24 Mar 2016

Love-shuv and besan-paste

I was religiously preparing a paste of besan, turmeric and green gram on my face when my phone indicated a familiar ringtone of a Skype call. The Man was impatient, he didn’t wait the half hour I had told him it would take to finish my “beauty ritual.”

“What were you doing?” he asked, pinching my imaginary nose in the air in front of him.
“If you must know, I was making besan-haldi-maavu paste to put on my face. It’s a new effort I’m taking to make sure I’m flawlessly radiant on wedding day.” I smiled, waiting to see a similar smile on his face. Any reference to the impending wedding and we grin like we are the only two to ever get married. Instead, he appeared puzzled.

“Why? What flaws are you correcting?”

I’d have gone on an immediate tirade, starting with my dark circles and ending with the unsightly love handles (why only they are called love handles. Nobody loves it on themselves); but I paused because I knew he wouldn’t buy my feeble attempts about dark circles.

“I don’t want to appear tired and dull.”
There. That was vague enough that he’d move on to other topics and let me prepare my concoction in peace.

“We have to wake up at 5 am for the Muhurtham. We will be tired anyway. Won’t you have makeup so you won’t look dull?” 
Why is he not letting up!

“I don’t particularly like the blemishes and marks and flaws okay? I need my paste and my dance routines to make me feel I’m getting to a goal!”

“Do your dance baby, put on your paste, but don’t mask it under ‘flaw correction’ or ‘reaching a goal’. Do it because you want to be healthy by exercising and rejecting chemicals by using organic. Because you are beautiful as you are.”

I’ve heard it before. To be loved as you are is a wondrous thing and the people in my life affirm the one thing I haven’t been able to tell myself at all – I love you as you are. There are no flaws. There is just you.

I’ve tried the diets, exercises and everything that goes with it. Rujuta was a favourite for a long time because she spoke a lot of sense, but I haven’t been able to stick with anything for too long. And not being comfortable in your skin also meant that you end up being okay when you regress into old habits.

We ended up talking about it for a long time…he admitted he had insecurities too, but for the most part, he’d shrug them off because fundamentally, he loved who he was, however he was. I admit it would take me some time to reach the zen he exudes while he says that he is absolutely comfortable in his skin (I still try to inconspicuously cover bits of myself at times), but I’m learning to love my body as much as I love my mind, my spirit and my ability to love with absolute conviction.

I’m trying again with renewed vigour and the knowledge safe in my soul – I’m me, however I am. I’m flawed, that’s okay. I’m loved, that’s a blessing beyond anything else.

I’ve no goals this time, not really. Just to be healthy to live out the many lives with The Man in parallel universes I had demanded from the creator in my last post.


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