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A woman is constantly reminded of her weight. What is her response?
‘Happy Birthday to you..Happy Birthday to you’
Neeta turned to the other side on her bed. She felt someone singing closer to her. She rubbed her eyes to see little Anish singing with a bright smile. Avinash was standing behind him and singing too. She sat up. It was midnight and was Neeta’s birthday. Avinash led her to the living room. It was decorated with balloons by Anish. Avinash and Anish had planned a surprise for Neeta.
Anish held mamma’s hand and led her to the table where his favorite chocolate cake was arranged. As they continued to sing, Neeta cut the cake and gave a piece to Anish, hugged and kissed him. Anish cut a piece of cake and gave it to Neeta. Neeta sprung back, saying ‘Give it to papa sweetheart’. Anish said ‘But mamma, it’s your birthday and I selected this cake specially for you, please mamma take a bite’ Avinash too said ‘it’s from Anish, don’t refuse, take it’. Neeta did not want to disappoint them and took a tiny bite from cute little Anish’s hand. She hugged them both and thanked them for such a wonderful surprise.
’86.5 Kgs’. Neeta was relieved when the weighing machine showed this number. Thank God, it has not increased she thought. She finished her morning routine and after dropping Anish to the school bus, started walking towards her office. It was her 34th birthday. She remembered the days when she was a little girl and was so excited about her birthdays. New dress, sharing candies with friends and the special dinner mom cooked with all her favorite dishes. It was nowhere close to the fancy birthdays kids these days had. But nevertheless, it was very special and had its own charm. There was nothing like that she thought.
She had just logged into her computer when she heard ‘Happy birthday Neeta’. She looked up to see Asha standing by her desk to wish her. Neeta got up from her desk and thanked her. Asha gave Neeta a stare from top to bottom and remarked..’Hey Neeta. You seemed to have put on weight, have you?’
Neeta smiled at Asha and said ‘Oh..is it? I never realised’. Asha said ‘Yes dear. It’s very evident’
‘What is evident?’ Asked Satish who walked in to wish Neeta. Asha said ‘I was just telling Neeta that she has put on weight and its very evident’. Satish said ‘oh..yeah..even I was thinking that. Any special reason Neeta?’
Neeta just smiled and said ‘No special reason. I did not even notice it’. Neeta did not feel any bitterness towards Asha or Satish.
The day at work passed by with co-workers coming to wish and as they came, they commented on Neeta’s dress, Neeta’s make-up, Neeta’s weight. Neeta had only one answer to all of them: ‘A Smile’.
The team had got a cake for her. She had a bite just not to be a spoilsport. All the people who had wished (commented) her that day ate the cake, chips and juice while she stood quietly smiling.
As she walked back home after winding up her day at work, she recollected all the things she had to hear at work.
It had been 12 weeks since Neeta was on a strict diet. She had given up on all white stuff like rice, flour, sugar, milk etc. She was into boiled/grilled veggies, oats, sprouts and salads.
After cooking dinner in the evening, she would quietly slip out of the house and spend time at the gym. By the time she came back home, little Anish would have finished his dinner and be listening to the story his dad would read to him before going to bed. Neeta would then eat her dinner by herself, clean up the kitchen and go to bed. Anish was 4 years old. He was a very cute boy who had bought joy and happiness to his parents. Anish was overweight too and Neeta thought if Anish would have to face this one day.
Everyone in Neeta’s family were over the average weight for their age and height. Her mom, her dad, her aunts and uncles. It was not like Neeta feasted on cakes and pastries every day. Even though she watched what she ate, she felt her body would blow up as easily as a balloon.
She was surprised when people said she has put on weight when in fact she had lost 7Kgs in 3 months by her diet and exercise. Not only had she lost weight, she had lost few other things in life too.
She had lost negativity and anger. She had learned an important lesson that what she does or how she looks should not matter to anyone else except herself and her family. If other’s show interest in her external appearance without valuing the person she is, it shows the shallowness of their thinking and attitude, not Neeta’s. She did not want to get down to their level by even reacting to them. She had decided to let whoever speak whatever they want to and it would not affect her. She knew reacting to so called ‘friends’ would be a waste of time.
God had blessed her with a beautiful family and she was very secure of how she looked. She did not want to lose weight to prove to the world. But to be her healthier self. She wanted to be physically and mentally strong so she could teach her son and make him a strong individual.
She had only one answer to all those who commented on her looks ‘A Smile’.
She stepped into her home. Anish and Avinash were dressed up. Anish screamed in excitement ‘Mamma, it’s your birthday and we are going to a restaurant’. Neeta hugged him.
The family had a nice meal and spent great time together at the restaurant. Neeta thanked God for all the good things she had in her life.
Image via Unsplash
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