Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Get shorty....err

I was thin once upon a time. And tall. As a child. A bit of a beanstalk with golliwog curls and lanky limbs. All that went out the window when I turned 13; puberty met me and I met rice. Suddenly I stopped growing in height and instead started growing into what the Delhi punjabi’s call ‘halthy girl, ji’. At 5 feet and 3 AND a half inches I stopped and grew upwards no more. I was sorely disappointed because I have lovely tall parents, a tall grandmother (maternal), grandfather (paternal), uncle (maternal) and cousins (paternal). My genes (which I am assuming also decide height besides every other human characteristic) had ignored all these tall people genes and given me the genes of the short people of our family, my other grandparents and adorable aunts.

Life is just not fair.

The Nik who was always instructed to call me ‘jiji’ (which is what you call your elder sister in UP) consistently ignored the instruction and just called me ‘shorty’ or ‘moti’ or ‘fatty’ (the latter two meaning exactly the same, just in different languages) instead – both more than somewhat true. The ‘shorty’ is a far more hurtful reminder of my errant genes. The ‘fatty’ is being addressed by my saintly 6am visits to the gym. Nik, the lucky fella, got the right genes, and well within his teens overtook me to reach his present height of over 6 feet tall in his socks. So now he and said parents loom over me, walk in longer strides and sit at the tall peoples table while I languish at the shortbread table.

I won’t bore you with the details but I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday during which they wanted to check my height. And what did they find? That I’m five feet and two and a half inches. Can you bl**dy believe it? A WHOLE inch shorter than I have always thought/ been told/ measured at. I was so upset when the doctor first told me this that I rather angrily asked him if someone else could come in and check this fact as I was pretty certain of my height. A rather surly nurse came in, instructed me to ‘stand straight child’ and reconfirmed the doctors findings. By this time I was more agitated than angry and insisting that I had had my height taken a million times before and there was no way I could be only 5’2”1/2. I insisted on being checked against another height chart. So nurse, doctor and I traipsed across the hall to another office and checked my height against the chart there. Still 5’2”1/2.

Completely leaving aside why I had originally gone to the doctor I went into explanation demanding mode, demanding to know how I could have shrunk. The poor doctor had no answer except that ‘maybe in India they took your height measurement wrong”. What? My whole life, numerous times – how likely is THAT?

I came into office in the middle of the day still very upset about this change in my height. And I told anyone who would listen to my woes about this shocking shrinkage. Stood back to back with loads of colleagues who all seemed to think they were more than 5’3” and it turns out I’m taller than them. So either the doctor or his charts were wrong or everyone is living in dream world about their height.

There is no rational explanation for how this has occurred. I’ve either started shrinking naturally 20 years too early (the doctor thinks this is highly unlikely). Or I’ve always been this height and in a race to be giraffe like convinced myself that I’m taller than I am. Or I’m 5’3”1/2 and the doctor just got it wrong. I prefer the last explanation thank you very much.

This is a very upset (and apparently very short) 31 year old signing off.

And Nik, if I hear laughter, even at this distance, you are in DEEP trouble young man!


  1. my mum went from 4'3 to 5 foot:(

  2. Hee hee that was rather funny only because if a patient asked me that I would be thinking in my head, "yeah maybe you need a pysch consult now...". Okay okay just kidding! Seriously there is no explanation other than that the height was probably taken wrong because you are not old woman with osteoporosis losing bone mass.

  3. Anonymous1:27 AM

    Hmm... so, shrinkage is not just a mans problem, eh?

