Saturday, January 19, 2008

Of men and their waists

Let me first announce that I have taken the liberty of being a social anthropologist much to your detests and protests. You may know that I am neither that observant nor am I patient. But there are strange waist changing experiences in my life that happened quietly over the last 10 years that make me feel that I am qualified. So I go ahead....
Men (when they start becoming one) at the age of 16, start caring a bit about their waist. Thats for many reasons. I remember a few.
  1. The much awaited graduation from nicker or arai-drawer or nijar to a full pant. This makes any man in the making, concious. The full pant should fit rightly to the waist so that it neither sweeps the floor nor does it reveal that bony portion above the feet. So waist suddenly becomes a matter of importance
  2. Second reason they care about waist suddenly is that..well...i dont know..

When its 18, waist becomes a matter of utmost importance and distress. The man would have graduated from tailor stichted pants made out of vimal suitings to something from the authentic men's world of dressing - The Allen solly's and Louis Phillipe's of the world. Welcome to the world of men through 28 inches. Suddenly he feels like he has arrived. With the unnatural knowledge of Karl Lagerfield, Valentino Rudi gained from excessive watching of F TV, the man begins to believe that he is indeed fashion.

When he reaches 21, when its time to flex some muscles and get some girls up the alley the man's attention turns again to the waist. He embarks on a lifelong journey of trying to cut down the flab and conquer those two inches for the rest of life to look fit for his age. The war of attrition you may call this one to be. With the Allen Solly's and Louis Phillipe's still assuring him that, inspite of crossing 30 inches he is still a fit man, he goes on to woo the women who mysteriously stay put at 28 inches or even worse, 26 inches. I believe in the non-linearity of life and that's what people call as "hope" in a philosophical conversation. You cant get a more stark evidence of it when you see a girl at her 20 and at her 30. The waist size zooms from 28 to 38 or even 40 in some not so exceptional cases.

At 24 the man's concerns about his waist are different.He has already learnt the art of positive living. He knows words like obesity can mean prosperity as well. He realizes for a moment that, its ok to be 32 inches or even much more. What matters is what job he has and how it can win the best girl in town. Thats what he thinks, till he indeed gets that women out of sheer staying power, money power and luck. Then she comes into life and goes away like how the evergrowing waistline dodges men. After she's gone, a liberal intake of liquor and lot of gas about women make him swell to 34.

This time man tries and succeeds in most cases to marry of woman of (no longer his) choice through arranged marriage. Thats 27 years into this world. Parties, home food and lot of unqualified and undeserved attention from various quarters would mean that its time to be concerned about the waist. Now the waist starts a linear progression competing with his age. The sizes raise in proportion. 36 when he is 27 and 46 when he is 37 and 50 when he is 47.

He stops noticing his waist becuase the illusion of the disappeared legs remind him of ghosts and thats one scary thought, you bet!

Along comes the doctor who advises him to cut down on everything he can eat, smell and see. There comes the miracle! At 60, finally his waist size comes down to 36! But the journey has to go on for the human kind. His son is now 27 years old and on a journey of inflating his waistline while if its a daughter she would have just started the process of looking like a parabolic curve from the top angle!

Of men and their waists.

- The author works for an IT company. He is paid well. He is recently married and he like cooking and eating. His wife likes chocolates and butter.

Vital Stats: Waist (34 inches, when the tummy is tucked in firmly to the extent of jamming the lung walls)


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