think I have moved away from “hurt” and descended (or should it be ascended) into the “angry” phase. 

I’m not fat.  I know I’m not fat.  I am pretty healthy and can certainly afford to lose a few pounds, but why do these people think I’m fat? 

By “these people,” I am directly talking about the people who have called me fat for the past year–all Indians, mostly Malayalees, and mostly those who have immigrated in the past five years, but not necessarily. 

No, you’re probably never going to read this, but if you did, I’d want to tell you:

  • Superstar, you are not.  Do I comment on how I wish you had more hair, was a little taller, or maintained a six-pack?  (Okay, I know that was petty, but please let me get it off my chest?)
  • Secunda, you’re comment is exactly where I was hurt.  It wasn’t being called “fat.”  It was that these are people who KNOW me, and FAT is the first comment that you can come up with to describe me?  I’ll take crazy, kooky, or nuts, but FAT?
  • He’s going to marry me.  Aren’t there other things that should matter to you (or him) than my weight?  As in if I would be a good partner that he can love and trust and rely on for the rest of his life?  If I’ll care for him and our children?  If I can get along with people and love God?
  • Where do you get off deciding what weight women should be?  When do you get to tell someone what beautiful looks like or is?  Some of you say it’s because you care (and maybe you do), but when you say things like, “You’re not going to find a husband unless you become skinny,” it steps away from caring.
  • When did this Western culture influence the amazing standards that you used to have in your country, not too long ago.  Yes, we lost Marilyn Monroe here, but you still have tons of Malayalee actressses who are not skinny-minnies.  Kavya (here, or here), Gopika, Jayabharathi, even Bhama
  • Being skinny doesn’t make your life not suck.  I was whatever definition of skinny you can come up with, and life still sucked.  I am the weight I am now, and am secure and happy.

I can always be skinny and loved, but I’d much rather be fat and loved.  When he knows my heart, knows my intentions, knows my mind.  When he sees me and thinks she’s gorgeous, whether I’m wearing a size 6 or a size 22.  When he thanks me because he knows I try to make him smile every day and he sees my eyes sparkle blinding him to everything else.  When he tells me that he knows one day his friends will have to realize they married someone beyond the color of their skin or the weighing scale, and then they’ll be in trouble, but he knows his treasure. 

[In the beginning J struggled with this as well.  His family mentioned that I could afford to lose a few pounds and he agreed, and I’m sure you would have loved to have been a fly on the phoneline for that conversation… But somewhere in the past year, there has been a shift.  He is now the “him” I describe and I am thankful.]



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J tells one of his friends, N, about us today.  N’s response: She’s fat, isn’t she?

I am upset, but haven’t decided who I should be upset with:

  • N, for being a jerk;
  • J, for telling me;
  • or myself, for being fat?

Of course it doesn’t help that this is the 2nd week of not going to the gym, and my trip to SC threw off my healthy eating, and I am feeling bloated.



The air tonight smells like summer of my childhood, radically bringing back memories of people, laughter, and love.

I remember Friday night meetings at Joseuncle’s house, hanging out on the stoop outside and being completely happy.

On the white cordless phone, windows open, the subway rumbling in the distance, talking all night, interrupted by a car alarm or two, finally drowsing off at 5 am or 6, when the light was breaking through, then sleeping in ’til noon with absolutely nothing to do the next day.

I see my baggy salvar pants and twirly-whirley salvar tops, my long hair, my glasses, and being 10 years older than I really was.

I think I even remember a summer evening, hanging out behind Herschell Street, probably when we were 6, and 7, and 10.  Plastic shoes.  Corduroy pants. 

The Bronx was a good place to grow up.  Yes, getting mugged or witnessing “Mari’s” boyfriend try to kill her or having the bar on the corner was all strange, but now it feels so strange remembering how secure life was.  I wonder how different life would have turned out if…

Instead, I thank God that He had a plan.  He spent a lot of time on me.  He prepared me.  He lit my path on fire.  Then He dropped the floor.  He let it rain.  He let it POUR.  He dried it up.  He was with me.  All for such a time as this. 

Thank you, God– for this life, for my family, for my experiences, for my pain, and most of all, for Your presence.  I love you and I’m eternally dedicated to you. 

All this.  Just from how the air smells tonight.

arm hair


[Sorry, Koche.  I will remember August as one of those months, and will try to plan better for next month.]

I was watching old episodes of 90210 and I noticed that Brenda Walsh has very visible arm hair (dark against her light skin).  Maybe I’m a little hyperalert, but I would opine that standards have changed and actresses these days can’t have armhair on a hit TV show.  What do you think?

what’s that word?


What’s that word when your gym is across the hall from McDonalds?

It’s not ironic, it’s…


supremely special wish


Dearest Rosamma,

You have been a selfless, true friend and inspiring mentor and colleague.  We have had many amazing memories and I look forward to many more.  I love you forever and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!




This is for you (the landscape you probably don’t recognize is Fargo, and everything else is either symbolic or memorable.)


Standing is Stupid


How I feel about working out:

Standing is Stupid
-Shel Silverstein

Standing is stupid,
Crawling’s a curse,
Skipping is silly,
Walking is worse.
Hopping is hopeless,
Jumping a chore,
Sitting is senseless,
Leaning’s a bore.
Running’s ridiculous.
Jogging’s insane–
Guess I’ll go upstairs and
Lie down again.