Monday, December 6, 2010

Laurel or Hardy?

Personally, I have nothing against Laurel, you see. I would be the first one to admit that he was one of the best comedians of his time and more than a match for Hardy. Who, in their right minds, could contest the fact that this ‘thin and chubby’ duo was a riot on the screen? But behind the laughing eyes and waddling legs, did Hardy hide a truckload of hurt? Did anyone ever stop to think how the fashionably-thin Laurel might have made our flabby Hardy feel?

You may think that I am crying wolf when there isn’t even a trace of a puppy around but trust me, I have my reasons. As a fellow chubster (just because MS Word underlines this word in red doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, ok?), I feel like I can speak for all the Hardys of this world and tell you that it is a major pain in the you-know-what to be constantly surrounded by thin people.

I am not saying that thin people are bad. Definitely not. They may very well have a small golden heart inside their very petite bodies. It is just that, unwittingly, by their mere presence, they give us chubsters a huge complex and as God knows, we can very well do without anything huge, if you can catch my drift.

Take my case, for example. I happen to live in a town where all the women enjoy eating air for the main course and delight in drinking water for dessert at every meal. If it were up to them, without any qualms, they will rewrite the secret code to open Aladdin’s treasure caves to say ‘LETTUCE’ and then what will happen to poor Aladdin?

Now as one who salivates over a bowl of rasam rice for breakfast, I fail to understand how soy nuts can be appealing to anyone first thing in the morning. Fine, as long as you are at it, why not eat a nice cup of those soy nuts? Why count them every morning to eat exactly 6? And if you eat 8 instead of 6 one morning by mistake, is that any reason to call poison control? Seriously, if you are planning to relocate to my town for any reason and your daily lunch/dinner menu does not include a bowl of colorful leaves, do reconsider. You will thank me later and I will tell you why.

When I first moved into this town, I mistook all the inhabitants to be refugees from Somalia. It was an honest mistake really. I had never before seen anyone else walking around with bones jutting out of the skin like that. My heart bled for their misfortune and determined to do my part as a Good Samaritan, I hosted many parties in the hope of feeding my neighbors and friends with my no fat-spared cooking. But my plan was a big, fat flop. It was the same story at each party. One look at the long row of my wickedly tempting food trays, these folks would whip up their calculators and get busy. The minute the calorie count crossed zero, they would pretend that the food was e-coli infected and happily go back to their air and water diet.

So I gave up and switched to Plan B. If the town wouldn’t fatten up, then I would have to slim down, I thought. After all, I didn’t want to be the only Hardy in this town of Laurels. So I stocked my fridge with leaves and soups of all color. I even went out and got Quinoa. I was that desperate. Since that took care of the eating part of the Plan B, I next set out to buy a treadmill. Of course there is a gym less than a mile from my place but I didn’t want to take any chances, you see.

The shiny Nordic Track was finally hauled up the stairs and just as I got ready to jump on it and puff my way to health, I realized that something was missing. Ah, of course! What could motivate me more than a nice big TV mounted on the wall just across from my new machine? I know that my husband granted this wish of mine and installed a TV on that wall only because he was convinced of the sensibility of my plan and definitely not because he wanted to stop my nagging. Not at all!

Anyway, to make a very long story short(is it too late??), Plan B turned out to be an even bigger flop than Plan A. To say that the sensible diet plan was a complete disaster would be the understatement of the year. For every spoonful of the nasty Quinoa that I ate, I compensated by attacking the white rice with vengeance. For every green leaf that I had to push down my throat, I rewarded myself with a bowl of home-made spicy potato fries. For every cup of sugarless tea that I had to drink, I thumbed my nose at it with 2 glasses of kheer. Sigh, sigh…….......

With regards to the exercise equipment, it wasn’t a total waste after all. I am using the handle bars to organize and hang my thupattas these days so that is something, right? And about the TV, I realized that I liked watching it better from the bed anyway.

I have learned to forgive myself these days. Just like some people enjoy their air and water diet, I am fated to go through life as a Hardy. Philosophically speaking, some things are simply not in our control. As the French would say "Que sera sera".

So what are you? A Laurel or a Hardy?


Prashanti said...

Hardy har har...
What? I am just having a nice laugh!

Sriram V Iyer said...

LOL... Awesome post Meena! I was planning to write one on these lines - on futility of dieting or in the larger picture, the ability to lose weight.

