Just Me, The Sink & The Pot by Sudesna Ghosh is about Pamela, an eighteen-year old just, recounting the various unpleasant incidents she had to go through because she is fat.
There’s a small episode I’d like to share, before I start with my review of this book.
So, this somebody I know decided to join the gym because she had a few hours in the afternoon. She asked me if I could suggest some course she could pursue. I came up with a small list, given her intellectual capabilities, and handed it to her. She, however, chose the gym, which wasn’t in my list, by the way. Her reason: A personality was important, and she since had put on some weight after having the time of her life at a wedding, she was worried she was going to lose that personality. Because, she wasn’t as thin anymore, and fat people did not have a personality.
An exceptional feather in the hat of Mrs. Personality was, I’d like to share here, was her inability to fill a simple form. As if that mattered though. Because she was thin.
My point of discord is not that she chose the gym over a hundred other things she could have done. My point of discord is her reason. My point of discord is that when she told me this, she bit her tongue, suddenly realizing that she had been rude to me.
Fat has always been bad, undesirable, and abnormal. Because the ones who made this rule never bothered to look into the scarred hearts of the ones they, in a way, ostracized. While we’ve had enough prominence based on how body shaming should be stopped, there has been little talk about its effects. Not the momentary ones, but the ones that stay. Forever.
Which is why I was so glad as I read Sudesna’s book. She delves into the mind of Pamela, who has been perennially shamed for the way she looks, the way she talks, and, of course, the way she eats, so deeply that she has every nook and corner covered. She paints such a vivid image of the way Pamela’s emotions, her personality, and even her decisions are affected that I wanted to cry my heart out soon after I started reading the book.
My most favourite part in the story? When Pamela ends her relationship with Sumit, a guy who is very much like her, with a few ‘flaws’ of his own. I loved how that part of the story is written. Sudesna very beautifully brings out the complexes of how, because somebody is fat, their decisions aren’t their own. They are so influenced by a society, which does not care about how they feel. And of course, there is Pamela’s own family, the little world she creates for pouring her heart out. The answers that she gets, the agreements and the contradictions, are beautifully written. If this does not tell how messed up a person can get after they body shamed, nothing will. Resonation, spot on!
Beautiful use of vocabulary and a decent pace are add-ons that make this book a page turner. I thought the narrative got a little slower towards the end and slightly repetitive too, but I am not minding that.
At the risk of sounding repetitive myself, I’ll say this again, Sudesna nails this one, absolutely!
I am going to go with a 4/5 for this one.