Meet Pamela, an overweight girl who’s looking back at her school days. From longing for a Valentine to dealing with a sibling who hates her, Pamela has a lot to deal with. She even has a special bunch of friends at home who she can turn to – but they aren’t the kind of friends you’d expect. Life sucks when you’re fat. Can Pamela ever be happy?
'JMTSNTP' is a narration by an over weight school girl. Her incidents ring a bell to what my cousin went through as a student and how she too longed to be thin, wear all the 'in' clothes and be amongst the crowd.
Pamela is born thin but tends to gain weight as a school going kid. The agonies are plenty, and looking at the structure of our society where outer looks matter a lot, I felt for this girl especially since her mom and her sis were walking perpendicular to the path where she was treading upon. Pamela's emotions were genuine and legit as she was breathing in the 21st century, but thankfully in high school, she got a handle of herself once she got a chance to be published. Her joy knew no bounds as she could think beyond her physical self as she got an opportunity to ponder within and express those feelings via those stories.
The narration is good, but it could have been even better. Although I wished the father intervened more since he knew the structure and the mentality of the other household members. Also, it was disturbing to see how Pamela would count the layers of her stomach whenever she would get a chance. The fact that she had imaginary friends was amusing at first but again turned to something that needed attention. Glad that before things went out of hand, this girl found a hobby or should I say got an opportunity to express herself within to fall back upon an avenue that was not only liberating but also gave her confidence. The starting and ending of this novel were conflicting. She starts off with present tense as an 18-year-old girl that is struggling with issues related to her weight with no respite in sight and goes on with the narration from birth to 18 years of age, but towards the end of the novel, this young lady finds her passion. It is hard to find the junction where the story started.
Overall it a read that makes one ponder upon. It makes us realize the harsh facts of the society and how cruel we can get to these innocent minds by our own set rules with regards to the physical appearances.
Read an excerpt of the book here…
One day a classmate asked me, “Where is your lunch?” I told her that I had already had it and went back to my fake laughter and smiles. The others chatted and laughed while they ate from their tiffin boxes. Some brought samosas or ice cream from outside the gate. My hunger pangs got worse as I saw all the food and smelt the delicious odors around me.
The ice cream cart was run by a sweet old man who knew me since I’d started school. He would ask me some days, “Child, you don’t want your favorite orange stick?” I would say no thank you and smile before running away from him and his cart. One day he seemed to be desperate to make me have an ice cream. “Child! Come here and have an ice cream. You don’t have to pay me,” he called out. I smiled, turned around and went to hide in an empty classroom. Two minutes later, I shrieked; the old man had found me. He was carrying a dripping ice cream for me. I started laughing. Then I started running away from him. The old man started running after me!
My classmates were shocked. The sports teacher was happy to see me run for the first time – I had never run before because fat moves when you run. Everybody would laugh. The lunch break ended with me accepting the mostly melted orange stick from the kind ice cream man. We were too tired to talk about the whole event. But it did make me a bit popular that year, with the school Yearbook including the story and a picture of me running away from a 6 feet tall man holding an ice cream.