This was a tragic event in my life. I am mentally scarred.
I went to the Westside sale near Malad. That wasn’t the tragedy. I’ll come to that later.
I hardly ever shop without my mother. It’s sad, I know, but I don’t trust my friends. I asked Riddhi once whether I should buy 5 packs of incense sticks and she said
“Yea, yea sure. Go for it”
Instead of slapping the side of my head and saying
“No! Are you fucking crazy, bitch? Who needs 5 packs of agarbatti? Are you opening a whore house?”
So I bought the 5 packs of incense. They all claimed to have various enchanting scents, and they all stank like the inside of a rape taxi.
I have never shopped with Riddhi since.
On the way to Westside my mother is bragging non-stop about her amazing ability to go to the gym.
“You know everyone keeps asking me at the gym how I’m so thin. All these young people say ‘Auntie how are you so thin? You’re so fit auntie! And I just smile. You know, for my age I’m very fit”
“Haan, haan very fit”
“I can lift 25 kg on my chest (or something, I can’t remember). This guy was lifting so much so I thought if he can so can I!”
“Wow 25 kg weights. Wow, wow.”
“So-and-so at my dance class has a damn fat bum. No, really her bum is huge! Look at me I’m so thin! Feel my arms!Go on feel them! Look at my muscles! Aren’t they strong! They are damn strong. I’m very pleased.”
“I havent been to the gym in 2 days. Your father doesn’t care how fat he is! But I care!”
I tease her by saying
“Of course you’re thin Mom, you had 3 feet of intestines removed. Food goes in and right out again. It’s like an in-built diet”
She was really ill, once. We thought she might die. She refused to go to the hospital until the last-minute. My father finally forced her after she hadn’t been able to eat for a week and she turned to him and said,
“You want me to go to the hospital! You are doing this on purpose! You want me to suffer!!”
My mother is crazy. Please read this earlier post to learn more.
In any case they had to do emergency surgery and remove loads of her gut.
So after much discussion of abs and fitness and her weight and how fat so-and-so’s bum is and how my mother likes to pretend to be coy about her amazing gym abilities we get to Westside.
The shops in Bombay have tighter security than an airport these days. Bag check, X-Ray machine, Metal detectors, body scanner and how are you suppose to refuse a cavity search, when there’s a 50% sale on at Mango? Tell me now.
I usually insist on holding on to my bag. It is not a handbag, because I refuse to become an Auntie (or an adult). It is practically a school satchel. It reeks of tobacco (among other things), there may or may not be a toothbrush and various empty packs of cigarettes, some lighters, pens, an eraser, wet wipes in a zip lock, books, a sketch book, eye pencils and a cherry chapstick (So I can run around kissing girls Katy Perry style). Of course I rarely can find anything without a 5 minute rummage due to all this junk.
My mom says
“Aare leave it in the car no. You don’t need it”
I say no no I want it. I need it. It has all my stuff in it. It’s very important. Verrrry important!
Bharat, my father’s driver also says
“Haan, haan take it only, don’t leave it.”
He was just being bitchy because he hates me. And in response I think he is a loafer and a chauvinist and he has had 3 wives too many. The 4th one is 2 or 3 years younger than me. She was 16 when she ‘married’ him and he used to lock her in his flat while he was at work because he thought she might have an affair.
So then we are walking in to this shop and my mom turns to me and says
“Listen I hope you don’t have any ‘stuff’ in your bag…”
I have an sudden change of heart and think it would be better to leave my bag in the car. No no I dont really need it. No it’s cool there’s nothing important at all…
But this wasn’t the tragedy, my Mom knows about all the maal already.
“Just don’t do cocaine. It’s very expensive.” she once told me. (and you know, I never have.)
Let me just add, that the Westside sale is a scam. They mix all the sale items with the new items so you can’t find them. And there are no sale tags. They just cross off the price with a ball point pen in really, really, teeny-tiny handwriting. If they could write in invisible ink they would.
We bought 10 items altogether, none of which turned out to be on sale. This is still not the tragedy. I’m coming to that. (Karmically the counter lady forgot the add the most expensive item to our bill and my mother and I were very pleased. I don’t consider this theft. I consider it an act of fate)
Then this very tragic thing happened.
When I was but a wee teen, I used to wear really baggy T-shirts. The worst kind of too: Black with band photos on them. Manson, Nirvana, Fred Durst, nine Inch Nails. I didn’t wear them because I was fat, but because I hated my boobs.
One day I was just an average flat-chested kid with a fringe and the next I was a porn star. If I had known about strapping them in and turning into a drag king, by golly I would have. (I only had sports bras. I really don’t understand the purpose of a sports bra. It is the most un-sporting bra in the world. If you run your breasts are liable to hit you in the face.)
Then someone from school told me that they heard this guy talking to someone else about my boobs. I’m really tempted to name them (but I won’t), because I still resent both those guys. The guy who told me in the first place, the creepy little twerp (he’s in prison now), and the guy who was talking about my boobs, that over-grown, lanky doosh (I think he might be married and has now added me on Linkdin).
Eventually after many years, and many fashion faux pas later, I have grown, if not to love my boobs, then at least to accept their size.
So I went to buy some bras. I asked for my size. This bra lady at westside hands me a size I consider a joke.
This is not my size! This is the size for blow-up dolls or Guju aunties with rolls and rolls of fat. Don’t be ridiculous and hand me this.
She says, no no try it.
These women are always trying to con me into buying these random new bras and none of them ever fit. Even if I’m deluded enough to think they do, later they just fall off at embarrassing times.
Look I just want my old bra. Just give me the size I asked for.
“Just try ma’am” she says “I don’t have this other one, but I’ll look try in the meantime”
Fine fine! This is a total waste of my time. I don’t need to wear a bra this big. My head could fit in it. Ok look I’ll humour you and try it on but just sort it out and get me my proper size next.
So I tried it.
Damn her. It fit like a glove.
I had to buy 6 bras.
What a tragedy.