I am five feet nothing tall. And I ain't getting any taller by the day.
This was established when I was 16. For that's about the age I stopped praying to God for an extra five inches, which I needed so badly to rid myself of an obnoxious label slapped on me by a teacher who thought she was witty and cool and what not.
"Here comes the short girl with a long name," she said welcoming me in front of the class to give an extempore. That was it. Every bone in my body decided to hate her thereafter.
Photo Credit: Mona Singh
One blow after another. First it was my genes. My parents are short people with tall personalities. I wished it had been the other way round. Then it was my religion. It had clearly turned its back on me. Despite my constant prayers, I stayed put at five feet. And then it was friendship.
I remember the most depressing day of my 9th grade was when one of my very dear friends showed up three inches taller after the summer break. Just like that, she had decided to shoot up like a bamboo. I felt betrayed. For we were both supposed to stay short and wallow in our short-heightedness. Forever!
That was our deal. Unspoken though.
Things turned around once I entered university. For starters, block heels came into fashion. Then one of the tallest guys in my college asked me out. And then I got a pair of jeans that made me look so thin that I forgot about my length. Basically the whole universe conspired to heal and massage my wounded ego.
Perhaps that's the reason I spent my 20s being all cocky and preachy and what not. I was filled with endless energy. Mindless chatter. A lot of bullshit. So much so that I sometimes even sounded like those self-help guides I devoured back then.
Now whoever said that age was just a number was clearly in denial.
Take it from someone who hasn't aged so gracefully. For me, age has been a character flaw. A rather fickle state of mind. A personality disorder. A disturbing hormonal imbalance. And a lot more.
Now I am 34 years of age. And I ain't getting any younger by the day.
I have a deep suspicion that I gain weight in my sleep. Every three months I have to colour my hair to hide the grey strands that hang like dry tendrils on my forehead. If I go out on a Friday evening, I need the entire weekend to recover. Sometimes an entire week.
I feel mentally drained if I have to make small talk with more than one person at the same time. Or even to nod to someone talking delightfully to engage me in an intellectually stimulating conversation. It's disturbing that the last three parties I enjoyed were solely on the grounds of good food or cake.
I am not sure what I'll make of all this in my 40s. But I am sure of one thing. Age is definitely not a number. And maturity has nothing to do with it.