Sravanti was barely six when her mom said, “If you don’t start losing weight, I will have to give Lobo as your dowry.” Lobo was their cocker spaniel puppy. Sravanti’s brother, Rehan, was also obese, but he got the nicest treats in the house. The finest pastries, biscuits, and ice creams graced the table on his birthday. Rehan often teased Sravanti that their parents had picked her up from the dustbin. Sravanti’s dad used to buy her material to get her kurtas stitched, since they didn’t have any readymades in her size. For Sravanti, the years that followed revolved around talks of her marriage, and how she could become marriageable, and find herself a good husband.
Sravanti was always on the cusp of turning over a new leaf. Tomorrow, she would be a thin, beautiful, and sexy Sravanti, and a handsome man would propose to her. But today, she settled for being the girl that no one gave a second glance.
Most men get what they want when they want it, but for women, the waiting game starts in childhood. Be it for a piece of sweet or their share of approval, it was one long wait. Sometimes, the approval little girls sought from their parents, siblings, and the people around them never came. Sravanti learned these lessons the hard way and at a very early age.
At eighteen, she started jogging. By age twenty, she had incorporated running into her life and even completed a couple of half-marathons. She lost weight, and people took notice. What kept her motivated, though, was that she was doing it for herself and not for winning a man as her mother had always hoped.
At a runner’s meet, she met Deepak. Tall, charming Deepak, who studied to be a psychiatrist. When their eyes met, their souls had a conversation. Skeptics, such as Sravanti’s dad, would say Deepak may not have fallen in love with Sravanti had she remained overweight, but losing her fat transcended looking beautiful. It was about shedding old beliefs that no longer worked for her and preparing to welcome something wonderful into her life. It was about making room for growth and enjoying the winds of change. It was about winning the waiting game.