Flab to Scrawny


If only Richard Salter had not taken to invent you in 1770, life would have been peaceful. Your invention has thrown both men and women in a tizzy. Be it a doctor’s chamber or a railway platform, they make a beeline towards you.

Even teenagers today are getting obsessed with weight issues. They just throw their weight on you till you cry foul. You smirk when they wail, when you drop the atom bomb in form of numbers.

If you had your will, you could give them a tongue lashing. The numbers may give them sleepless nights but still they will keep devouring junk food.  You may gloat but teens will be teens; they are adamant, reckless fools who are not born to listen to reasoning even though it may create problems in their life.

I could never comprehend the reason behind this crazy behaviour regarding weight issues. Fortunately, I had been blessed with a skinny figure, so I gorged on food without giving a thought about weight gain .

Even while I visited a doctor’s clinic, I never enjoyed standing on your dull, grey tarnished body unless asked by the doctor. The minute you showed  me in poor light,  the doctor would lecture me on my diet. He felt I looked emaciated for my age, while you sat in the corner enjoying my discomfiture. I hated your presence in the room.

The minute I hit my forties, I joined the bandwagon. I suddenly started piling on the ounces and got the old marm look. People started commenting on my weight gain. I didn’t take it seriously as I felt after a long time, I looked healthy and a ‘khate peete ghar ki ladki.’

But health issues cropped up and the doctor’s advised me to lose a few ounces. In their medical jargon, at forty, the apocalypse was looming owing to the 3Fs in the body. It is FAT, FEMALE & FORTY. If left unchecked, I would have to leave this world before time. I got worked up thinking about the worst which might befall me.

I became obsessed when you showed the sixty- two kgs for my five foot four frame. A bit overweight, and I needed to work on it as the doctor calmly told me. You mocked me whenever I visited the doctor as I didn’t want you to be a permanent fixture in my house.

But dear Weighing machine, you played havoc in my life. I joined yoga to lose that extra flab. I managed to lose a few ounces and felt at ease. There were hits and misses when I went overboard with my diet but nothing too big and weighty to make me crazy.

But suddenly when I entered my fifties, I got a shock as my clothes which fitted me earlier were hanging on me. I looked like a big marquee with clothes hanging on  my gaunt frame. People commented seeing my look, “Are you in a weight loss program, on a diet, doing yoga, the way you have lost weight”?

Even the maid commented, “Didi, you are looking very thin, eat something.” I looked like a matchstick. Now I needed your help to keep track of my weight. I was miserable. I had to make you my lifetime companion. My ally, my confidant.

Well, the pragmatic me ordered you online. I was thrilled to unbox you and see you in a new avatar. Not grey, tardy looking you with a plastic top. The needles deflecting up and down.

It is shameful that you WMs do not have solidarity amongst you. You weighing machines aren’t true to your own ilk as we face a lot of inaccuracy while weighing ourselves on different machines. The way you deflect scares the wits out of a person. It is a do or die situation. Shame on you guys. And we have to go and buy our own personal machines to get accuracy.

You looked elegant in your black, onyx colour. The digital LCD displayed numbers accurately. Your high precision sensors and tempered glass make you look classy. I have bought you for the wrong reasons, most people of my ilk want to shed the ounces piled on, while I needed to pile on a few ounces to get rid of the Scrawny look.

Since the time you have come into my life, the song on my lips is “tere bina jiya jaaye naa, bin tere, tere bin WM saans mein saans aaye naa.”

My day starts with you and ends with you. You have helped me get back to normalcy. Even when I gained a gram or a kilogram, it was wonderful. Today I owe it all to you for helping me get out of depression. At last, I have been able to get rid of body shaming.

I can proudly say, “Don’t let a stumble in the road be the end of your journey.”

If you are determined, come what may, you will reach your goal.

Dr. Preeti Talwar