I look into the mirror. A small sphere, set atop a much larger sphere, looks back at me. I may not exactly be as broad as I am tall - yet - but I have certainly made substantial progress towards that goal.
"Tubby or not tubby, that is the question", I say to myself.
This happens once every year with me. No, it is NOT love (nor is it Dove, by the way). I know that the Bard may have said, "It is not Love which alters when it alteration finds", but mankind, as usual, considers that when Billy said 'alterations', he did not mean to include alterations in weight and bank balance. (Much like people believe that when their scriptures said, 'Love thy neighbor as you would love thyself', it could not really have meant THEIR neighbor). So, when you put on weight and your lady love takes one look at you and says "Ewwww! I don't want to see you again", you would be advised not to be quoting the Bard. She would only say, "Yeah! So it never was love, so what?", and you would have lost love retrospectively as well as prospectively.
Where was I? Ah! Telling you that it was NOT love, wasn't I? Anyway, it is really not love. It is just that, once a year, I trek in the Himalayas and lugging all this weight around at those altitudes makes me feel more like a porter than a trekker. So, the idea of 'not tubby' seems more attractive around that time. Why I did not trek when I was lath-thin (I really was, you know! Like my beard, my girth too developed long after I was born), I will never know.
So, yes, Billy's sayings did come in handy for a while. "Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them", I used to say to explain how I was not responsible for my weight gain, since the damn thing was thrust upon me. I believed it, too. Though, I would have preferred that, when it was thrust upon me, it had been targeted more evenly across my body. There are those, who have even achieved greatness similarly but, since it has been achieved from head to toe uniformly, they only look substantial whereas, in my case, getting all that greatness around the waist has made me look fat. (I still prefer that word to obese - it sounds close to obscene and who wants to be known as looking obscene?)
The problem with education is that there are always those guys who know more than you do. So, up comes a guy with a quip to beat my 'greatness thrust upon me' quote. I say that thing to him and he gets back with "Not that he loved slimness less but that he loved dining more", misquoting Brutus. It certainly did not help that this happened when I had just heaped Biryani on my plate, in what I thought was modest quantities and what others seemed to think was enough for a family of four.
And then people started giving me all sorts of scary news. Apparently, these fats were not content to park themselves around the belly. They also parked their LDLs haphazardly on the sides of the blood vessels causing traffic jams of blood corpuscles. Sometimes, it could result in gridlocks in the blood vessels supplying the heart or the brain.
For a while there, I seriously considered reducing weight - even without the prospect of a trek. The problem was with the process. It was gratifying to know that there was, at least, one thing in the world that was easier to acquire than to lose. You know, with wealth and reputation, it is the other way round. Surprisingly, though, it did not make me happy at all. Why is it that the only thing you want to lose is SO difficult to lose, and the things, that you would rather not lose, dissipate like mist? Life is a b****!
THAT phase did not last long, though. Life is a journey towards death, anyway, and I am a man in a hurry. Or, if you prefer quotes, "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die". I could never bring myself to obsess about how long I could live and lose the chance of living that day. Or, in more pompous terms, I was incapable of postponing current gratification for a future benefit.
So, 'Tubby or not tubby'? Well - the trek is only in October and, meanwhile, that luscious pastry is staring me in my face NOW.
Tubby it is going to be!