Bhai, ek aur plate pani-puri khila do!”

The pani-puri wala looked incredulously at Krishna.

Arre, bhai, dekh kya rahe ho? Ek plate aur pani-puri banao na!

The guy mashing the potatoes at the chaat-stall smirked gleefully and winked at his friend.

Krishna glared at them, holding her bag in one hand and the pani-puri plate in another.

Koi problem hai kya? Agar bechna nahi hai to dukaan kyun bitha ke rakkhi hai?” shouted Krishna in chaste Hindi.

Meet Krishna, aka, Moti, aka Queen Bee of her ilaaka.

Krishna was called Moti by her friends and colleagues and even her family. Personally, I did not find her all that “fat”, per se. Yes, she was probably a few kilos over, curvy but definitely not fat. I found her sense of style and fashion to be immaculate most of the times, and therefore, whenever I met her, I would be blinded by her glow and infected with her loud energy. Therefore, I never saw her as Moti.

As she made her way back home, walking almost five kilometers, she heard a few kids from her colony laugh at her – These things never bothered Krishna – Krishna was super confident and carefree.

After reaching home, she sat with her mother to watch evening TV, which was a daily ritual at her place during tea-time. Her mother swiftly changed the channel to one of those shady advert-based programs and began.

“Krishna, look at this – Why don’t we order this herbal tea? I was just talking to Mrs. Chopra, she has tried this and lost about twenty kilos in the process.” said Krishna’s mother, emphasizing on the word “twenty” with the vigor of a sumo wrestler.

“Mom, stop it. What twenty kilos? I don’t need to lose that much weight. I am fine the way I am. Stop bugging me.”

As if playing off the reel of an old, cranky Hindi cinema, the mother wailed, “Main kya kuch kehti hoon, beta? Poori duniya kehti hai. Aisa chalta raha to tumhari shaadi kaise hogi?”

“Kyun? Mote logo ki shaadi nahi hoti hai?” – With this, Krishna got up and left the room.

Body Shaming is the worst stereotype of today’s generation. What is acceptable by the world becomes what most girls hanker after.

Society is totally responsible for engineering this stereotype, where fashion designers accept models of a certain size, anything bigger is called plus-size. These world-renowned fashion houses claim that a certain body type (usually advertised with a girl with the waist of a ten year old boy) is what their “general customers” are. They drive their agenda of size zero, tell anyone who would listen that a 36” circumference of the hip is taking it too far. They Photoshop the hell out of their model’s body and concoct a potion so strong and believable, that our generation of robust, clever & intelligent girls gladly chug it down with easy acceptance.

Human bodies are not cut and paste – Human bodies are real – Real girls can be stick-thin – Real girls can also be plump. Sometimes, she is too fat, at other times, she is too small and not curvy at all – Immediately the same society that calls the plumper girls fat, would jump to call the other ones “un-sexy” & unattractive.

You cannot Photoshop in real life, forcing thin girls into being curvaceous and throttling curvaceous girls into being thin. But the reality of the matter is that, girls are already Photoshopping themselves. Plastic surgery is one of the most booming industries, and although I am not against plastic surgery, I strongly believe that girls get into it for the wrong reasons, to fit the bill, to fit in, and hardly ever, for themselves.

I personally know girls who literally starve themselves to look thin, to attain the ridiculous and impossibly funny “thigh gap” – Ugh, and I know girls who turn bulimic in the process. I definitely don’t support stuffing every inch of your face with BigMac (although, sometimes, that’s all I want to do) – I am all for fitness, but fitness is never an answer to body shaming. You don’t take up fitness because someone ridiculed you and made fun of you. Fitness is not to lose fat – Fitness is to be fit, for health.

Krishna, who lived most of her life in the shadow of her thin sisters, stood in front of the mirror in her bedroom.

She scanned her image, turned around and looked at her wide hips. And then, smiling to herself, she pulled out her favourite LBD. Putting it on, she left home for her office party.

As she reached the lavish venue where her office held their end of the year annual party, she felt all eyes scurry through her. She sat with her colleagues at the dinner table. Being the true worshipper of all things edible, she quickly began loading her plate with a bit of everything, especially the chicken biryani that she loved, and which was the main culprit behind her curves, she thought.

Just as she began eating, a girl from her team shouted from across the table, ”Aye Moti, Tu Kitna Khayegi?”

Krishna bit into her spring roll and looked at the girl who shouted.

For a moment, her friends thought that she would start crying, as she did look pretty serious.

She coolly walked past her colleagues on the table and reached at the end.

“Are you sponsoring this party? Mere zyada khaane se tera bill badh raha hai? Sorry babes, I can’t be like you. I know how less you eat. You eat salads and all the grilled stuff, right? Well, I can’t do it! I can’t be thin at the cost of being hungry all the time. And I have seen you smoke in the pantry almost every hour to kill your appetite. And I see the condescending way you look at me – You think only thin girls can pull off an LBD? You think girls like me can’t look desirable because girls like you have starved yourselves to look like you’re screaming out of the front covers of Sports Illustrated? Sorry babes, I am hot and I love my biryani. So, don’t go preaching me how much I should be eating – And don’t make the mistake of shaming me in front of my friends – I am no abla naari, I am Krishna – I can kick your ass any old time, and I kick hard.”

Before she left for her table, she said one last thing.

“And so, the question isn’t – Main Kitna Khaungi? – The real question is – What would you rather have in your face – these Fish Tikkas or my FIST?”

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