Thursday, July 18, 2013

Weighty matters

I can only blame the British for this. I mean, we were going along rather nicely with a sufficient surplus of languages and they had to come in and add one more to the mix. What is worse, the damned language that  they saddled us with has converted what were seen as positives into negatives. So, instead of feeling proud of how I look, I need to skulk around and look shame-faced when I am espied.

When someone says, "Ah! Suresh is here" a few seconds before I actually enter a room, I used to take it as clairvoyance. It is only a shade later that it struck me that my belly makes an entrance much before I do. Now that used to be a matter of pride - after all, in Hindi they say, "Sehad ban gayi aapki" ("You have become healthier") when you manage to bolster your waist. Of course, they also used to say, "Kamzor ho gaye ho" ("You have become weak") when you lost weight which adds to the impression that it is good to gain weight. Of course I rarely had to hear the latter insult. Life would have been happy and I would have been proudly strutting around but for this idiotic English which contributed words like 'Obese' and invested them with so much contempt that I make apoplectic efforts to suck in my stomach and merely manage to look dyspeptic in addition to obese.

Not that the absence of English alone would have been sufficient to avoid this sort of inversion of viewpoints. Human beings are an irrational species and very seldom maintain consistency. There I am eating just about as much as the next guy, doing just about as much physical exertion (which is next to nothing for both of us) and very seldom miss on adding a couple of inches around the waist every year. There is that next guy who proudly claims to be able to eat as much if not more than me and still remains painfully thin. People end up giving him admiring and envious looks while they reserve their pitying looks for me. Can you think of that happening in motorbikes, say? I mean if both of us were bikes and if you filled the tanks in both and rode us for the same distance and if one bike's tank is empty and the other still had something left do you not consider the latter bike as more efficient than the former? Why is fuel efficiency more laudable in bikes and held in contempt in humans - merely because the presence of the saved fuel is registered by a comfortable roundness around the waist? Absolute proof of irrationality let me assure you.

Nowadays I can hardly enter any social atmosphere without people thrusting diet options on me. If at least one of them sounded savory it would have been nice. Unfortunately, all of them sound so dismal and so like starvation that I end up gorging on everything that I can lay my hands on merely to drive away the nightmare visions of utter deprivation that those diet plans evoke in me. The net result is I add an inch around the waist in jig time thanks to diet plans. I would not be so concerned about that matter but for the impact it has on my wallet. Changing wardrobes once every six months does not come cheap - and the result is that most of my T-shirts look like the blouses that women have stopped wearing. Thank God I am not married or I would have been accused of wearing my wife's discarded blouses to parties.

The sheer injustice of this matter weighs heavily on my mind - almost as heavily as all the stored energy weighs on my lower back - and I am sure to revisit the matter again. Meanwhile, will you guys please  strive to understand that when you look on an obese person what you are probably seeing is a more efficient engine than you. Unless, of course, you already know and all your cheesy comments arise out of mere envy.

80 comments:

  1. Ah! Suresh is here! "wearing ur wife's discarded....."OMG!!! im laughing so hard that i can't even type..! Thank god we have this efficient engine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Been here a while Titli - this is the fifth post since I returned from Uttarakhand.

      Delete
    2. yea yea.. i know that..haven't i been lurking around ur blog, like, forever? lifted that line straight of ur post...there was a certain zing to it! :)

      Delete
  2. hahaha... ohh my god Suresh!

    "my belly makes an entrance much before I do." was the funniest part of this post for me :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, Naba! I do not have much difficulty finding humor - my belly does make an entrance much before I do so all I have to do is report facts and it is funny :)

      Delete
  3. Well Suresh - basically the bike puts the excess fuel in cold storage. So far it is good. But then the catch is always fresh fuel is available and the fuel in cold storage is never called for. Animals like bears use it efficiently by hibernating when food is not available. Guess fuel efficient humans will come to their own if we have an intense famine for a year or so. They can rely on the stored fuel and sleep through the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See - we guys are preparing for the next Ice Age :)

      Delete
  4. Lol...I loved the comparison with the bikes. I am overweight :) Next time somebody tells me to shew few kgs, I will give them this example :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See - I knew my blog had useful information :)

      Delete
  5. No soul on earth would have thought of it this way . I name it 'the Suresh bike obesity theory ' ha ha. Somehowin our country people always have something to comment about others physique .this post had me smiling long after I finished reading it :) awesome !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always knew that there was a scientist buried deep inside me :)

