(A purely “fictional” and entirely “imaginary” little tale inspired by characters from my days in Anushaktinagar, Mumbai).
They were a nasty group of raucous girls, with a few male admirers in tow. Body-shaming and drinking were their primary means of entertainment.
Hardly a day went by without my ears getting burned by some bawdy joke at my expense. I couldn’t avoid these foul-mouthed femmes, because we lived in the same bloody neighborhood. I’d just grin bravely, weep my eyes out in the loo, and bury myself in my books.
After I finally left Anushaktinagar, and moved to Bangalore, I thought I had left these ghouls behind for good. But hey, most of them moved to Bangalore as well. And like a Biblical pestilence, they started up again. I was older now, and didn’t give a shit about that bunch of foul-mouthed, middle-aged married women.
Until, they interfered in my personal life.
The woman I was married to at that time was also from Anushaktinagar, and she was very friendly with that body-shaming gang. Owing to my staunch refusal to leave India and migrate to Canada, she put me through an exceptionally traumatic divorce. ( is there any other kind, for Indian men?).
I wound up in a cardiac intensive care unit. Lost all my money and my job and my reputation. That loss of reputation was entirely due to that bunch of nasty women, and their equally nasty mothers.
Day after day, I’d see my aged parents crying like children, because of another vile rumor floated by those effing women. I would have ignored all that crap, except that the trauma my helpless old parents went through was unbearable. My old father, a scientist of world-renown, would call up these women, and beg them to stop, but they’d just laugh at him. I too paid one of them a visit and told her to back off, but she laughed at me even more.
Sadly, the one way to deal with such malicious women is to beat the living crap out of them. But of course, I definitely could not do that.
And so, I would console my grieving parents, and cry myself to sleep, just like the old days in Anushaktinagar.
One day, out of the blue, they actually invited me to one of their ghastly parties. A reunion of Anushaktinagarites, they said. Nostalgia, they said. Rekindle old memories, they said.
Like a fool, I went. I had this vague notion that I would set the record straight and bring their rumors to an end. And so, like a fool, I went. Naturally, nothing of the sort happened.
They had invited me just to poke fun at me. They felt they owed it to their good friend, my ex-wife, who had left India by then. The insults flew at me thick and fast, increasing with intensity as they drank more and more. I just sat there and took all the shit they threw at me, my blood pressure rising along with my rage.
But then, as I sat there, a light-bulb went off in my head. I suddenly saw them for what they really were.
A pathetic bunch of drunken, obese and incredibly flabby married women, creating a public spectacle of themselves. A sorry bunch of losers, trying to feel good about themselves by mocking benign nerds like me.
I took a good look at this drunken gaggle of drooling, sagging idiots. Waddling buttocks, pendulous flesh falling out of their clothes, glazed eyes, spouting drivel, reeking of liquor. And it was this stinking collection of ethanol-soaked tubs of lard that was making fun of me.
I laughed. And I walked.
As I walked out the door, the leader of that drunken gaggle hurled one last insult at me, making fun of my bald head. I turned round, gave her a huge, beatific smile, and politely told her, “Fuck you”. Just the two words. Fuck you.
That look on her stunned, wrinkled, drunken face. Oh that look. I almost came in my pants.
In that one moment, all that rotten baggage from my youth fell off my soul.
Thus, I laughed. All the way home. I laughed like a lunatic on LSD, tears streaming down my cheeks, nose dripping, sides hurting, people staring at me.
My aged mom was badly worried. Thought that I had gone bonkers. In between gusts of laughter, I told her about those Incredibly Flabby Body-shamers. After many years, I saw my mom smile.
And after many years, I slept well. And I continue to sleep well, thinking of those women and their unfortunate husbands. Imagine waking up next to a large mound of animal fat reeking of stale booze and vomit. Every morning. I’m happy to be single, thank you very much.
Just like that, I threw that entire gang of Incredibly Flabby Body-shamers out of my life.
It’s not much of a story, I know. Perhaps you expected a dramatic ending. But there are nerds like me out there who will relate to this tale. This is for them.
And hey remember, it’s just fiction. Purely imaginary. Just a story. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.