“I lost a lot of weight when I was 19 because I got typhoid––I was down to 41 kgs. Everyone used to ask me, ‘Wow, how have you lost so much weight?’ And when I told them it was because I was sick, some people actually said, ‘Oh you’re so lucky.’ These compliments kept playing on my mind and before I knew it, I would shove my fingers down my throat and make myself puke after every meal. It went on for 2 years––I did it discreetly, so no one knew.
I lost almost 11 kgs during that time, and I liked the compliments that I got. I felt more confident…I felt prettier. But I was brought back to reality when someone told me that I may have bulimia. When I researched this mental disorder, I realized that I did have it––and I needed to pull myself out of it. I told my family about it and they took me a doctor––with his help we made a game plan to get my health back on track.
I became conscious of my habits––I ate in small portions to build my appetite back again. I made it a point to not go to the bathroom after eating, so there was no way I could throw up. And my family became more vigilant.
Slowly, I got over my disorder. I put on the weight that I had lost…but I began to accept my body. Everywhere we look whether it’s on social media or the cover of magazines––we see perfect bodies which makes us believe that we aren’t beautiful. We are and that’s something I want to showcase through my photography.
I’m currently working on a series of body-image issues or issues of depression. According to people ‘patli chokri’ means ‘pretty girl.’ But, you can be beautiful in your own way, fat or thin, fair or dark… it’s just a matter of how you see yourself. I’ve been through a lot to love myself, and I want to share that power with the world. Self-love is a superpower and we all have it…it’s just a matter of realizing we do.”