I was 16 years old when it happened. I'd been gifted my first ever strapless bra by my mom - it was because I needed it for a play at school. My costume was an off-shoulder dress, and none of my other bras were going to cut it. So my mom got me the strapless number after a lot of hunting - it's not easy to find one when you're a cup size 30B.
So anyway, the play went off well enough. The bra stayed put despite my nervousness about it. Which in turn made me feel confident about wearing it regularly too. Especially for my tuition classes and stuff, which was pretty much my only chance to wear nice dresses and tops and all instead of the regulation white shirt and blue skirt to school. It also helped that I had a massive crush on a guy at my tuition class - there are few better incentives at 16 to dress up pretty.
One fine day, I decided to wear a halter-neck dress to class. Obviously, I had to wear the strapless bra underneath. It was very pretty too - structured, underwired, lightly padded, and with beautiful pale pink lace detailing. I went off to class, my crush smiled at me, I determinedly soldiered my way through pre-board maths problems. Everything was just fine, fine, fine.
It was on my way back from class, though, that things got way more exciting than I wanted. I was taking the bus back, and at 7 p.m. on a Friday evening, it was super crowded. I managed to fight my way to a seat and wedged myself in between two rather sturdy aunties, my big, fat, heavy backpack nestled in my lap. A good half hour later, my stop arrived, and I had to fight my way to the door so that I could get off.
And that's when disaster struck. Between the weight of the backpack, hanging on to the handstrap overhead to keep steady while the bus went bumpity-bump and the push and shove of people all fighting the same battle to disembark, something had to give… And it was my pretty pink strapless bra that gave. To my utter horror and disbelief, it slithered off my boobs and down to my waist.
I managed to get off the bus, praying all the while that it wouldn't fall right down to my ankles. Luckily I was a skinny girl with a wide ass, so the bra stayed put at my waist, unable to cross the hurdle posed by my hips. Since I was practically flat-chested and my dress was a dark printed one, I wasn't too worried about people being able to see my boobs through the fabric. The problem, however, was that because of the underwiring and padding, the bra wouldn't crumple and fold no matter how much I tried to squish it down under my dress. It bulged and tented underneath the dress. And I basically looked like I had a little baby bump - make that two baby bumps, in the shape of bra cups, at my waist.
I didn't know what to do. I tried finding a cab to get me from the bus stop to my house, which was a good kilometre away. But no empty cabs were to be found at peak traffic time. So I finally gave up and started walking home. Which was the single most embarrassing experience of my life, given that I was awkwardly clutching the front of my dress while toting a gigantic backpack. The number of people who gave me funny looks all through my walk - just remembering that today, ten years later, still makes me shudder and turn red with embarrassment. I kept walking, cursing the universe, my eyes filled with tears.
I reached home and cried my heart out to my mom - who laughed hysterically at my predicament rather than show sympathy. When she’d stopped laughing, she said, “Kisne kaha tha itna saj-dhaj ke class jaane ke liye?” I cried some more and then retired the bra permanently. And decided to postpone my next intimate encounter with a strapless bra till the time that I'd grown some more boob and there was enough chest-matter for the bra to hang on to.
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Published on May 22, 2016