Virat Kohli, who would have been “a very fat kid” in his own words, if not a cricketer, is like the great Sachin Tendulkar in pulling his weight. Look at his knock against Australia at Mohali during the last T20 World Cup and his juggernaut of the latest Indian Premier League season. The battle of the bulge, however, has a more consistent winner for more than a decade — me.
My old medical college professor said once that there were millions of overweight women around the world and we knew them as “round figures”. Obesity hasn’t spared any caste, creed, or gender. I was never overweight but, like any mortal, had the tendency to pile up. One day, standing before the mirror on the wall, testing my vision, I couldn’t believe my eyes and the weighing machine — it said I was 70 kilograms — a good 10 points above my marriage reading 25 years ago.
“Why me?” I asked myself, “I didn’t bear any child.” It must be my wife’s fault, I concluded. How could I have a bulge in my belly but not in my back-pocket. Don’t they say that body and wallet swell together? Then I realised that I was a doctor in India and must be realistic. Losing weight is not as easy as my regular job of cutting eyes open but a shade easier than straightening a dog’s tail. However, why slim down when ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ has won a national award, my clientele is not repulsed, and my better half is at ease with the roving eyes of women.
Maybe just to prove a point, I took the challenge. How I did it, I’ll tell you the secret. I put an invisible tape on my mouth, to the delight of my wife foremost. I lived on fruits, and every time offered something tempting to eat, would do a simple exercise — turn my head to the right, then to the left. I shed so much I resembled a younger Anna Hazare without fasting at Jantar Mantar. Because of overuse, my treadmill had to be replaced.
I must have been the quickest to get back to 60 kg. It inspired so many of my family and friends that I changed my WhatsApp and Facebook statuses to “Waist of 2003; zero figure next”. Relatives who see you after long have a natural gift to spot instantly if you have gained or lost. My wife now avoids going out with me because of the fear that somebody might ask her: “Where is your husband?” Friends say: “There hardly anything left on you to lose.” Elders ask me: “What happened? Is the doctor not well?”
“I stay alert all day, my elbows ready to help my trousers up every now and then. The wardrobe malfunction saves me a lot of loo time in the morning rush hour. I think the brain workout has increased my grey matter as well. One of my patients, an elderly woman on her follow-up visit after operation, entered my cabin and started to rush out when I interrupted her. “Sorry, but I came to see Dr Chugh,” she said. For a moment, I thought: “O’ my God, did I make her blind?” I tried to convince her that I was the same doctor, although “lighter”. In spite of all, I regret not getting the same attention as Mukesh Ambani’s son. Obviously.
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org ( The writer is a Chandigarh-based eye surgeon)