We have a tendency to attract and retain when it comes to weight. This year, I was fed up, and I thought let me not think of dieting, eat regularly and NOT exercise. How much can the weight go up? It turns out there is NO UPPER LIMIT. I weigh the heaviest in my life (you have no idea, if you are extrapolating what you had seen me of earlier :D)

I use advanced philosophical stuff to ignore weight :) - Who said philosophy had limited applications? :) - Offer Pizza to Narayana and eat :)

Anonymous said...

Very funny... I had quite the opposite issue. During my recent India visit, family and friends thought I had lost too much weight. So, I started stuffing up, but the weight refused to go up.

I suppose I could write the flip side to this, but it won't be as hilarious...

thanks for lightening up the day - Ravindran

vidhoo said...

Hi Meena

Great post as usual.Very true about being the 'embarassing' hardys in our communities. but now i have become quite resigned to the fact that i can never reduce weight. i am not very keen abt that anymore. so lets say three cheers to all the hardys of the world, without whom the world will not be balanced.

Sriram....very true "We have a tendency to attract and retain when it comes to weight".

Lets be proud of being Hardys and also pray that it doesnt affect our health in anyway.


Srilatha said...

As a fellow "Hardy", the moment I read "quinoa" I stopped reading this blog and opened a new tab in my browser to wikipedia and researched quinoa. I think all of us Hardys are secretly desperate to get our mitts on that magic eraser that will enable an hourglass shape :-) As a conspiracy buff, I think the thin world led by the health industry - is conspiring against us Hardys. I mean, have you tasted some of that expensive Kashi cereal at Trader Joes? I have eaten tastier dirt. Lets boycott the "health" industry and fill souls and taste buds with pleasurable food made of real ingredients. Lets be happy instead of hungry.

jeyashrisuresh said...

Very nice post meena.
As vidhya said,atleast to balance the world lets all remain as hardys.
//For every spoonful of the nasty Quinoa that I ate, I compensated by attacking the white rice with vengeance// LOL

Anonymous said...

Jeyamma Drogi
Nee Hardy aa? u r the Laurel of all Laurels.
Excellent post Meena. As I always maintain, what cannot be reduced (or even hidden) should be flaunted.
Hardy rocks!!!
You go Hardy!!!

jeyashrisuresh said...

kirthika, i expected u will surely comment on what i have said.
But i am not laurel from my childhood,When u guys were laurels(esp,you) you know how much i weighed.....sshhh secret.

Meena Sankaran said...

@ Prashanti - :-)

@ Sriram - "Offer Pizza to Narayana and eat" - Ha ha ha....that is brilliant Sriram. And you know how I take such godly things seriously right? So today, pizza it is to my Lord. :-)

And thank you for the 'no upper limit for weight gain' warning. Now, that is scary.

Meena Sankaran said...

'thanks for lightening up the day'

Anytime Ravi. :-) And thank you for not coming at me with a bat for the 'somalia refugee' reference. I was counting on the forgiving nature of this town and its inhabitants and you didn't disappoint me. :-)

Meena Sankaran said...

"Lets be proud of being Hardys and also pray that it doesnt affect our health in anyway.

Amen to that Vidya. There is little point in worrying over things that are not in our control, is there? As long as you are all here to keep me company, I am quite contented to be a Hardy. After all, like you yourself said, how else can there be balance in this world? :-)

Meena Sankaran said...

"the moment I read "quinoa" I stopped reading this blog and opened a new tab in my browser to wikipedia and researched quinoa."

Did you go out and buy yourself some? If you did, did you throw up immediately or 10 minutes after you ate it? Come on, we must compare some notes here. Believe it or not, I have eaten Kashi cereal and I agree that I have tasted better dirt in my life. Sure, I can live a few extra years eating the healthy Quinoa and Kashi but seriously why would I want to?

Meena Sankaran said...

"As vidhya said,atleast to balance the world lets all remain as hardys."

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this Jeyamma. Krithika caught you before I could. Forgive me for pointing this out but you have to be a Hardy in the first place to remain a Hardy di Jeyamma. As Krithika so eloquently said 'Dhrogi'. Ramaiyaa kudumba peyarukke izhukku pannara di Jeya. :-)

Anonymous said...

i had a gud laugh...almost fell of my chair!! nice post!!

Meena Sankaran said...

Thank you Selva. And may I suggest sitting in a sturdy chair the next time? :-)