Photo via www.harrypotter.wikia.com
Photo via http://www.harrypotter.wikia.com

Oh my God there are mirrors everywhere! 

What I meant to say is that I am back from three years in India to spend three weeks with my family in Seattle, before joining Amma’s American tour for eight weeks and then back to India.  And my first observation of my trip back west is:  Oh my God there are mirrors everywhere!

For the love of God, can you tell me why you would want to constantly be seeing your flaws?

Most households in India, at least the ones where I stay and am invited, have a nice mirror of around 6 by 4 inches.  It is plenty big enough to comb your hair and freshen up in.  But not big enough to see things that you don’t really want to see anyways.

Then I walked into the airport bathroom with the full length mirror, and bright lights and saw what seemed to be me looking back at me.  But who was this person with so much gray, black lines under the eyes, and splotchy skin?  What?  Where did all that grey come from?  When I saw my mother she confirmed that the gray was nothing new, I just hadn’t noticed it in our 6 by 4 mirrors…

Photo Credit:  Sreejit Poole
Photo Credit: Sreejit Poole

I should have realized what was coming later in the day when my legs started screaming for air after my 15 hour flight from Dubai to Boston.  You see, in the part of India where I live, men generally wear a munda, a sheet like wrap around the waste instead of pants.  When I put my jeans on for the trip, I noticed they were no longer a perfect fit.  But after a day of being wrapped up in this tight rough fabric my legs were screaming for relief.  In Boston, I held my breath through immigration and then quickly found a bathroom to strip down and scratch my poor suffering legs like hell.  Wooh.  Just another 6 hour flight to go.

Ok, the airport was all well and good, but then I arrived home late at night, after 36 hours in transit, and thought I’d take a shower.  It was around midnight and the glow of the fluorescent spotlight in the bathroom shined down on the scale.  THE SCALE!  I take a breath, strip down to get the most favorable outcome, and I weigh in.  178?  178!  Arrrggghhh!

That is about 20 more pounds than I’m used to carrying.  In shock, and forgetting where I am I turn around and am faced with, horror of horrors, a full length mirror under the florescent spotlight, glamorizing my new 20 pounds in all of their glory!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The sagging, the pair shape, the completely out of proportion everything!  Normally walking into America from India we can guarantee adding on 10 extra pounds.  It’s like the air itself is saturated with sugar here.  But, coming in already up 20?  I need to go for a jog.  See you all later.

 

Have you had any surprises lately?

featured image by Sreejit Poole

31 Comments

  1. See now, I thought the good, frugal life in India was supposed to be kind to one’s waistline; but now you tell me it has made you heavier, I shall have to think again. As with myself, I suspect, the proximity to kitchens may have some bearing upon this situation.

    At home, I always wear loose casuals and sandals, never socks. I gave up with mirrors once I discovered my wife did not appear in them. One day I shall have to confront her with the truth…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Americans are the most self-image absorbed people in the world, or so it seems to me. It would be much better if we had constant reminders of how our inner, rather than our outer, beings appeared, but who asked me?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG This is hilarious.. as i sit next to the closet in my parents house that is lined ceiling to floor with mirrors! first thing in the morning – ME – all day – ME – right before bed – ME – ARGHHH!!! i have been telling people since i arrived a week ago – i had no idea what i actually looked like since i’m used to seeing only a portion of my face on the warped mirror on the wall of my room in india! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. C’mon. Have you forgotten that Americans are obsessed with vanity and beauty? LOL! Of course we need to be constantly reminded of ourselves (she says sarcastically).

    I for one don’t like too many mirrors but an occasional glance serves as a reminder that I need to make sure that when I eat, do so in moderation.
    🙂

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  5. Haha! I love this. I just flew back home from Seattle a couple of weeks ago – I feel like, while the US has a particular “thing” for ego for sure, there is still something extra special about Seattle! I don’t know how to describe it…a different form of liberalism to an extreme that actually leads to a certain type of judgment on the other end. Like Boulder, CO – but neither place would say they are the same; they are the best kind of unique, after all :o). Love it all regardless! Anyhow, I get it – I’m up 15lbs. since 3 years ago, and I’m feeling the internal pressure from my constant mirror reminders! I say we are all perfect just the way we are!! Much Love ❤

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  6. Haha. This had me giggling, Sreejit. I’ve recently been to San Ramon and thought of you. Have a job offer there, actually. I haven’t been to India so hadn’t noticed the thing about the mirrors, but it makes sense. It’s true that there are mirrors everywhere, and an increased emphasis on appearances, too. It’s no wonder eating disorders are so prevalent in the States.

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    1. At an after-school teaching center. It’s for both accelerated and remedial students. But it’s quite a drive from Berkeley, so I’m still waiting to see if a job closer might work out (I had an interview a week ago) before accepting. Gas is more than $4 a gallon right now, so that’s a lot of money to get to and from work. 😦

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  7. This is hysterical! I gave up on jeans years ago. Only practical for outdoor work where I live ( close to your first airline stop in America-Wow). I gave away my last pair 2 weeks ago and I just keep a pair of Levi’s 551s for my yard work. I think they are 25 years old. They have holes in the most unusual places… Anyway, mirrors and bright lights and the near constant drone of extraneous noise become more difficult to handle as we get older. At least that is what I believe. Give me my lose yoga clothes and the sounds of my backyard, the roaring beach or a warm spring rain anytime!

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  8. You titled this one correctly, alright!! LOL! Ah… such vulnerability in being naked. Curse you, scale and mirror. That’s alright, Sreejit. You’ve got the right attitude. Jog it off! Keep at it. Good news: You arrived safely, soul intact, itchy legs and all. Yikes

    Surprises? A few pounds. Weight fluctuates within 5 pounds or so. I’ve been spending more time writing the novel, so some gym “appointments” have been missed. Still maintain at least 3 days a week, but this sistah is used to 5! (I feel the difference, ever so slightly). Another surprise? I’m way closer to being done with the novel than I thought I would be.

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    1. There are about 3 publishers that I am actively “courting”. Definitely pursuing the self-publishing route. Hope to be picked up by a major publisher down the road (isn’t that the hope for many a writer?) 🙂 I am nearing completion – about 3-4 more chapters to go. I see the light, I see the light! I also look forward to you reading the novel one day and sharing it with the rest of the world.

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  9. All those mirrors tell you our/their (which pronoun do I use? Gee!) flaws are obviously not what Americans focus on. The rest of the post made me smile – and I love that shot of you swinging. One of my fav of you (What?! Not in keeping with the mood of the blog!)

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  10. You’re right. I did enjoy it. And I discovered you were male! For some reason I thought you were a woman. As for jeans, the secret is to get loose soft ones. I live in mine. Women in Mexico, where I live, wear their clothing skin tight no matter what their size. Those Americans who live here continue to wear looser clothing to cover up what they don’t want to admit. Without mirrors, I fear I’d have more and more to cover up each year! Enjoyed your post. Judy

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I thought you would! You were right actually. I am a woman! This is my son’s blog.

      I am one of those American’s that wear loose clothing….. and live in blue jeans. I don’t know that it is about covering up what I don’t want to admit. It is more about covering up what I don’t want others to see!

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  11. Great Post!! By the way, I am down to 159 from 203, funny my body looked much different when I was 159 at age 21. I suspect fate is LOL at me:)

    Liked by 1 person

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