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"Big" Issues and "Tall" stories.

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Manjureddy, May 4, 2007.

  1. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Hi
    Windowshopping at the Mall, last weekend, I made a very happy discovery. A special section of a lifestyle store selling clothes labelled " Plus", "More" , Double-Sundae" etc. How wonderful to be acknowledged as a valid, legal entity at last ! Tees, Kurtis, Ponchos, jackets, trousers, even tank-tops and footwear - just the idea of such loot being made available for generously built women today made me want to dance and throw roses at the market researchers.

    At birth, I was standard issue. But within a year I had grown too big for my booties. I dont know what herbs my doting grandma poured into my gullet, but by the time I was in class 3, I was sentenced to The Back Bench for life. Last seat in the classroom. Last row in assembly and PT Drills. The drummer bringing up the rear of the school band. Poor parents tiredly repeating "No she dint fail ". Sudden smiles from strangers. All because I stood apart. A good head taller than my classmates.
    During Xmas, the nuns got up the most lovely, greeting-card perfect productions based on the Nativity theme. I longed to be Mother Mary or a Fairy . But no ! Wasn't petite enough. Always had to be one of the Three Kings, itching under a woolly beard or a hooded shepherd glued to the background scenery.
    Only NCC respected my height. On the Parade Ground, I could straighten my unconscious stoop, stand tall(er) in heeled boots, ahead of my Squad. In the front for once !.
    NCC was one thing. Pavadai-Thavanied mingling in a wedding was another. Let me put it this way. At social dos, people looked up to me ! Proud ? Naah ! Felt like a freak ? No, no. Nothing so melodramatic. But I know what it is like to be made to feel ..."unusual". Unusual , not as in a long "ooh!", but as in a short "oh!".
    The only thing dainty about me was my Father's name for me: Manjukutty ! If paternal love was selectively blind, Maternal exasperation used magnifying glasses. When aggravated, Mother used wonderfully picturesque similies: Kokku, Ottadaikucchi, Nayakar-Mahal Thoon....
    In a family whose members were decent enough to attain just the gender averages in height, why one aberration? The gene probably came from a great grand Aunt always refered to as Tallerthanhusbandgowri. Married at 8 to a gangly youth of 15, Gowri, upon puberty, had shot up like the proverbial Peerku while the boy, unfortunately, registered no upward mobility at all. All said and done, they did have a long and happy married life in the early 1900s, never seen positioned together , in public, ever.
    I fared better than Gowri. At 5feet 11 inches, my husband is three inches taller than me, but it hardly shows .He being tall and trim , looked like "The Average Man". I being tall and slim looked like "The Average Flagpost".
    My slim look did not last long. Within a year, marital bliss started showing up as cellulite on my XL bone frame. Alarmed, I went gymming. Being too tall is ok, but I wasn't too keen on a "Big-Fat" tag. But gymming had to be abandoned when the trainer, instead of giving me a regimen designed for Sripriya, put me through a Sharon Stone workout. Result : Instead of flab melting, the mass "toned". For 2500 rupees I had got myself biceps and broader shoulders. Big, bobbed and biceped. I really looked like "John Abraham in drag", as Vidya would say !

    Which drags me into the matter of suitable attire. As a child I always wore frocks made for girls two years older than me. As an adult, I had to make do with severely limited choice in readymades. A darzi in a cubbyhole became my chief dress supplier ,though there were only this many design ideas the dear Sattar Sahib could cope with.
    I have always wanted to build a temple to the inventor of Sarees, my saviour !
    The less recalled about footwear woes the better. By class 9 I needeed size 8.5 and had to abandon all dreams of becoming Imelda Marcos Jr. Kolhapuris, Hawaiis and the Flat-Black-V strap slipper were all I could own. High heels? what's that ?
    Back to window shopping at the mall and XXL clothes.
    I dont stick out in the crowd now. There are at least 5 (younger) women at my eyelevel. Girls today are generally tall, erect and not all are slim and svelte either. No one stoops , because people seem to have stopped using my mother's similies. Our Miss Indias make good height a desirable goal . Garment Retailers are stocking on sizes beyond L . Fancy feminine footwear are available upto size 10 ! Mothers are seen furiously feeding Complan, Horlicks, Boost etc to all their kids, so that the daughters too grow Taller, stronger, smarter.
    How lovely ! "Tall", "Big" and "XL" are no longer "Unusual" !
    Emang, Omang, Jabang to that !

    manjula
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
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  2. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Manju,

