Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Weight gain mantra

My mother and her mother-in-law got along pretty well. But that was till I came along. Even though I look like a film star now (quit smirking!), back in those uncivilized days, I looked like… well I looked like a sack of bones.

Boost did not work, neither did Complan. Maltova was totally ineffectual and milk powder just stuck in my tooth. Whatever my mom gave me, I just did not get fat. I was the proud owner of one of those physiques that followed Newton’s law to the dot. To restate the law for those truants among you, “For every morsel of food input, the body has an equal and opposite shit output”.

A normal conversation between mom and grand mom would go somewhat like this.
Ammamma: Are you trying to starve him?
Amma: No Ammachi, whatever he eats, he just does not put on weight, what can I do?
Ammamma: You are not diligent enough, that’s the whole problem. He looks like a sack of bones. (Ammamma was well known for calling a spade a spade!)

That was the problem with adults. They act like you don’t exist, as if you can’t understand what they are saying. The subject of the conversation would at that point be hanging on the pallu of his mother’s sari and playing Tarzan while keeping a keen ear out for all the conversation being bandied out. Believe me, I understood every single word they spoke.

I would look up at my mother with a “you-are-such-a-hopless-mom” look and she would give me one “wait-till-you-get-back” + round eye treatment + maybe even a pinch. So before the last part was carried out, I being an intelligent kid, would climb down and go take a hike. I learnt at a very young age that there are times when you can hang about your mother’s sari, and there are times that you can’t.

Time went by and I grew up from being a baby sack of bones to a kid sack of bones. All efforts to fatten me up proved fruitless and by that time Amma had given up hope of ever seeing flesh on my bones. But me, I was a very dutiful son. I resolved that if for one day, then one day I would become a fatty like Antony.

The wrong version of the story doing rounds in my family
My opportunity came one day while we were out playing in our compound. There was a tree right in front of the verandah. A tree to a kid is an objective, an aim, a destination and a challenge. I hope you get my point. No challenge was to be left unfinished, so I climbed it and reached the first low hanging branch. To me, this objective was like the one set to Arjuna by Drona. I just saw my destination nothing more, nothing less.

Antony, on seeing my acrobatics decided that big brother means bigger branch and started to climb. But then, he wasn’t blessed with my kind of concentration. The good(?) thing about not having my kind of concentration was that he noticed that the tree trunk had about a million chorian puzhu* attached to it. He was the type of big brother who believed that “if anybody has a right to hurt my brother, it is me!” He promptly pointed out the seriousness of the situation to me.

To Achilles his heel, to me my panic. So, instead of waiting for him to get me out of the mess, I panicked, jumped back on the tree trunk, slid about two meters and reached terra firma with about a hundred of the worms stuck on my body.

My memory grows weak here, but from what I remember Antony rolled me about or did something with a branch or something to get all the worms out. Fortunately they weren’t sticky…. They just bit like hell!

The true version of the story
I saw the worms even before I climbed… it was out of my desire to give a good name to my mother, combined my dutiful nature and burning ambition that made me do this selfless act.

To the confused reader hunting for the co-relation between “fat” and Chorian Puzhu my answer is to try getting bit by one and you will see that you get a real big inflammation on that part of the body. Now make them do it uniformly all across your body and you will see that this is the shortest way to gain weight.

Family version
Seeing all those worms, the itch and the pain I cried out and ran back into the house. Straight to my mothers lap. This part of my childhood is what I like to call the “manager” mode. I had just screwed up badly and now it was the responsibility of my “engineer” mother to fix it. I didn’t care how she did it, but I wanted it done fast and painless. As far as I was concerned, it was now her problem!

Proud and fat, my head held high, I walked back home.

Amma took some dried coconut leaves (the ones we get on Palm Sunday from church) burned them to ash and applied on my body. The swelling was gone in about 15 minutes. But for those fifteen minutes, I was fat! I had done it!

So, my advice to all you bony people out there is that “If there is a will, there is a way to be fat, you just need to find enough Chorian Puzhu".

*Chorian Puzhu - Believe me you don't want one of those worms anywhere near your body! Does anyone know the english name of the same?


TESSIE said...

having had an encounter with the pesty li'l things... i'd go for the family version... maybe tht's because am not as brave as u...
BTW can we get ur mom or elder bro to post comments on these posts? ;)

anon said...

the veracity of the post needs to be checked
true i agree with tessie ,we need to know what the real truth is ........

oh what the heck it still make a good story to laugh about ;)


Abraham Menacherry said...

tess: jeevichu pottai please... enthina aa pavangalem koodi shalyapeduthunnae?
anon: in search of the truth huh... u seem to be the philosophical sort...:)

മഞ്ഞുതുള്ളി said...

ഓ!!! ശരി....
പക്ഷേങ്കില്‍ അവരും കൂടി അറിഞ്ഞിരുന്നോട്ടെന്നേ :)