Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sizing it up

There was a time when ignorance was bliss. There was a time when I could hold my breath, for eternity, and compress, suppress and oppress it. There was a time when wearing lose-fitting shirts obscured the vision.
And then, time turned its back on me.
The uprising was just too great for the linen to withhold. There was a limit to what the loose-fitting shirts could hide. And then there was a time when ignorance broke up with bliss. With it came the realisation that what I had been doing all along was just delaying the inevitable. I was living in a state of denial, vehement denial. And that it had to end, sooner, or never.
I no longer found solace in the fact that since it was a hierarchical thing, I had no option but to let it happen. Even the argument that my height could compensate for my weight didn't seem just; a feet and a half along the x axis were a feet much for the six feet along the y-axis.
Sitting on my armchair one day, I skimmed through the pages of my memory just to see when/why/how did it all began. Flashback, 1999, Guwahati: Class Monitor Vikas had a spat with class' bad chap Sumanta Kumar Das. The skinny Class Monitor Vikas was no match for the plump, overweight bad chap, and came home with a broken tooth, ripped front-pocket and bruised knees. My mum, who needed no reason to scold me, was unusually calm that day! Her Class Monitor son had given her a perfect opportunity to press for her demands for an extra half a glass of milk for breakfast, a quarter ounce more of rice for lunch and an extra chapati for dinner. Determined to exact my revenge, I put the routine in place. At first, there were signs of change, Paulo Coelho's fabled “beginner's luck”. But then, with time, Sumanta and I became friends, which had more than something to do with his dad being a confectioner, a fact which I wasn't aware of when I charged at him. The vendetta took along with it the addenda off my daily diet. The martinet turned gourmet became a martinet again!
There were a couple of other instances which made me contemplate gaining some weight again. One was in 7th standard, when a bet that I bet, and lost in an arm wrestling match with the thinnest chap of the class. The other was Big Show's demolition of John Cena at Wrestlemania XX, Madison Square Garden. On both these occasions, I wished the sufferer had a bit more strength in his arms and a bit more fire in his belly. So I promptly ordered a cheap duplicate of the Slim Sauna Belt from our desi substitute of Asian Sky Shop, and began the alleged work out, starting with 15 minutes a day. The duplicate belt lived up to its reputation, and within a couple of days, I had to buy a new pair of pencil cells to feed it. And then again, and then again. And again. And again. And I had had enough.
Since then, weight and I had peaceful non-coexistence; a pattern which broke up last year.
During the summer vacations, when there was absolutely no activity, it decided to say a little “hello” to me. I ignored it. And sure enough, it took offence to the rebuff, and decided to stay. And it decided to stay.
In June, my brand new pair of Jeans became its first casualty! That was followed by my favourite T-shirt, the wonderful shorts that my sister gifted me, and a pretty old pyjama which I used to loiter around in during the rains. Then came the final nail in the coffin!
One fine day, I overheard a conversation between my mum and dad. The next thirty seconds were the most heart-breaking, nerve-shattering, rib-cracking and muscle rupturing of my life. “Vicky mota ho gaya hai”, she said. The floor slid underneath my feet, the world came at a standstill! I had a nervous breakdown! I went into a frenzy.

This realisation happened exactly an year ago! I did my bit to get back in shape. Hit the gym for a week. 20 crunches, 15 push-ups, five kilometres on the treadmill and stuff! But the weight didn't budge. Then I started getting up at 6, pretty early by my standards, and went for a jog each day! This lasted till the vacations, and with them, ended this brief struggle! I was never one who could control his instincts, so dieting was never an alternative for me. I gave it up for a while, resigned to my destiny. I stopped playing, stopped watching cricket, stopped everything. I lived but ceased to live.

As months passed by, I realized that there had to be a change. A physical change was beyond me. For the second time, I had no other alternative. I had to change the way I looked at it! I didn't have to change my eyes, I needed to change my vision.
These days, I've started noticing people a bit more than I actually do. People, who're rounder than they need to be, rounder than me! My height is my consolation, there are others who should be inconsolable, but are living their life as they want it, as I wanted mine to be.
One thing which I certainly learned, something which my mum, dad and sister had been telling me all along, was that one can always lessen the horizontal distance by increasing the vertical bit! In other words, I had been walking with by backbone forming an arch ever since I learned to walk! That is gradually changing. I try to keep my posture straight. And hence, the back-problems which I had been victim to, for ages, are withering away! Every adversity is an opportunity, I've seen it, felt it, made it happen!
There's another thing that I've learned from this ordeal! Eventually, its not the fat around your navel that matters, its the one behind your forehead!


  1. My brother lost 15 kilograms by just walking! Its a very cheap way to lose weight, eh?