    I hard a hearty laugh at ur plight.....cos i am in the same boat......
    though i am not THAAAT tall, at my 5feet 6 inches itself i felt all the things u have described ! I too had to play the male roles in my dance dramas....( the only role i loved was Krishna, since i had some nice people bowing down to me as if i am real God!) . But i had to fight with my teacher to give me a decent female role, for which she made me act as her mother ( all with grey hairs etc) . :cry:
    So i gave up and now have equally added some weight also, so i am never missed out in the crowd and people make note of everything i do( which is bad, since i cannot laugh out loud also in public!):evil:
    In fact my daughter who is short always has this complex and many times does not wnt to come with me since she feels i overshadow her....and always cries why she has not shot up.....why didn't my genes come to her!
    Well ikkaraikku akkarai pacchai thaan!:mrgreen:
    I too tell my daughter ( she is 20) that i will give her Complan now! and she comes after me with a stick...he he......
     
  3. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Sudha
    Nice to know someone else too went thro' all that ! Yes, as you rightly say, its impossible for big people to make themselves inconspicuos so we must always be on best behaviour everywhere !

    Ha Ha, enjoyed that bit about people bowing to you as krishna ! Unfortunately for me Dancing was never even thought of as an option, I shudder to think what role I might have landed ! Ravana or Kamsa or Mahishasura maybe ! I could have tried my hand at Yakshagana or kathakali, why dint I think of that !

    One advantage I must mention: I dont need to look for a stool or step ladder to change bulbs or open the bathroom loft in my present apartment ! Tip -Toeing is enough !:-D

    Luv
    manjula
     
  4. sathya

    sathya Gold IL'ite

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    hello

    that was sure a tall story..a big one too...
    thats better than being a kulla katharikka i think
    just average pa..thank god..
    high heels um podalaam
    pavadai thaavanium kattalaam
    skirt pottaal kuchi kaala?
    nimirnthu paarthal ottadai kuchiya..
    amithab naditha paattu ..
    jiski beevi lambi uska bhi bada kaam hai..


    sathya
     
  5. cheer

    cheer Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Manju,

    Hey great writeup, U made me laugh too. Well i'm also in the same boat although i'm not as taller as ure, but i'm well built:mrgreen: . My height is 5'6 & i'm not slim at all (i don't want to tell my weight:wink: ). Especially in India u faced more problem with ready made clothes then here in north america. So i can't buy ready made suits or top. Therefore, i have no option left to stich my clothes then to buy ready mades. Pity girl me:cry: , although i didn't faced any difficulty here.
     
  6. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Manju,

    You have the admirable quality of being able to laugh at yourself. That was one well written piece. Yes i can understand what you must have gone through. At least now , it good that India is catching up with the Big and Tall sizes.
    With all the Big macs, and KFC and pizza huts, looks like we will be getting BIG sizes in India soon.

    Vandhana
     
  7. raginiprakash

    raginiprakash Senior IL'ite

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    Hi! Manju,

    That was an such an entertaining read, loved your sense of humour!!

    Well, at 5ft 6" i'm considered tall too & have got admirable comments from people about my height, though i never really faced problems with clothes in India or here. But i can definitely identify with 'high heels?' whats that?'!!

    But, my parents have always had to face comments or should i say so called sympathies from people who were more than anxious to know, how they would ever manage to find husband's for myself & my sister. Now......after having got taller handsome husband's i'm sure they are all eating their words!!! Ain't i glad!!??:)

    This was some years back.......but now, like u said, we sure don't stick out like a sore thumb. May our tribe increase!!

    Cheers!
    Ragini
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2007
  8. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Nice one;Manju! have always enjoyed your pithy sense of humour! Along with Cheeniya, you keep us laughing. Keep posting.

    If you felt that being tall and big was irritating, then think of poor me not so tall and big!!:cry:

    'John Abraham in drag'---- that sentence sounds familiar???

    regards
    Vidya
     
  9. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Anbu Sathya,


    Ma thavamellam seithu
    Mangaiyaraai piranthu vantha
    nammil
    silar kathrikkayaga
    silar podalangaayaga
    maari tholaithathu yen ?

    Poduvoma oru case
    Consumer Court- il,
    Brahmalokatthu
    Quality Controllers meethu ?

    manjula
     
  10. Manjureddy

    Manjureddy Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Cheer
    Thanx.
    Our Mahaan Bharath has caught up with the west in everything : junk food culture, Obesity , earlier puberty and body sculpting fads. Now, clothes in larger sizes have followed, as a natural corollary.
    Pity, I chose the wrong era to be born in !

    manjula
     

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