Wednesday, October 19, 2005

pent up thoughts

some pent up thoughts from not having blogged in a while...

The other day my wife was complaining about how I'm too skinny. And it got me thinking. For my entire life, I've had relatives make comments like "hey - you've lost weight since we last saw you!", "you should eat more!", and "you're all skin and bones!"

I have tried retorting with the very logical "You say that everytime. If it really were true, I'd be non-existant by now." but that usually just gets brushed off and is followed by some oily snack being thrust in my face.

Anyways, it got me thinking how ridiculously biased society is. No one meets an overweight relative and makes comments like "hey - you've put on so much weight since we met!", or "you should really cut back on your food", or "you're all lard!". Why is it acceptable to publicly make fun of skinniness but not of fatness?

:) I'm not all that bothered by it, but I think the next time someone says I look skinny, I'm going to tell them that they look like an elephant.

On a totally unrelated note. Today I went to play tennis and this guy was just getting off the court from practicing; he was just picking up a basket worth of balls and putting them into his bag. After he was done, he went back to the court, bent over and touched it with both hands, lingered there for a few moments, straightened up, and touched his hands to his heart and then his forehead. The gesture was so pregnant with reverence and sincerity, that I was moved and disoriented afterwards. It wasn't a quick, ritualistic, obligatory movement; but slow, deliberate, and sincere.

On the one hand, gestures like these are so built into Indian culture (a similar gesture is used as an apology for accidentally touching someone with your feet) that most of the time they are done in a very obligatory-type manner (quick, unthinking, instinctive). On the other hand, the idea of revering your 'craft' (sort of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"-like) is just built into most people.

Two examples of that: Almost every driver (chauffer) I have seen will fold their hands in prayer for a few seconds before starting the car for the first time in the day. Second, the other day there was a festival during which people gave the instruments of their craft a day of rest, and worshipped them. I know of a few IT companies where all the servers were shut down in the morning, coconuts broken and prayers and sweets offered before they could be brought back up in the afternoon.


Kush said...

dude, my relatives *always* tell me i've gained weight when i see them! then, like yours, they give me an oily snack.

praveen said...

thanks for telling me yesterday that i look thinner than usual! :-)

but yes, i agree completely with what you write - have had the same thing happen to me so many times!