Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Can you stomach the news?

You've seen a very large number of policemen have it. 80% of the professors in my college do too. As do 3 out of every 10 kids in America, if statistics are to be believed. (That may not be easy, as reports suggest 48% of all statistics are crap.)

The guy who comes to collect our waste paper has one, as does the gangleader at the auto stand at the end of street. Atleast 3 of my close uncle-level relatives have it. A number of my friends do, and now I have one too.

Laies and gentlemen, I am now the not-so-proud owner of a paunch. OK, maybe owner's not the right term to use (how about possessor?), but you get the point. The bottom line (no jokes about the ass crack, please; this is a family blog) is that I have a paunch.

Sure, that's a huge advantage if you are aspiring to be a Tamil movie star. It obviates other requirements like a face that won't make babies cry and a basic ability to act. If you're tubby, chances are you'd almost definitely be cast in some movie with a heroine (or female hero, to be politically correct) who will rival you in terms of lard, and you'd get to be a part of weird dances in foreign locales or the lush hills of Ooty to songs that have no relation whatsoever to the movies they appear in. You might also get advertising offers that lean heroes who stammer, need no excuse to take off their shirts or have an extra thumb can only dream of. An example? Bye bye Bebendum, you'd be the new face of Michelin.

But the fundamental point I would like to ram home is that I do not want to be a Tamil movie star. I don't want a paunch. And I don't like the way it's kind of sprung up suddenly.

My paunch has developed like a bird's egg. [Feel free to scratch your head in perplexity. While you're doing that, I'll scratch my head coz it itches. Much relieved, I'll get back to the egg analogy.] Now, bird's eggs hatch after a long period of being warmed by the mother's bottom. But the exact moment when the shell will crack and the little birdie inside will peep out and cry 'Mama!' to the first thing it sees (hey, I get all my info from cartoons) is completely unpredictable. Like one's marks in an Anna University exam. You stay awake for 72 hours in the fervent hope that you will be able to experience the joy of watching a bird-birth... but there's no sign of the bird. Not even a beak. You decide it's not gonna happen anytime soon and settle down for some shuteye, when a crraaack signals the opening of the shell. You rush to the egg only to find that the bird is now frolicking on your table and that the kettle has upstaged you as the little winger's Mama. OK, I had a point to make there, somewhere...

Ah yes, the unwelcome guest appeared all of a sudden. Out of the mists, even. Totally unexpected. I mean, there I was, happily paunchless on the day of our college photo shoot (people grumble about posing in the sun and then go completely berserk in taking weird group shots - B Batch guys, CSE Girls, Infamous Rowdy Gang, CSE Girls with Nandan, All people whose names begin with H...) and posing in my favourite kurta (theme: ethnic. Lungis allowed). I peeked at a friend's digital camera to see how the shot had come out when, out of the blue (literally; it's a blue kurta), protruding insolently from my middle, was the @#$% paunch. I reeled, stunned. I knew I'd been putting on a little weight (OK, OK, not a little), but not to the extent where I'd grow a mini potbelly! Nobody else seemed to notice it, but I could notice nothing but it. In the camera's 2D screen, it stood out in 3D. Bold. Unafraid. Proud to have gone where no lipidinous mass had gone before.

I sucked in my breath, but that made my face go red and I really didn't want to appear in all the photos as though I'd just swallowed a college chappathi the wrong way. It was either the face or the tummy. I went in for a compromise. My tummy looks relatively OK (suck in just a bit and hunch forward so the kurta falls over and not around the stomach), while my face looks like I badly need to pee, but not so badly that I can't wait to finish the shot. Perfect.

This astonishing development (if your thinking of a PJ about the photos being developed, I must inform you they were all digital cameras) is a result of my enforced layoff from college since November 2004. I've only had to attend college two days a week since then, and that has seen my waistline and weight competing to see which can increase by the higher percentage (my weight is currently in the lead).

Drastic situations demand drastic action. I'm gonna go have a snack. Then I'll watch some TV, and then I'm gonna start a strict exercise regimen. I don't want to panic and stress my body too much so I'll go slow but steady. Look out for a fitter, stronger, faster, slimmer me in June 2007.


Sneha said...

There There...Can't be all that bad..

Btw a friend of mine in IIMA(assuming you are taking it up..) told me that the hostel food there is awesome..and since everyone is overworked..they tend to hog alot...

I don't know how the above piece of information is going to make you feel...but anyway ..just thought it might interest

Oka the irrepressible said...

Hey A.C,
Nice blog. :)

Your potential future batch-mate,

AC said...

Oh heck, just when I've decided I'm gonna be strict and seriously committed to losing some flab, u give me info like this... oh cruel world, y do u tempt me thus?

Btw, definitely taking up IIMA... feelin unnaturally happy abt it!

Thanks Oka :) cya at WIMWI!