Memoirs Of My Body, by Shreya Sen-Handley is a personal account of her body, its varied experiences, and its reflection on her sexual, reproductive and emotional life. The book takes on from her popular column with CNN IBN which was “a tongue-in-cheek look at gender parity through the prism of sexuality/physical processes, etc.”  An Extract:

But brought up in this world as you have been (and not on some progressive planet where you’re all soul and little bulk), you care about what you see in the mirror and how it makes you feel. You care about slipping into attractive clothes rather than squeezing into them. You care about going for a swim unselfconsciously. Most of all, you care about not being out of puff constantly. And being around a long, long time for those you love. You’ve worked at it, you’ve got back some of your mojo, and you couldn’t be more pleased. But then you notice with a sinking feeling that other things have begun to give. There are waggling bags of flesh under your arms and your knees look knobblier than Santa’s sack.

Men do it all the time. Men do it because it’s hot, because it’s not and because they think their wobbling moobs and bulging gut turn women on. Of course men can strip and it isn’t nudity. It isn’t indecent, immoral or illegal. But a woman stripping to cool off can send the world into a tizzy.

Then you know it’s time. Time to do what you always meant to. Go topless on the beach. Go topless in the park in summer. Haggle bare-chested in the market on muggy afternoons. Sit gossiping with the girls, all nipples-free, as the asphalt melts on the streets. Men do it all the time. Men do it because it’s hot, because it’s not and because they think their wobbling moobs and bulging gut turn women on. Of course men can strip and it isn’t nudity. It isn’t indecent, immoral or illegal. But a woman stripping to cool off can send the world into a tizzy. It could only be allowed in lewd and carnal corners of the world – nudist beaches, naturist communes or the dark feral dens of feeding moms.

Shreya Send-Handely
PC: Amazon.co.in

Now that you have nothing to lose (having lost elasticity, conventional allure, inhibitions and face), it’s time to hoist your flag (and your top) for womankind and the never-ending fight for equal rights. Because you aren’t pert and ripe for the picking any more (not to the conventionally blinkered; precisely the kind you don’t want to appeal to), you can let it all hang out without a worry about playing into their hands (in every sense). Plus, that fearsome scowl you wear as you worry distractedly about career, children and the plugged drains at home will protect you better than clothes ever did.

In Canada, female toplessness was legalized in the new millennium. In the US, baring breasts for breastfeeding ‘on federal property’ was made legal in 1999.

In Canada, female toplessness was legalized in the new millennium. In the US, baring breasts for breastfeeding ‘on federal property’ was made legal in 1999. Many Western European nations are tolerant of topless women in selected settings. But it remains sexualized, illegal or at least frowned upon in much of the world. In the Middle East, East Asia and even America, social proscriptions against bare breasts have actually been expanded to include prepubescent and infant girls recently.

Excerpts from Memoirs Of My Body, copyrights 2017 (c) Shreya Sen-Handley, published by HarperCollins Publishers India. 274 pp | MRP Rs 350

Also Read: Shreya Sen-Handley On Writing About Her Body And Its Imperfections

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