Monday, February 24, 2014

Why am I not reducing? ….Condition Serious Hai…!!!

“Look at me when I am talking to you.”

Mrs. Reeta Barua announced with a blood curdling combative tone. 

Her husband, an almighty powerful managing director; a blatant terror horse to his huge 150+ staff, was trying hard to duck behind a frail newspaper.

Mrs. Barua stormed and snatched the last refuge of the hapless man’s hand. Nowhere to hide, with his back against the wall Mr. Barua had to play ball, “But, why don’t you go for jogging today?” 

“I don’t like jogging. Besides, the confounded children laugh.” She said dryly.

Mr. Barua thought - they have every reason to laugh. It’s not every day when you see a perfect round shaped 5 feet, 180 pound lady attired in the costliest tracksuit with the best possible running shoes and sunglasses and the highest bracket iPod plugged in the ears moving at a brisk pace of 0.5 km/hrs around the society’s jogging tracks.

“Then why don’t you use the society’s multi gym?” He asked.

“It is too noisy. Full with young kids in 20s. The trainer does not pay attention.” 

He thought - why the trainer should? If you were the trainer why would you waste your effort on a 45 year old where lots of pretty faces are around?

“We have a treadmill at home. Use that.” Mr. Barua was being tenacious.

“It is not latest, does not tell me how many Calories did I burn….I am planning to do Yoga.”

"But why Yoga?” He enquired.

“Because that’s the only way left to reduce my weight.” Mrs. Barua said with full gusto.

“Will Yoga tell you how many Calories are burning up? Or do you think the instructor would be more interested in trimming you down? And what is the guarantee that people won’t laugh there?”  Mr. Barua played all his cards in one go something akin to ‘all in’ betting in poker.

Mrs. Barua was taken aback for a moment and then produced a gem.

“Because Sheena is joining.”

Now that’s an ace. Can’t beat that. Mr. Barua turned mum.

Sheena is Mrs. Barua’s best friend cum competitor cum foe cum mate…………..

Jogging, treadmill, last year’s out of budget Australia holiday, the never used titanium finish cutlery, membership to expensive cosmetic chain marketing and numerous other financial disasters are attributed to the lady next block.  Other than these, the two ladies are remarkably similar in shape and size and not to forget weight.

“I want to attend Baba Ramdev’s Camp from first row” Mrs. Barua declared with supreme authority.

“Another 100 grands down the drain……………” Mr. Barua resigned.


A month’s frenzy followed. First a new set of clothes were bought. Next the entire room on Southeast corner was redecorated as per vastu. CDs of yogic incantations were purchased. So was a huge mural of Baba Ramdev.

And also the phone usage headed north.  Every ‘Asan’ was talked about in details over phone with Sheena.

The Yoga Camp ended.

That evening Mr. Barua came home late and found Mrs. Barua in distraught conditions.

“What’s the matter?” He said.

“I am so worried.” She said holding her tears back. “You saw me, didn’t you? I did everything possible for one full month. Did every ‘Asan’. Still I have not reduced.”

Then she turned to Mr. Barua with tear rolling down her cheek.

“Why am I not reducing???” and she started weeping. Mr Barua sat there motionless.


In the late evening the phone rang. Mr. Barua overheard the conversation from one side.

“Hi Sheena.”

“Really!!!  Mrs. Bhatt is organizing kitty parties?”

“It would be lovely. I was tired of the last month’s menu. Kebabs and kebabs and kebabs……. And those cream topped pastries were such disgusting I tell you……”

“I hope they change the toppings to double cheese. One layer of cheese on pizza really tastes bad…..”

“Ok. Seems this month it would be fun at Mrs. Bhatt’s place.”

 Mrs.  Barua put the phone down and beamed.

“This month would be much better food at the parties than last time. But I will be cautious not to gain.”

Mr. Barua dived into the sports page of a newspaper.

(Already published in Zing. )

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Should I go further to get closer

“Be in Saree while you are in our township.”  Strictly instructed by my father-in-law to me, while I was 7 days old in marriage. I nodded my head.

Before marriage, I never used to wear Saree if there was no occasion, be in office or any other place. Wearing a Saree that time was an excitement, celebration. But, wearing round the clock, I wondered how it would be!

My husband is posted in Mumbai. As he works in an Oil company, he has to be on duty for 15 days and next 15 days are holidays. So, 13 days (minus travel, though by air), he stays at home. 

I took a month leave from my office for marriage. Seven days after our marriage, my husband had to leave for Mumbai. As it was an arranged marriage, we tried to spend some time with each other during those 7 days, but our relatives and acquaintance were so eager to see the bride, inviting the new couple for lunch and dinner, that we hardly got time to talk with each other. 

In the morning, I had to get up early to meet some expectation of my parents-in-law. So, early to bed, early to rise became my motto.  Had to go for lunch at someone’s home and dinner at someother’s. Then I couldn’t say “No” if the host wanted to serve more than I could devour, otherwise I would get to hear lots of comment, or the comments would go directly to the parents-in-law’s ears.  So, had to gulp the food more than my capacity and then coming back home, be in medicine and keep trying to make myself fit for the dinner. 


After a month, I also joined my office. I started driving the car of my father-in- law. Everytime, driving to office, going to the market or mall, going to park or family picnic (used to feel like an alien), wearing Saree all the time was giving me a bitter feeling.  My parents-in law are lovely, well-understanding, thus I did not want to revolt on their first instruction of being in Saree all the time. I compromised with this dressing style...though still crave for the Suridar, western attire! 


While my husband comes home for 13 days, I have to be in office for the whole day, rest of the time, had to help my Mother-in-law in cooking, washing utensils etc., and in bed time, used to feel so sleepy that hardly could talk to my dear eagerly-waiting husband. Saturday and Sunday, as usual, go to some relative’s place to keep the formalities.

Now, it’s been six months of our marriage. There is a good news…..I have conceived….I can see excitement and joy in everyone’s eyes. Me and my husband – both are also happy, but, just looking back and trying to calculate the hours of our togetherness – how much we have come to know each other. Probably once the baby comes to the earth, our world will revolve around him/her. Wondering whether we will be able to know, understand each other very closely ever!!!!!

Just feeling like going further to get closer….. 

Should I call British Airways.....???

**Note this story is written for British Airways.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Isn’t Valentine Day entering a new era?

“Didi, don’t make him wear that, put him in a red dress!!!”……Pokhila, my maid came running while I was putting my son in his school uniform.  

I asked, “Why?” 

Pokhila replied, “Today is Valentine Day. His school is celebrating and in the note book, they have instructed the parents to make their children wear red dress.”

I went to the market yesterday evening. Heard few teenagers talking, “Keep your WhatsApp on….”, “What are you wearing tomorrow – Red or Pink?”, “Let’s go to Rasta Café tomorrow!!”

Isn’t Valentine Day entering a new era?  

If we look back, at least a decade ago, did any pre-school or high school celebrate Valentine Day….I doubt.  Did any teenager easily plan to go to a Midnight Dhaba? 

People used to keep longing for a landline call, or eagerly kept waiting for the postman to deliver a Card, or meet in a day time restaurant to date, with pink or red dress…. Now, we see people longing for a “Ping”, ä “WhatsApp message” or “phone call” and pre-planning to meet at a pub or a discotheque.  

The intent for your affection or love is just a click away from communication. But I don’t understand whether all these help making the love and romance bloom or wither away like roses that fuel businesses on Valentine Day?

By the way…what are you wearing today??? ……I am wearing “Blue”!!!! Meaning???....Dont know!!!!  :)
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