‘Diet’ is a four letter word. It is almost as bad as the word which, when we used to utter it, our dear mothers would threaten to scrub our tongue with soap and butara (a stick broom)! It is a different matter now, with the offending word becoming almost an accepted part of our vocabulary, and is used by as a sort of a garnish to the God-given gift of the articulate speech – like badam, darakh and charoli on the festive offering of sev or ravo! Here I go again thinking of and making an analogy of food. I am on a diet.
Now that I am finally in condition financially to travel abroad, I dream of travelling to the land of hope and glory, the land of cowboys and Injuns that I grew up reading about in comic books, the birthplace of skyscrapers, hotdogs and Rock ‘n’ roll… now I can fulfill my dream of travelling to the US of A, but my dear wife, always preoccupied with my round shape and 101 Kilos, a figure auspicious like a Pehramni, mocks me saying, “Darabsha darling, why waste money going all the way to the USA. Your tum, that dumchu of yours is just like the Rotunda of the Capitol at Washington DC. Look up in the mirror. If you want to go anywhere, go on a diet. Reduce ten kilos. Ten bloody #%*^ kilos off my dignified girth? OMG!
After being subject to constant nagging and totally oblivious of my past horrendous experiences, I qave in. I thought I’d give it a try. I felt it could not be so bad as the time when she had enrolled me at some ghastly, out-of-Mumbai place where they make you get up at an ungodly hour and make you do all sort of contortions, tying you up into a human knot! It is called Yoga and I believe it is a great favourite of our Esteemed PM Saheb TOO! Well, all the best to him!
Rise and shine at an ungodly hour and to crown it all – no coffee, no fudina-ni-chai; some fruits for breakfast and sparse lunch and dinner sans salt, ditto dessert. How I survived is still a mystery to me. One can say it was not my finest hour.
Then there was a time when my better half enrolled us for the Inter-baug Beautiful Bawa-Bawi Contest in which we had to do rounds of some western dance and sashay nonchalantly down the catwalk. The very thought of it gives me goose-pimples, and sends chill down my spine even today. She wanted me to do Tango with her, do rounds of sweeps and dips and all sorts of things these Tango Johnnies do and in the bargain I would also lose a few kgs off my girth. All my coaxing, cajoling and even good old fashioned bribing failed to get out of this quagmire of social disaster.
Fortunately, during one of the practice session with our dance teacher Ms. Francesca Eunice Nathali Nycosia (I called her Fenny), I twisted my ankle while executing a ‘leg caress’ and that put an end to Interbaug Beautiful Couple Contest. Phew!
Yes, totally oblivious of my past horrendous experiences, I thought I’d give dieting a try. Now I am in a Zombie-like state, hollowed cheeks, glassy eyes, and dark circles underneath. Specters of chicken farchas, crème Brule, bhakras, chapats, titori, sukka boomlas, all things full of spice and everything that is nice seem to be floating around my head. No happy hour. Even my liquor cabinet has been locked up. My happy table has been reduced to the frugality of Trappist Monks. Khakhras, unsweetened curd, sprouts, green muck without mayo or any other dressing passes of as a salad, not even the Parsis’ favourite, the omnipresent per-eeda. Even my neighbour’s dachshund named, of all the things, ‘Sausage,’ who often saunters in when we are having our meals gave me a look of contempt when I offered him a piece of khakhra and a floret of boiled cabbage. To top it all, my editor keeps on calling me saying, “Darabsha, tamaro weekly bakwas ready che ke?!”
When you read this weekly bakwas of mine please spare a prayer or two for deprived Darabsha. He has 19.7 Kilograms to go!