There is one activity that really unites India more than cricket, culture or ogling at Sri Devi – laughing at fat people. Class, caste, region or religion have no impact on the notion that well-upholstered people are basically asexual sound effects that must be compared with (insert clichéd animal reference or even sweets). It struck me right after I unearthed the goldmine that was Akshat Singh – as many of you know him as the chubby kid who went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (at which point I must confess that I am not jealous of him. At all! Not even little bit! Bloody motu, how dare he?)
That’s when I remembered realized that life for horizontally well-endowed students in school can be quite difficult because other children waste no time in reminding them that they are structurally overstuffed. Any typical argument ends with a not-so-fat-kid ending the argument with something like “Yeah but then you were born because an anaconda had sex with the Himalayas, you fatso!” (insert *toinggggggg* *BOLOBOLOBOLOOOOOOOOO*. Don’t ask me why childhood had sound effects from a Sajid Khan movie. It just did.)
And these are the creative ones. The uncreative ones are worse. They deserve all the Sahitya Akademi awards that are being returned.
“Your BMI must be like a billion trillion frillion jillion dandelion.”
“You have boobs!”
Many times it’s just harmless fun (with each kid just trying to get some attention) but then there are always a couple of asshole students who make sure they remind you in each and every class.
Biology – “Dude she said fat globules! Like that sounds fat already. Which you are”
Economics – “The World Bank wants to borrow some fat to give to Sudanese children. I suggested your name”
Physics – “Newton’s fourth law is that a fatty shall be a fatty until more fat is acted upon because fat”.
“Dude that didn’t even make sense”
“Shut up. Motu!”
Chemistry – “Dude have you ever thought about how your stomach and chest look like a nice water molecule?”
Geography – “Dude, if you lie down on your back and I look at you sideways and then trace your body structure na, it’ll look exactly like the Andes!”
“Can you stop staring so much? It’s getting a little weird now”
And physical education or the sports teacher is usually the worst of the lot because not only does he not stop these jokes but he feels like his professional ethics dictate that he must join a bunch of middle school children in their mockery sessions. His idea of creativity is making a strongly under height child do push ups while others perform demonic rituals and belt out Amar Chitra Katha asura laughs.
Of course it isn’t that bad and it is exaggerated (although I will never reveal which ones are true and which ones aren’t). But the problem is that rather than talking to the architecturally rotund children about fitness and the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, current social systems are quite happy mocking them and blaming Bollywood for not making enough movies where anatomically ample people are round characters, no pun intended. Are we really looking for inspiration from an industry that forgives Sajid Khan? So in this context someone like Akshat Singh, although no Jackie Shroff, is quite a rebel and inspirational.
So the next time you see a fat kid being weird or quiet around you, try talking to them like they were a normal person, for a change. Otherwise they’ll think it is an invitation to eat you!