Published in One India One People magazine, Satire Column, May 2016
The next time if you are going to tell me “women are like wine and they get better with age”, I am going to put you on the Soyuz to space. Reaching forty is more dreadful than getting married. You get ‘cold feet’ literally. Your metabolic rate climbs faster than Mallya’s debt. The dimples on your cheeks spread to your chin and incessant emptying of the left over aalu masala into your tummy shows up as bulges right, left and all across your body.
You, the woman, being pampered all your life with wine and dine can realize the after-shocks only when you near the forty benchmark. When you want to cat walk, all you can do is waddle like a duck. You imagine pouting as you click that selfie and end up spraining your cheek muscles. You feel like running when all you can do is barely stand straight with your back bone doing MJ’s moon walk, lodged somewhere in the muscle mound.
As a woman, you care about the family. You worry about the spiraling price of brinjal and carrots and forget your weight that shoots up to the stars. You fret and fret about the power bill, the gas bill and water charges that you never get to think the last time you gave your hair a little oil to survive. Every month as you buy the proverbial ‘complan’ that promises to make your children taller, stronger and sharper, you only look with awe at the Women’s horlicks adorning the next counter. You total up your purchase and find exactly Rs. 299.99/- short of buying health drink for you. You skip your breakfasts most mornings as you are the perennial late-comer to office.
Your evening walk schedule is always marred by homework and a search party for the missing right sock of your little devil drains out all your energy. When the hormones too gate crash the 40’s party, you are a total mess. Your mood swings are worse than NIFTY index and when a poor unsuspecting you scramble a day’s off on a visit to the Ob-gyn to ‘fix’ your menstrual problem, all hell breaks loose. The most dreaded question hits you when the doc asks you to recollect your LMP date. You sit starry-eyed, looking at the ceiling, the fan, you count the wrinkles on the doc’s hand and fail to remember dutifully. No amount of coaxing and cajoling your graying grey matter can remind you that auspicious date.
As managers of the house- self anointed ones at that, we women fail miserably in caring for us. The Indian family set up connives with our finances and puts up at a high pedestal where the only way is up. Every time our child says- “Meri paas maa hai”, our ego bloats to the size of the Titanic and floats in the kutumb sagar. When the whole family rushes for an annual medical check at a posh hospital, we the women love to stay back at home making rotis and sabzi for the famished ones at the hospital.
World Cancer Day (Feb 4), World Health Day (Apr 7), International Day of Action for womens’ health (May 28) - all days and campaigns are conveniently ignored as we sit sniffing on saas-bahu soaps. Health issues and awareness about them- especially hormonal imbalance, weakening of bones, increase/decrease in weight (increase always, decrease very rarely), problems in menstrual cycle, depression and many more never evoke the desired response in us. They just don’t interest us like Mrs. Sharma’s 42” LED TV or Mrs. Verma’s 12 carat diamond ring.
One fine morning, when we sit back in pain and realize that we have indeed ignored our health, it might be too late, Ladies! No one would be there waiting for us with steaming hot rotis and sabzi when we get back from hospital. The ball is in your court. To play with it and remain healthy or to ignore will be your choice.
Regular screening for cancers, mammograms, health check-ups and above all a healthy life style is what we need at 40. A little bit of selfishness and pampering our body isn’t a crime. Do not, I repeat DO NOT treat your stomach as a trash can. Spend 30 minutes a day walking. Spend another 30 minutes exclusively for your hobby. Even if it is rumour-mongering! And oh, add to it constant weight check. Trust me, your posteriors ain’t looking great in the hospital gowns!