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Mansi Khandelwal

JWB Blogger

Aditya Hirawat: ‘Thank you, Body Shamers! You Made Me A Better Writer.’

  • JWB Post
  •  November 12, 2016


Until the age of 18, I had never exceeded the 35-40 kgs mark on the weighing scale. Though I looked ‘thin’ like really thin to the world, I never for once felt any inconvenience because I was a sportsperson, I could run marathons and play for hours. I was called a maachis ki teeli, and when I used to wear dresses they said “it feels like hanger par kapde tanga diye hai” and what not rubbish!

I didn’t ever realize that I had been “Body shamed. Well, I guess because I never took those comments seriously until a few years back. So today when I met Aditya Hirawat who is now studying in Mumbai, we talked about the consequences of that silent pain.

Aditya has been experiencing body shaming since a very young age. He confessed to us that the fight gets even tougher for the boys. Those who speak out are considered unmanly and coward.

We believe words have a lot of power, and it is so powerful how Aditya is channelizing his painful past and present through poetry.

How and when did the realization that you were being ‘body shamed’ sink in?

I have been facing mean comments since childhood. It was when my friends opened up that they were battling the same problem, it hit me. So I started writing and looking up for people who were promoting body positivity.

Once I and my friends went for swimming, and I got in a tiff with one of them. That moment he said, “Tu zada mat bol teri toh taange bhi kitkat jaisi hai.” I lost my temper then, but instead of heating up the argument, I wrote about it!

Also, whenever I used to see off my relatives, I was never allowed to pick up their baggage because I was incredibly thin. I had also been mocked by my friends that I could have been featured as a lingerie model.

Did your parents ever make you aware how you should deal with body shaming?

No, not really! In fact, whenever I return from Mumbai, they say ‘Aur patla ho gaya hai, kuch dhangse khaata nahi kya,’ etc. A lot of parents themselves tell their children to lose and gain weight. Even my parents have been doing this ever since. I feel if our parents cannot understand, nobody can. So since the poetry I write is very dark and morose , I don’t really share my work with them. But yes, after the recent poetry slam I participated in, I gathered the courage to talk it out to them.

Who do you trust your pain and how does that person help you overcome a troubled phase?

My elder brother is my peacekeeper. A few months back I spoke my heart out to my brother. He told me how he had gone through similar emotions and comforted me saying, ‘Your life doesn’t revolve around this.”

I just hope the seeds get proper nutrition this time. #WordPorn #SpilledInk #PoemsPorn #WritersNetwork #TheDissonantSoul

A photo posted by Aditya Hirawat (@thedissonantsoul) on

And how do you reach out to those who are afraid to speak out?

Now, to help those like me, I have collaborated with models that promote body positivity. I want to make people understand that being fat or thin and unhealthy are two different things! Through my poems on Instagram, I intend to create this awareness.

How long did you take to talk it out loud?

It took me over 10 years to actually address this issue loud in public.

Where do you draw your positive energy from?

Whenever I feel low, I speak to my favorite writer Yashodhaan who lives in Pune. He once told me, “Never write for the market or for the people. Write about things you feel from within.” So whatever I feel at the moment, I write about.

Did you ever have your ‘give up moment’ and how do you overcome it?

Uhh, a lot of times… But every time I am about to give up, I pick up a pen. There are people who drink, smoke or have their ways to escape the world. Art is my escape. Writing keeps me calm and detaches me from the hustle-bustle of this life.

How do you think the laws can evolve to support those who are bullied?

Well, I believe the issue is not with the laws but with the fact that people fear to raise their voice. They fear being called a tattle-tale by their peers. And this fear stops them from sharing their emotions with friends, family, etc.  I mean our judicial system can only help us once we realize that body shaming or bullying of any sort is not acceptable.

#WordPorn #SpilledInk #PoemsPorn #WritersOfInstagram #TheDissonantSoul

A photo posted by Aditya Hirawat (@thedissonantsoul) on

What is your message to those who have bullied you?

To them, I would say, Thank you! Their insult made me a better writer and I am glad to have experienced it all!

This is an excerpt from one of Aditya’s poems:

“When you go to someone’s house, you don’t tell them that their place is…well, too big or too small. You don’t tell them that the paint is wearing off or the walls have stains on them, do you?

Well, you know what? This body, MY body is MY home, and it’s mine alone to live in, and I’ll decorate it the way I like.
So, stop telling me to fix my body, stop telling me to change it or anything for that matter.
Stop judging my body. Stop body shaming.
Because of the weight of your standards and your demands, it might shatter some day.”

You can read more of his talent on his Instagram page here.

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