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Last year I met someone I knew but hadn’t seen in a while. She did not recognise me. So I had to tell her who I was. She stared at me open-mouthed. ‘No, it cannot be!’ she exclaimed disbelievingly. ‘You look so different!’

She was right, I did look different with no hair on my head. I mean who counts the one to two centimetres of hair I do have on my head as hair? Not the Mallus for whom hair means a dark curtain which cascades from your head to at least your waist.

Yup, I too have had it just that way before the cut-hair bug bit me yet again in the early 2000s. Ever since, the length of my hair has only steadily diminished till it reached the lowest ever point of one centimetre more or less in the last decade. Satisfied with the outcome, that’s where I have stopped for now.

Anyway, short hair is not the only reason people fail to recognise me. I have added kilos to my being and am more rotund than I ever was in my life. So I wasn’t really surprised that day at the lady’s surprise, but imagine my surprise when she turned to the others sitting there and said, ‘She used to be such a beautiful thing, you know!’

“Used to be?” asked an annoyed L&M when I repeated the conversation to him on our way home. I laughed. “What does she mean, ‘used to be?!!” He was not about to let it go. Well, I didn’t really mind she had put it in the past tense. According to her, I had at least been beautiful once upon a time! I found it amusing.

Take the case of some others. They make it a point to discuss my weight whenever they see me as if that is the world’s foremost problem as of then. “It’s not your hair cut but your weight that makes you unrecognisable to people” a related-by-marriage-young-thing told me a few years back in an imparting-wisdom-to-the-less-informed kind of tone. I had nothing to say in reply to that other than a so-be-it smile.

There was a more senior lady who wanted to know, right in the middle of the wedding feast we were partaking too, if I ate more these days. “You could have checked my banana leaf, I was sitting right in front of you,” I told her cheerfully, inwardly gnashing my teeth, and thereby aiding in making my dentist richer.

These and other incidents have made me wonder 1)Why cannot people mind their own business. 2) Since they aren’t paying for my food, why are they bothered. Sometimes I want to tell them there are umpteen other things in life that gives joy, but I don’t think they will be interested. What I have found the funniest by far in this whole matter is the loud silence and studied avoidance of the topic of my weight in recent times. You see, I have shed a few kilos. Now that’s a kill-joy, right? 😉

Note: The picture above has no relevance to the post. I found the flowers beautiful and have used it as decoration. 🙂

©Shail Mohan 2022

And thus we come to the end of #RamblingsInFebruary. From tomorrow it will be business as usual. Thank you all for reading.