      Delete
  6. LOL Suresh! Poor you! And those who say that they are thin by not doing anything are clearly lying. You know I am doing a nutrition course which says what matters more is your fitness not weight. So, exercise for staying fit and stay away from looney diets and loonier folks ;-).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never fear Rachna! I am fit enough to find thinner folks panting up the mountain before I do :)

      Delete
  7. Hehe Suresh I agree with you wholeheartedly on the weight issues and about the diet plans. They have the same effect on me. Mate, the thin people are jealous of our fuel efficient engines I say..we should just ignore them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Weight and Weather are the only two things some people can talk about. Bikes and Bellies are prized possessions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep telling them why would I want to exchange a beer barrel for a six-pack but they just won't listen :)

      Delete
    2. Haha! Love your comment, Alka ma'am. :)

      Delete
    3. Can I hope that a bit of that love flows to my post as well? :)

      Delete
    4. You don't need to hope for it. :)I thought I had written a long comment on how you wonderfully remind me of classic literature with your simplicity of language and well-woven humour. Either it was on a different post, or you need to moderate it still. :) Suresh ji, I don't know about you, but you remind of RK Narayan.

      Delete
    5. That's a grand compliment and one I shall treasure :) Nope it is not under moderation and I only hope that Blogspot in its wisdom has not classified it Spam :)

      Delete
  9. ha ha.. Suresh it is better to be like you :) And you aren't that fat when I met you last time :) Of course I like your comparison between Bikes and Bellies :)

    Someone is Special

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A thin guy appreciating weighty matters. Great :)

      Delete
    2. I am following your footsteps now. Putting weight like anything :)

      Delete
  10. Some friends(?) always call me "potato" good naturedly!! It serves as a reminder that its time for me to stop eating my favorite foods. I used to be morbid before but then I have learnt to ignore those comments!!! After all it makes more sense to eat the food than to just look at them and sigh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quality of life is more important than looks :)

      Delete
  11. Haha CS ROFL and BTW...I am a very efficient bike with a very efficient engine but alas I am working at reducing the efficiency and increasing the life's mileage...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quality of life is more important than longevity too :)

      Delete
  12. Suresh can go to Dubai now despite the weak global market. The govt has promised to pay 1 gm of gold for 1 kg of weight reduced within a month (if u could manage to reduce at least 2 kgs in a months's time:)
    This must be enough stimulus (at least for the family to urge) to try something out:)

    Nice reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank God no family :) And as Midas found out you cannot eat gold so why would I sacrifice eating for gold? I mean gold should be exchanged for pleasure. It is only an idiot who would exchange pleasure for gold :)

      Delete
  13. Lovved reading it.. cant help smiling.. I know what you mean dear..Dont worry , all those flat bellyed ppl would sacrifice anything to get yr sense of humour!! I think this is yr second post that I read.. already a fan of yours!! would love to read more of your posts!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for those lovely words. Well - there are lots more already on this blog :)

      Delete
  14. One of my elderly friends was asked to diet and given a sheet and he showed it to me expecting sympathy. The diet prescribed was so miserly that a normal person would become pathetic if he followed it, so I asked him `Is this before food or after food'. He got agitated, tore the sheet and promised never to diet in his life :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha. That's the question that automatically springs to your mind when you see diet sheets :)

      Delete
  15. Hahahahh....I actually had a belly (no pun intended) laugh when I read the motorcycle analogy!
    Who were you talking about in first person when you wrote this piece? Clearly it couldn't have been you...aap toh khaatey-peetay ghar ke hain, as they say here up North!
    :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haan - that, too :) See, we knew what to respect. It is all these western values that is spoiling our country :)

      Arre, Rickie, naam tak likha hai aur koun ho sakta hai? :)

      Delete
  16. How on earth do you manage to come up with analogies like bikes and blouses? Unbelievable! And yeah the whole obese thing - reminded me of a recent quote I had read somewhere. Obesity doesn't run in the family, it occurs because no one runs in the family! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Now where did my comment go?
    But i will not spare you Suresh-one more try--
    I think the gene which causes obesity also bestows a super sense of humor,therefore your readers are very happy,as seen from above.
    You too should thank providence you were not born a girl; or a slim waist,natty hips & zero figure would have been your nightmares.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! But I was born skinny, Indu :) And, at 50, if a woman still obsesses about a Size zero figure she would deserve all the nightmares :)

      Delete
  18. I called a co-worker of mine (a lady) and made her read your blouses' and guess what? She said, 'this guy must have tried a blouse sometimes in his life'.

