WOW | Coffee Break

A certain type of woman



Inadequacies? Man, have I earned my stripes!

NAMRATA-GARGI have given birth to and brought up two boys, not very far apart. I was a parent only till I had Suvrat; then came Pranit, and I turned into a referee! And refereeing, as everyone knows, has never been an easy profession, more so, when you are not qualified for it, have no previous experience and there’s no user friendly instruction manual at hand.

During a hormone-assisted pregnancy, I watched helplessly as the pounds materialised out of thin air. Coupled with several health issues and surgeries, with a lot on my plate, I found myself fighting a losing battle of the bulge all the time….

And then began a period of self loathing…this stranger in the mirror was surely not me…. if I could not bear to look at my own self, how could other people tolerate me? Although I was fortunate to be blessed with the unconditional love and support of family and friends, there were also suggestions of ridicule from certain quarters. This served to teach me something about being sensitive to other people’s private issues…

Thankfully, I realised very soon that no one was perfect. The ‘wellwishers’ who berated me probably did it to feel good about themselves. Surely, I had other gifts they felt threatened with? At this time, I also realised that I was as unique and special as all my other friends I admired so much. I had my own strengths!

As I learnt to respect myself, I also prepared to accept myself. More than acceptance from other people, it is important for us to accept ourselves. I am my biggest critic, but I accept others as they are, without judging them. Surely, anyone worth my time was doing the same…with self-acceptance came empowerment and the knowledge that I had special gifts and talents.

And yes, I would not give anyone authority to ridicule me, or trespass into my personal territory. All advice offered with love is most welcome, but I don’t have room in my life for toxic presences. And when someone else decides for me, how I should be looking, behaving, working etc. it is either out of abundant love and concern or else they are battling their own demons in probably the only way they know- by trying to prove others less worthy.

Now, years later, with the children growing up and going to college, comes the realisation that I am not getting any younger.

Musings on my 40th birthday led me to the conclusion that I was in a happy place. Never before, had I been more in control of my life. I was more in tune with my body, I understood what type of a person I was and what exactly I wanted in my life, what I was going to put up with and where I was going to draw the line.

And it is a beautiful place to be in. That errant strand of grey has not come cheap. And I tell the woman in the mirror, “Hey, just stay the way you are, you are beautiful the way you are!”