It is with great sadness that I announce that I have been ordered to diet by a stern looking individual who resembles Frankenstein’s Monster and also happens to be my doctor.
This was a great shock to the system, almost of catastrophic proportions. Here I was tucking into the carbohydrates, starch, fat and what have you with gay abandon. By now I had got used to the ungainly body with an appendage in the middle which could loosely be called male pregnancy.
About the only exercise I did would be to get up from the sofa and switch on the TV.
And now this Monster, who should have been drowned in a cauldron full of hot, steaming soup, has assigned a diet as follows:
Morning: Tea with a diet biscuit, two in number.
Lunch: Half a cup of dal, one lean vegetable, two chapatis, two chopped tomatoes and a cucumber.
Tea: One cup and guess what – two biscuits.
Dinner: One chapatti, dal as above, and salad. Add a glass of milk, if you please, at night for variety.
I pleaded a one night reprieve from this monster with tears flowing down my eyes. But that was not to be. He told me quite bluntly – it’s food or your life. Diet or die.
I was condemned. Now I know how a man on death row feels.
So here I was, staring at a plate with dal, salad and two dry chapattis. Oh death, where is thy sting? After 15 minutes of solid staring at what can be termed as animal fodder, I took the extremely brave step of taking a cucumber and biting into it. No, no, no, no, NO.
Was this tasteless thing with 95.3 per cent water, a thing to eat? Completely ridiculous. I can lay a bet that somebody distracted the Good Lord when he devised nature. I would be damned if I eat this. Pushing aside the plate, I decided going hungry would be a better option.
I had a Horror Night. The doctor dominated the dreams, taking various forms and tempting me by brandishing a leg of lamb or biting lovingly into a chicken leg, done golden, with a dash of spices, garnished with onions and grilled to perfection.
Come fetch me, Oh Lord, your humble son, who is being tormented by a Monster.
Waking up after a restless night with about a hundred rats doing the belly dance in the stomach, I called out the maid to bring a large breakfast consisting of three eggs, four sausages, hash browns, buttered toast, jam, fruit and four cups of tea.
The Monster is a clever man, you know. He had the foresight to warn my maid and make sure that two biscuits and one cup of tea it will be.
My maid, a dour, determined sort of a woman, would have nothing of it. She cheerily brought the biscuits and tea, singing lightly because her work burden had reduced one-fifth.
After a month of this Chinese torture, I have come to the conclusion that life sucks. It is dreary, draining and dark. We are all creatures, sent down from heaven (if there is one), to complete our mission of being human beings.
With a life span of about a 100 years maximum, we try to short circuit that as early as possible by yielding to temptation which the Good Lord warned about. I have already resorted to poetry as I wallow in self-pity and have written An Ode to A Burnt Kabab.
And here I am, sitting in a dark room, staring at a cucumber and pondering suicide. Life is just not “meat and drink” anymore.