  4. Some benefits of being short (just goes to show that the grass is greener on the other side):
    - You can wear high heels and not look like a bamboo pole
    - "Must be taller than me" is not really such a constraint while looking for a mate
    - Men feel all protective about you like they never would about a tall, strapping girl

  5. Anonymous2:05 AM

    well, you will always remain a shorty for me but dont worry your perfect as you are

  6. Anonymous3:24 AM

    If it makes you feel any better-everyone-including you, is always taller than me. And that includes my parents and sibling. BAH

  7. Anonymous2:10 PM

    you are perfect as you are...i also lost half an inch...becos my arches fell when i was pregnant. also bb who always thought he was taller than i was, is actually shorter than me, now that he has lost a lot of his bushy hair!!! so there are many reasons you might have lost the inch!!!40in2006

  8. Don't worry, by Indian standards you are no shorty :)

  9. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Oh my god! Two days back they were taking my height at the gym ..and it came to a full one inch shorter. I was ofcourse very upset (and should have told them to retake my height .. but just sulked instead). Me thinks.. they have some skewed charts which makes our height one inch less .. no ..not possible. But was so upset about it.. good to know am not alone in being upset about my inches being eaten up!

  10. This is weird - quite a few people seem to be complaining of this sort of thing, have new and incorrect measurement charts come out all of a sudden?

  11. If it makes you feel any better, please note that I am shorter than you

  12. Opppss.. I'm hoping my weight check thingie doesn't end up like this :-s

    And hey petite is beautiful.. :D

  13. eeeeek. ditto. from 5'4" to two inches shorter. weeeird. and slightly depressing. and ditto with the parents height thing too. it's these darned genes from random relatives :(

  14. Anonymous3:01 AM

    :) so amusing and funny.. I'm sure you haven't shrunk. I've been telling ppl and thinking so myself that I'm 5'5 until I found out that I was actually 5'4 and a half!
    who gives a damn abotu the half! bring on the heels.. and sometimes, being petite is well.. a compliment by itself!

  15. Anonymous5:13 AM

    People are taller in the morning when their spine is relaxed from a good nights sleep than at a night after a whole day of being upright. The diff can be as much as an inch at times, so relax :)

  16. Aloha! Let me start by thanking you for all your nice wishes for my wedding and otherwise! :)

    I loved this post of yours....I can so relate to you, infact maybe a lil more than even you would, coz I am, or atleast I think I am, a complete 2 and half inches shorter than you...:((( Imagine how angry I must get every time the doctor or secretary of state takes my height.:((((

    On the other hand though, Life's best things come in small packages isnt it? :D

  17. Anonymous2:16 PM

    The best shoe designs come in high heels - we have a better reason to splurge than tall people..;-)

  18. San: Lucky mum is all I can say!

    Sinusoidally: I know its sounds bit like I was having a fit/ state of some mental sort. Yeah he ruled out any medical reason and seems to think I’m having a strop about nothing at all….

    Rohini: Thanks for the list but:
    - I’m more of a flats and little heels girl. I can’t wear heels for long periods of time as I have no sense of balance and would just topple over.
    - My mate is taller than me and I have known him since I was 16 so this was not a consideration
    - That is true. Everyone feels more protective about short people.
    I feel a bit better! Thanks.

    Nik: That is you I know despite you not having left your name – Call me shorty again and I will have to get a stool, stand on it and whack you round the head!! Thanks for calling me perfect though you sweet chap!

    MumbaiGirl: Thanks. Makes me feel better just a smidgeon. Tall people have no idea how good they’ve got it…

    40in2006: Thank you for calling ME perfect. You lost half an inch? Well you are and BB have always had a few inches to spare. No dropped arches or lost hair here so no understandable reason yet?!

    Akka: Aha, I was waiting for someone to tell me about Indian standards. Well, I would probably not mind so much if everyone in my family were average. Besides I would like to be above average pliss!!

    Pea: You are not alone; especially if you read all the comments for this post. Btw, I have been trying to leave you comments but it won’t let me as you are on Beta Blogger…..any ideas how to solve this dilemma…..

    Nee: maybe all the new charts are right and all the old ones were incorrect….it’s very weird.

    WA: Thanks. I’m so glad you are back!!

