Mati (name changed) was the first grandchild. The elders, her parents, and the extended family loved her. Everyone wanted to cuddle her. She was a cutie and rather quick on the uptake. She learned all the nursery rhymes very soon. Mati was the darling of the family. Eventually, over the years, her parents gave her more siblings. She loved playing mama bear to her siblings.
They lived in a joint family. The lives of the children were safe, but they had to deal with nasty relatives. The children were expected to follow instructions or face the wrath of the elders. This was back in the day when kids did not retaliate. Little Mati, who was a voracious reader (still is), found comfort in food. You see, food never treated her shabbily and neither did the books.
Mati eventually puffed up and became chubby, but was as pretty as a button. Her black eyes, lovely thick black hair, shy nature, and happy aura brought many suitors. She studied well and rose up the ranks in her own way.
It was early on when she was engaged to a man who seemed to be the marrying kind. After the engagement, to her dismay, she learned about his glad eye. With a heavy heart, she broke it off and immersed herself in her family, friends, and career. Mati was shocked that the man she loved could be so blasé about his affairs. This was a cruel shock. Her family was simple. There were no stories of unfaithfulness it was only in the books she read although most of them had the happy ever after storyline.
Years went by, she put on more padding. Mati met another man who was the ideal mate. He was a bit younger than she was, but they shared the same interests. He was extremely possessive but loving. Mati felt a sense of comfort – here was someone who cared about her, accepted her size and did not cheat. After years of courtship, he cunningly walked away and married another woman, overseas! Mati heard about it from other sources and she was devastated. He just upped and left, with no explanation.
Mati immersed herself in her work. The family became a top priority. In addition, her weight spiraled. Eventually, she resigned herself to the fact that no man would want to love her.
Mati is a person people like to comment about because she does not meet the cut by the trim brigade. She is looked at with disdain because she is plus sized, but should an occasion arise where help is needed, no one bats an eyelid to rein in her support.
There are many Mati’s in the world. While she gets on with her life, all that people see is her weight. If only, people look beyond the obvious and see the person behind the façade of fat, and look into her lovely soul, they will retreat. I end here with a comment that while obesity is an illness, ridiculing someone because s/he does not have the right circumference is, so damn ridiculous.
Mati lost two men who vowed to love her. I believe that she was lucky – she dodged the bullet twice otherwise, she would have been in a terrible state with either of them. Let us raise our glasses to her and the men and women who are ridiculed, treated shabbily, used and cast aside just because of not conforming to a certain size.
Bless you, Mati; we need more people like you – kind, loving, and generous.