    Nothing more from me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha! Tell me Diwa - have I also been ridden as a bike? :)

      Delete
  19. When your belly enters spaces much before your countenance, and you are not a woman who imitate the action when they are in the 'family way', you do have a problem. But what makes you think Hindi is always serene about these situations? It can be devastating:

    "एक मित्र मिले, बोले, "लाला, तुम किस चक्की का खाते हो?
    इस डेढ़ छटांक के राशन में भी तोंद बढ़ाए जाते हो।
    क्या रक्खा माँस बढ़ाने में,
    मनहूस, अक्ल से काम करो।"

    Here is the complete, amazingly soothing poem by Gopal Prasad Vyas (I am sure you will find solace in the answer):

    एक मित्र मिले, बोले, "लाला, तुम किस चक्की का खाते हो?
    इस डेढ़ छटांक के राशन में भी तोंद बढ़ाए जाते हो।
    क्या रक्खा माँस बढ़ाने में, मनहूस, अक्ल से काम करो।
    संक्रान्ति-काल की बेला है, मर मिटो, जगत में नाम करो।

    हम बोले, "रहने दो लेक्चर,पुरुषों को मत बदनाम करो।
    इस दौड़-धूप में क्या रक्खा,आराम करो, आराम करो।
    आराम ज़िन्दगी की कुंजी, इससे न तपेदिक होती है।
    आराम सुधा की एक बूंद, तन का दुबलापन खोती है।

    आराम शब्द में 'राम' छिपा जो भव-बंधन को खोता है।
    आराम शब्द का ज्ञाता तो विरला ही योगी होता है।
    इसलिए तुम्हें समझाता हूँ, मेरे अनुभव से काम करो।
    ये जीवन, यौवन क्षणभंगुर, आराम करो, आराम करो।

    यदि करना ही कुछ पड़ जाए तो अधिक न तुम उत्पात करो।
    अपने घर में बैठे-बैठे बस लंबी-लंबी बात करो।
    करने-धरने में क्या रक्खा जो रक्खा बात बनाने में।
    जो ओठ हिलाने में रस है, वह कभी न हाथ हिलाने में।

    तुम मुझसे पूछो बतलाऊँ, है मज़ा मूर्ख कहलाने में।
    जीवन-जागृति में क्या रक्खा जो रक्खा है सो जाने में।
    मैं यही सोचकर पास अक्ल के, कम ही जाया करता हूँ।
    जो बुद्धिमान जन होते हैं, उनसे कतराया करता हूँ।

    दीए जलने के पहले ही घर में आ जाया करता हूँ।
    जो मिलता है, खा लेता हूँ, चुपके सो जाया करता हूँ।
    मेरी गीता में लिखा हुआ, सच्चे योगी जो होते हैं,
    वे कम-से-कम बारह घंटे तो बेफ़िक्री से सोते हैं।

    अदवायन खिंची खाट में जो पड़ते ही आनंद आता है।
    वह सात स्वर्ग, अपवर्ग, मोक्ष से भी ऊँचा उठ जाता है।
    जब 'सुख की नींद' कढ़ा तकिया, इस सर के नीचे आता है,
    तो सच कहता हूँ इस सर में, इंजन जैसा लग जाता है।

    मैं मेल ट्रेन हो जाता हूँ, बुद्धि भी फक-फक करती है।
    भावों का रश हो जाता है, कविता सब उमड़ी पड़ती है।
    मैं औरों की तो नहीं, बात पहले अपनी ही लेता हूँ।
    मैं पड़ा खाट पर बूटों को ऊँटों की उपमा देता हूँ।

    मैं खटरागी हूँ मुझको तो खटिया में गीत फूटते हैं।
    छत की कड़ियाँ गिनते-गिनते छंदों के बंध टूटते हैं।
    मैं इसीलिए तो कहता हूँ मेरे अनुभव से काम करो।
    यह खाट बिछा लो आँगन में, लेटो, बैठो, आराम करो।

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arre Uma! U started out with Hindi being devastating but the poem that follows seems to support all the things that I love doing :)

      Delete
    2. And you must be thrilled by the fact that your fears were not unfounded :)

      Delete
  20. Wry sense of humour used to devastating effect. Love this post comrade, Lal Salaam! To everyone who says I need to lose Pffft, ready Suresh's bike fuel analogy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I knew I would produce something useful one day :)

      Delete
  21. What a delightful post, Suresh! When I read a humor post like this, i feel like writing one myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Debs! About time you did. I have been waiting for one.