    Me: Did you not read the part about being short AND fat. So no I am not petite – although yes, petite is beautiful! Hope your weight height goes too plan…

    Mangs: I am more than slightly depressed….and I completely agree, it’s these random short relatives genes……

    Jinal: Laughing at my pain is not funny (just kidding – go right ahead!!!!). It just shows my writing is getting better! I always said the ‘half’ because it made me feel taller even if in reality it was not really noticeable. And again, I am short AND fat so not petite in anyone’s imagination!!!

    Anon: I have a real problem then because the height measurement was taken at 9am. So if I was only5”2’1/2 then why I must be shorter in the evenings…. Oh can this get any worse!??

    Sonal: All the very best. I too am training myself to think that all good things come in small packages……

    Sue: True that shorties have more reason to splurge but I can manage only the shortest of heels and mainly flats – no sense falling off the high heels - although I have all the layers to prevent me from serious damage!!!

  19. It's the 30s my dear, you start shrinking lenghtwise and start expanding waist wise. I have an honorary membership for the expanding waist (and arse) club.

  20. Ahh. I feel your pain. Many years ago, an Aunt looked at me and said 'What's this? You seem to have put the breaks on height increase and hair growth but seem to be expanding weight wise.' If only we COULD choose our relatives.

  21. whoops - I meant she went from 5'3 to 5 foot :( so not all lucky but she looks cute enough

  22. Anonymous8:41 PM

    New doubts about my height. Today had my NHS new patient registration.. half inch shorter than what I thought I am! Maybe next place will add on another half..and we'll be back to correct height!

    Beta blogger is such a pain! You could use the 'Other' or 'Anon' option for comments. Am using 'Other' here, thanks to the new compatibility prob.

  23. Anonymous9:28 PM

    Nice to see you on DesiPundit:D I always lie about my height depending on who else is claiming to be 5'3"

  24. Jane: If I expand much more waist-wise I shall explode! And I think I might be a founder member of both clubs…..

    Shoefie: Luckily none of my relatives have said any such things (except said brother, and he too only in jest). It feels so much nicer to know that the average height of the Indian lady blogger is so near mine (and sometimes lower if these comments are anything to go by)…..my pain is indeed shared!

    San: Yes, but you see what does that mean fro my height propects – that there is no way but down?!

    Pea: All these charts are rigged – it’s a conspiracy theory by pharmaceuticals to make us think we are short and getting shorter so we buy calcium tablets in the hope of growing. Arrrggggh!!!!

    On the comments - gotcha. Shall attempt leaving a comment this afternoon as other/ anon

    Beks: That is comforting. Btw I have been unable to leave you any comments since you went back to blogger (beta). I shall try Pea’s method (see above) and hopefully I shall get back to voicing my opinions loudly!!!!

  25. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Gosh!! So it was at 9 am wassit ?!!! :O

  26. Oh I want to add something else!The famous Greek mathematician and natural philosopher Democritus said" To understand the very large we must understand the very small" This was in conjunction with his hypothesis on the atomic theory.... but its relevant isn't it??:)

  27. oh i used to hate it when people commented on my motaapa.. (fatness) - never have managed to get the hourglass figure

  28. Anonymous7:01 PM

    heh..know what you mean. I put up a fight ** for all of my feet+inches..even that precious 1/2 inch!

    [** esplly with the taller siblings/cousins who have this teasing propensity to round off *horrors* my height to the nearest lower whole number].

    Nice post, liked it.


  29. anon: Yes 9am, can you believe it!

    Inquisitive: very relevant and comforting!

    I-to-write: My aim is to be healthy - no way I shall ever have an hourglass figure - so join the club!

    Smiling Girl: Yes, the 1/2 makes all the psychological difference when one is aiming to be taller.

    Anon (N): Thank you. Rounding off is cheating - you can let your cousins know!

  30. Anonymous8:46 PM

    height incresing plz tell me truth i really increse my height age 18 tablets or products never good plz tell me what can i do iam really serious