If you are fat, you would not be amused by what is written below. You would be offended. If you are skinny, well....not any different. And that‘s not the purpose behind this piece. Just sayin.....
Scene: A mall in Abu Dhabi. A gent’s apparel show room. Evening.
A fat guy in a tee and big bermuda shorts was looking at the jeans displayed on hangers. His fingers travelled up slowly along a pair of denims like a villain stroking a vamps’ thigh in a Bollywood movie. Then they travelled down, even slower. The guy then pulled the fabric closer and smelled it. I got curious. I crept closer.
He must have been 16 something. A plump face with not much facial hair. Two eyes peering hard from a pudding-like face. Those eyes never left the jean; one of those latest designs that would expose your butt-crack, no matter how you sit down. I had students who wore them to college. Some of the guys would also expose a wisp of arse-hair during the process. The skinny ones took it to a whole new level. They would fix it around their waist as low as possible that it defeated logic and physics. I think the trick was in walking with your legs slightly apart so that it kept the jean in the periphery of your waist.
In Abu Dhabi I had seen some trousers with waists stretching up to a phenomenal 44 inches. Sometimes I have taken one of those heavy creations, opened, looked inside and felt I was looking into outer space. I found it difficult to believe that a human’s derrière could burgeon up to fill so much of emptiness. Oh, let me get back to the one in front of me, folks...
So, here he was. May be wondering if he could somehow get into one of those pairs. The fat boy leaned forward to take the largest pair he thought was in front of him. He ended up pushing the cloth stand with his gargantuan belly and it scuttled away on its casters. He looked back and caught me looking at him. I looked away. The boy went back to work. But the cloth hanger seemed to have a mind of its own. I wanted to see him chasing that metal stand on wheels but looked away thinking he would notice me. As I was turning away, I heard a crash and a “plop”.
The boy was on the floor entangled among a few more cloth stands. One seemed to be sticking out from under him at a very odd angle. I cringed. I could not see his face. It was under more cloths.
I wanted to help him but I knew that I was not built for the job. A brief visual of me trying to rescue a beached whale, all alone, flashed inside and I froze. An employee of the shop appeared, took in the scene, looked at me and smiled. He was also of my same build. I could see what he was thinking. The new guy seemed amused and confused. Our fat guy was still on the floor and the poor fellow was panting. His sharp exhales sent the clothes around his face fluttering every alternate second; like a whale breaching. It all looked surreal.
Another employee came looking. A girl. She looked at the heap on the floor, at the male employee and then at me. She then looked at me, a second time. May be she thought I was related to my big cousin who was still clawing the floor. I shook my head before her thoughts found matching words. I turned away checking out the printed skirts on another hanger.
There was another crash behind me. I turned and saw more hangers and more people on the floor. This time the arrangement was different. The girl and the guy seemed to be trapped under the 16-something giant. There were more clothes on the giant’s face and very less around his waist. The Bermuda had slipped down exposing the biggest male butt I had ever seen in my life. (Oh no..I haven’t seen a lot of them. NO)
He has this pink undies with yellow “tweety” prints all over it. I could not take my eyes away. It was definitely the most grotesque sight I could remember since Jurassic park but I seemed to be transfixed by it. Like a horrible accident that leaves you frozen with your eyes wide open.
Soon one more lady appeared on the scene. From her size and her concern I guessed that she was related to the boy on the floor. She spoke aloud in a language I did not understand. She shouted at me and at the shop staff. She was huge. Her black abaya floated around her and reminded me of the Caribbean and the black pearl. She stretched a beefy hand and effortlessly yanked the boy to his feet. He stood up and the bermuda shorts fell. I couldn’t take it anymore. I turned away for the third time and started walking.
I had taken a few steps. There was more shouting from behind. I looked back again. The lady had grabbed the shop guy’s puny hand and continued to scream. That guy looked at me with pleading eyes. “Not today, brother”, I said quietly, turned and started on a small trot towards the cash counters.