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A Pound of Flesh

We are never in step. Almost always. Four ladies, one thin as a reed (Reema), another slim and trim with curves in the right places (Suja), the third was medium, a little voluptuous (?)(Sreeja) and the fourth was overweight (Ritu). We always went for a walk at the same time each morning. Reema and me joined at the same time when the others passed by our respective gates. She was too thin for words that I even wondered that a stronger breeze would just blow her away.
Reema took pride that she exercised even if she actually didn’t need to. Fat refused to sit on her. The thing I liked about her was that she was never judgmental about the different sizes she saw around her and never sermonized on exercise, eating habits et.al.
Suja was in turn too proud of her looks and always a step ahead of the walkers, turning back now and then to comment on some conversation that was going on between the walkers. She had a good figure and she walked because she had the time and she needed to “motivate others” (Her own words mind you!) so that the rest of us would try to model ourselves on her. (Iam sure you all know that people like her do exist, though we wish they don’t). She walked deliberately just a little ahead of us, so that she can listen in on the conversation and say that she can only walk briskly time and again.
Sreeja, was stocky, genuinely thought lifestyle change was the only way to change her appearance and that exercise was absolutely necessary for every sized person in this planet. The best part was she kept her opinions to herself. She diligently went walking in the morning and did cardio workouts in the evening. This was the reason she turned ‘Medium’.
The last but not the least is Ritu. She was always on a diet. She exercised too, when she didn’t turn up for the walks. She did the weight watchers, she did south beach, you name it. When she became bored with one diet, she was able to switch over to another effortlessly. With her, the topic of conversation during the walks were always fitness and how to go about it. Tips and tricks she found on the internet or while reading a magazine, would regularly feature during the walk. One fine day she turned ‘L’ and she was so elated. She actually had to redo her wardrobe because her clothes were literally hanging loose around her.
We were then invited to a party in her house. Ritu had only three helpings of ice cream and a couple of Kaju Katlis. Her non-walker friends egged her on saying they were thrilled that she had lost so much weight that she forgot how much she was gorging. She actually looked good without the flab (‘penta chin’-her words) on her face.The next day she was not seen with the walkers. The day after she turned up saying she had work and now that she has lost considerable weight she can afford to walk twice or thrice a week. This went on for a week and slowly it was once a week when she needed to talk to some of us because she was bored at home. And finally she returned to her obese self, depressed.
And so it began all over, she again turned up walking. As for Sreeja she turned L and went back to medium, yo-yoing all the time.
Meanwhile, a new neighbor joined the walkers. She was almost slim. Somehow Sreeja and Ritu fell in step with her. She made interesting conversation and she read similar books too, on health and food. One day the walkers went to her house and there was an album on the shelf. Inquisitive Suja picked it up and gasped. The rest of the walkers trooped to her and looked and gave a collective gasp. The photo they saw was a really obese woman. “That was me ten years ago,” she said as she served lemonade. And for the past ten years I have never missed a day of exercise,” she said when S asked. And also, she was a cancer survivor.
This is actually a real life story and I don’t want to give it an ending. I am somewhere in this story too. I do not fall in the Reed and Small bracket and I don’t like sermons either. I leave it to the readers to make up their own ending. I didn’t write this to prove a point as anybody and everybody knows what’s good for the body.
However, since the topic pound of flesh came about here, I did get to reflect a lot on the weight issue. My mind refused to think of other categories for “Pound of flesh.” I know what is wrong; I know what can be done to set it right. But still there are times when life gets in the way,….excuses searched. I guess I have to be my own Shylock and look for ways to shed my pound of flesh that refuses to leave me and by sweating it out.

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4 Responses

  1. Very interesting and true!!! We are what we are, me too trying hard to lose the extraaaaa pounnndssss of flesh!!!

  2. we have to be our own shylock – like that end and a breezy write-up ! thumbs up !

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