Sunday, June 27

Blubber blah-blah 

I used to belong to the Slenderella brigade, at least till a few years ago. I was even told I dress just as dainty. My mom had to jostle food laced with the healthiest of ingredients and purest of ghees down my throat, and if a smidgen of that stuck somewhere, it used to be, I am told, around the arms (never mind that it seldom showed). I used to be taken to the nearest weigh station every so often, as if I were a commodity at the grocers that needed to be checked if it were as bulky as it’d been paid for. And even if the scales revealed an upsurge of just about a milligram, it was much rejoiced and a feast would be readied, the larger part of its significance lying in the fact that I, indeed, needed to swell some more. It’s not that I was a bad eater, but rather a fussy one. I never ate my broccoli or carrots. It was junk fodder that reigned supreme on my self-assigned nutritional regime.

With a built that slim, I enjoyed the edge that many others strove for --- easy shopping, and easier locomotion. You see, I could wiggle myself into the tiniest of spaces and get to where the obese couldn’t, in one sweep. Perhaps I was even able to lay my hands on the most craved-for item at a sale, before anyone else could. I am certain I have been damned a time or two, and I in all likelihood, may have sworn back, albeit silently, at those butterballs --- why grow extra large if you can’t handle it?

I’m afraid I may have to eat those words up now. I am no longer a Slenderella, but somewhat providentially, I’m not obese, just yet. I am, what some people allude to in these parts of the world as, a Lilliputian whale. But I have moved up the size ladder considerably, and I cannot shop at the teenage boys’ section for, say, a corduroy jacket anymore. I still am in possession of one such, and I last wore it at a time that I do not seem to recollect very pleasantly. It was early fall, and I was heading out to dinner dolled up in semi formal eveningwear, rather unequipped in itself, to keep me even slightly warm. I’d worn the jacket at first, but as I got out in the open, I decided very bravely to relinquish it. A few yards down the block, I sensed an acute need for something to shield me against what I thought was a sudden, curious dip in the temperature. Apparently, the temperature had been steadily low all day long, and I hadn’t the wits to know so. The frost was biting rather brutally into my skin, but since I’d made the decision to move ahead even with some very sensible words of caution, going back on it meant getting the ego bruised. So I endured the wrath of the winds somehow, and acquired some fiery frostbites in the bargain. I haven’t worn the jacket since. And even if I did try it on, it wouldn’t fit me at any rate. I’ve puffed up since.

The price I’m paying is bigger than you can imagine. I have now to undergo a laborious regimen nearly everyday, a requisite for the Lilliputian whales. I have to work out regularly, go easy on the cheese, and eat oil-free or fat-free food, whichever suits the situation best, and hold off on anything that's categorized confectionery, or is even remotely saccharine. The Indian diet, rather fatefully, doesn’t co-operate very well with this schedule. To add to it, the Oberweis cows seem to jeer at me each time I go by their ‘udderly’ inviting ice-cream parlor. The cheesecakes, the Indian sweetmeats, Irish coffee (it provides in one glass all four of the enemy food groups --- alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat), the pies, they all seem to have jumped up the bandwagon too. But I am resolute, or so I like to believe. Even if I do indulge in a scoop or two of the Oberweis fat-free ice-cream specialties, I tell myself, I shall not cede to the temptations of the rest of the greasy fare. I have not only to stay off them (which isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially with a sweet-tooth like mine) I have also to jiggle into that jacket, and hordes of other summery outfits that are up for sale presently. Right, the creams of them are at the teen girls’ turf at The Gap (although I did, brazenly, pick up a ‘large’ tee this evening, but let’s look forward to a substantial shrink, in time). But for now, I’m hoping the gulab-jamoons (flour drops deep-fried in ghee and doused in sugar syrup, for the unacquainted) I wolfed down this noon won’t come further in the way.

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