The Man with the Curves

I demand an explanation – How can you people link my eating habits to my body weight and structure so irrationally? Do you think that thin people eat less and fat men are all gluttons? It has simply become too much for a generally cheerful “healthy” looking plump person like me to bear. All I am trying to say is that, my food intake has nothing to do with my size. I eat like a bird but I do end up looking like Garfield, the cat with its belly rubbing the road! But, certainly, my food doesn’t deserve the blame it gets. Genetics and nothing else could be the reason.

The other day, I was dining with my friends at our usual South Indian Pure Vegetarian Restaurant – Akshaya’s when an acquaintance popped in and started cautioning me even before the food arrived, “Dei, paathu saapudu da. Innam Gundaayiduvae !” which meant, don’t overeat! You will get fatter. 
“Asshole” I breathed. Outwardly, I just smiled and let the comment fade away in to the rickety- rackety noises inside the eatery. To get into a fight while having food is something I hate. You might as well think he would have stopped with that one comment. Unfortunately not! When my food arrived, he remarked ruthlessly. ”Randu Idli, avala thaana, thaanguma thalaivaa?” You people tell me. What should have I done?
I asked him to wait for a few minutes until I devoured my two idlis and coconut chutney. Later, I took him to the corner of the room and gave him an “earful” so that he would never dare to ask that to another innocent soul.

You might think fat people are funny but I am not. This is not just a one off incident. A few months back I was at a party when a friend (read girl) shouted, “Hey, you beer body!” before she sat down cuddling with a lolly-pop shaped boy. Do they realize we are mellow inside! Here again, it was assumed my size was just because I drank like a fish. Good that most beer bodies have soft-hearts else offenders like her would have been trampled to death. I made a mental note to remove that itchy female from my friends’ list on Facebook.
A few months back, I was attending a family function, where I got humiliated twice. The first one, the usual kind, happened when a determined aunt decided to fill my plate with generous servings of sweets, oraayiram food items and pappadams with infectious affection. I prayed to almighty that she did not have a marriage-ready girl to be introduced to later in the day.

I protested. “I can’t eat this much, mami” No, she was not my mom’s sister-in-law. “Mami” is just every woman whom you meet in a typical Iyer family and you do not know where to place her in the family tree.
“Dei, Chumma kadhayadikaathae. Enikku theriyada?? Unna kandu thaan evalo items order panneerkkom” pointing straight at my innocent body. Everyone laughed at my expense. Well, that might have eased the blood pressure of a few oldies around, but not mine. My eyes scanned the room filled with umbrella-stomached (pot-bellied) mamas, ammi-kal (wet grinder) shaped mamis and their surprisingly mal-nourished dozen odd kids laughing while sipping pal-ada pradhaman with pappadom.
As usual, my mom whispered, “Dei, eat only what you want. Leave the rest.” subtly telling me to stop eating soon. Majority of the food remained untouched. 

On the second day of the function, I had to undergo mortification of a different kind. That day, for some reason, I was feeling hungry and the menu too was to my liking. A distant relative – a mami, different from the earlier one, was serving the food. To my left sat the depressingly thin boy, ironically named – “Ganapathy”. His presence accentuated my “curves” which of course caused a few unwelcome stares at my belly, esp. from the giggling girls of Ramaiyer Madom.

As she started serving payasam to the boy, she passionately announced, ”Enna Lakshmi, kuzhanthae romba chadachittaan. Onnum saapadarathillaya?” enquiring her mother about the boy’s poor health. She gave him an extra serving of all the items on the menu. Hardly did she know that Ganapathy was infamous for his excessive eating habits and he had already gobbled up three times the food that I was going to have that day. Indeed, appearances are deceptive!
Approaching my plate, she took one hard look at me, served half the normal serving, disrespecting my appetite and moved on to the next plate. She even frowned when I asked for a second glass of payasam, meanwhile my contrasting neighbor Ganapathy had already emptied four glasses of it without breaking a sweat.

I can’t take it anymore! Is there a court where I can sue these people? Is there a law that can protect hapless people like me? Can I alter my genes? All because I am just a few kilos more than my accepted weight limit! I condemn yet envy those genetically lean people who despite being the greedygutses they are, get away with their crime unsuspected. 

I can’t change the attitude of this brutal world. So these days, I am practicing a complex Yoga that trains you to shut your ears while opening the mouth. I believe this will help me in selectively hearing the comments while having food!!!

“Shit, I stepped on shit!!!”

I have nothing against the dog-kind. But, what have they got against me? I have been an animal lover all my life. I like animals in the wild and in the zoo, take pictures of wild animals, spend much time and energy watching National Geographic and Animal Planet etc.. I have neither pelted stones at a stray dog nor fed any. A peace-loving soul that I am, I would expect dogs to behave in the same way – A little matured and cultured. However, the dogs have decided to make my life hell. I would be rushing to office when that undesirable event happens. My otherwise perfect day will be spoiled by the act of stepping on the dark pile of royal poo on the road. I shout, “Shit.” My shoes are now soiled with hardly any time left to go back home and clean it. So, I use leaves, litter, the edges of footpaths, garbage and what not to clean my footwear. Passers-by look at me and mock at the apparently good-looking, well-dressed man behaving in a queer way. Let me be frank with you, I am furious and at the same time disappointed with man’s loyal being. Don’t get me wrong. I am not here to blame game.. I am told that I have more senses than those so-called innocent animals. I agree, I ought to be more careful next time around!

Dogs have been with us for some billion years now. They should have at least made an effort to learn the basic toilet etiquettes from their masters. Besides, it is master’s responsibility to train their dogs to shit in their loo, preferably inside the confines of their homes. How selfish can the dog owners be! They want to keep two-three dogs, train them to guard their homes but when it comes to toilet mannerisms, they teach them to use roads, trees, parks, parked vehicles, standing men etc. I thought, it is the Indian villages where I need to be careful while walking on the roads or taking a small alley by the main road. The condition of the roads and parks in my city tell a different story!

The other day, my neighbor Kumar who owns two dogs, a Labrador and a Rottweiler, was out walking his plump dogs. Those canines were sniffing the entire area out perhaps searching for their territory markings. After half an hour of futile effort, the Rottweiler approached our house’s main gate and stopped. There was a satisfactory look on its face and a devilish smile perhaps. Then smack in the middle it peed and pooed. “Holy shit”, I cried and tried to shoo them away but without any success. Imagine, waking up everyday morning, opening your gate to a mound of dog shit. Nightmare. This became a daily affair. One fine day, I threatened Kumar that I would kill his dogs if he let any of them near my house. I swear my intention was just to scare him off. It was just out of sheer frustration than anger. The next day, one of the dogs died. To this day, Kumar believes the dog’s death was because of me. I tried convincing him, “Kumar, it is the poo.” Still so many Kumars and their loyal dogs make my walk to the park a tricky affair. One misstep and you are doomed.

The stray and the pet ones make sure that the road outside my house is a minefield of shit piles. I am powerless to change this script unless I am nominated to the cabinet as the human welfare minister. My first action item would be to build toilets for dogs and impose hefty fines for the owners if their dogs defecate anywhere outside the four walls of their homes!

Until then, I will have to imagine myself as a brave soldier or as a video game player jumping from one maze to another carefully avoiding the booby traps and clearing the levels to reach the destination!