      Delete
  22. Suresh, a further edit :) You know it is a friday and despite my proof reading for 3 times I did not realize that i had used "once" instead of "one's" and know the purist you are it won't reflect well on you :)

    --------------------------
    Suresh, a wonderful post and something very dear to my heart... of course my heart is located a bit lower than most people so it is not only dear but also near to my heart :)

    As you know i have always been, to borrow PGW's phrase, pleasantly plump but it was only after Sudha was expecting Arjun that I realized that I was just a very sympathetic person. I found out about "Sympathetic Pregnancy", which I am told leads to weight gain in expectant father, and then I realized why I gained weight during the period we were expecting. Of course being more sympathetic than the average man, I gained a few more pounds than usual. I used to use it to justify, I know it is sad when one has to explain one's efficient system to others, my weight gain. But as months became years and as Arjun started to gain the pounds, I did too and it seemed to be a race between him and me and people used to ask me "is there no end to your sympathy?" :) Who knew, the humans race would degenerate to such an extent that someone's sympathy would be questioned and people would put a limit on it?!

    But what was I do? In my defense, I felt it was too selfish to stop being sympathetic just because my wife had delivered and had moved on to shed her weight and I started being sympathetic to other women who were pregnant and as you know there is never a shortage of kids being born in this world :)

    I always used to berate myself for being plump but now I know, I was just not just born sympathetic but also possessed an efficient system:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a combination - efficiency and sympathy :) Thanks God you did not find someone pregnant wiyj quintuplets to be sympathetic to :)

      Delete
    2. Suresh, you would have heard about "darthi pe bhoj" which is exactly what I would have been, again I beg my critics to hold their enthusiasm, if I found a mom pregnant with quintuplets :) That would have been the time I would have been forced to being sympathetic towards myself ;)

      Delete
  23. I am not obese but I have this tendency of putting on weight even if I inhale more than my share of air in a day. And I am extremely jealous of all those we-eat-but-don't-get-fat people whom god has strategically placed all around me.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Haha! I am one of those who can eat as much but still remain do not gain weight!! You have written the post with such a flair, the humor is melodious!

    ReplyDelete
  25. As usual it was a pleasure reading your take on this topic... Looks like I am in for some healthy competition too... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Funny post. Hubby too has weighty issues...he always buys his t-shirts 2 sizes extra.

    ReplyDelete
  27. he who is going through this phase knows the pain best .. Suresh Ji .. my past has been of a hardcore muscle boy(past :) now i am a man :D ) and what remained 5 years since I left body building is the appetite and where will it go? all around my waist and as you explained the pain of changing wardrobes .. I know what a pain it is .. now whenever I go dieting ... I am again in search of appropriate fitting clothes.. Had I been the the rapper of west it was okay .. they have clothes that go well while we are amid obesity and trying to reduce .. those baggy Ts and three-quarters.. hehehe
    I think Obese is happening :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And if it is not yet happening we will make it happen :)

      Delete
  28. Loved the post, love the comments...specially USP's poem..
    N agree with naba that was the punch line of ur post..the trouble is both ways,if u r thin then they keep pushing options like eat bananas plus milk n what not....
    The bottom line being everyone should keep to themselves and give advice only when needed.. :p

    ReplyDelete
  29. Well, I must say I need to charge you for a couple of analgesics. And I must also say, you have in your inimitable way made me eat my own words. In a recent comment, I had very wisely I thought, said that your articles manage to bring a smile on to your reader's face and effortlessly keep it there until he finished reading it. You have gone one better with this one, the smile morphed into a chuckle which then turned into a guffaw and ended up with my sides hurting by the time I finished reading; so do slip your hand into one of those voluminous pockets and fork over the money for the analgesics?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any time - as long as you promise to keep laughing :)

      Delete
    2. So, my flanks hurting, doesn't bother you?!

      Delete
    3. WHAT? You need Volini as well, in addition to analgesics? :)

      Delete
  30. Lovely write up Sir. I empathize with every word you have mentioned. The bike analogy has now become a fortification on my shield against flab-seeking missiles dropped by tights-clad Greek Gods and Goddesses strutting the neighborhood in vanity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Inefficient engines strutting around? Not to be borne :)

      Delete
  31. What a delightful read; though I did feel some guilty of laughing at your expense !!
    On a serious note, I was "almost obese" in my teen years and all through college. It hurts when people offer unsolicited advice. Coincidently, I am in the middle of writing a piece on my experience being a fat kid. It won't be funny!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Prateek! Now, me, I morphed from a skinny kid to... :)

      Delete