In this age of awareness and stamping down on body-shaming, comes a book that reiterates the fact that size does not and should not really matter when it comes to moving ahead in the world.
Giving the world an insight into the lives of all those women who are smart, funny, independent and fall at the ‘fat’ end of the radar, I am big. So what? follows the journey of Roli through the awkward and embarrassing social and emotional hurdles that she has to face.
Shuchi Singh Kalra, an Indian writer, editor and blogger who writes for publications and businesses as well as runs a writing firm called Pixie Dust Writing Studio. It was when she had had enough of the body shaming that is so rampant in this age of social media that she decided to bring it all out in a book. She knew that the world had to see the importance of moving towards a culture where people are encouraged to be happy and confident in their own skin rather than be judged and categorized solely based on the way they look.
Author Shuchi Singh Kalra puts this frustration in two simple sentences.
“Is it only in India where people don’t realize that starting a conversation with, ‘Oh, you’ve put on weight!’ is incredibly rude?
“Perhaps I should respond with ‘Oh, You’ve become uglier!’ so they get the point.”
Slowly and steadily, I am big. So what? came into being.
About the book
I am big. So what? is the story of ‘healthy’ Roli, who isn’t shaky or insecure despite not meeting society’s standards of ‘beautiful’. Her experiences with getting dumped by the only man she loves, embarrassing social situations, and her family’s never-ending search for a suitable groom bring her to a frustration AND yet another suitor that she is scheduled to meet. Roli’s journey through the arrange marriage market, as she calls it, is a bumpy ride, but is equally crazy.
Author Shuchi Singh Kalra feels that I am big. So what? is much more than just a regular rom-com. A plus-sized girl taking center stage for probably the first time in Indian mainstream fiction is a matter of pride for Shuchi. When asked about what makes Roli such a strong character, she says:
“Roli, with her confidence, spunk and vulnerabilities will show you that you don’t have to change who you are or look a certain way to do well in your career, be popular with friends, build your identity or get the guy of your dreams to woo you.”
I am big. So what? is Shuchi Singh Kalra’s second book; an author whose induction into the world of writing began as a child, her journal being the very first composition that saw her thoughts drizzling down into words and helped her make sense of them. With writing being a process that provided a form of magical therapy, Shuchi gradually delved into an exciting journey of growth, discovery, and deep satisfaction that she is still constantly treading.
Advice for aspiring authors
Shuchi’s advice to aspiring authors is an inspiring one; her belief that anticipation of how a book will be received must not affect the process of publishing the book is honest and encouraging.
“Anticipation can be quite crippling,” she says. “Worrying about how your book will be received or trying to fit your writing/story in some preset commercial mold is actually the worst thing you can do to yourself as a writer, and the craft of writing. Write honestly, from the heart, and in a way you want to. Only when you have complete conviction in your work, can you expect publishers and readers to do the same.”