“Look at me when I am talking to you.”
Mrs. Reeta Barua announced with a blood curdling combative tone.
Her husband, an almighty powerful managing director; a blatant terror horse to his huge 150+ staff, was trying hard to duck behind a frail newspaper.
Mrs. Barua stormed and snatched the last refuge of the hapless man’s hand. Nowhere to hide, with his back against the wall Mr. Barua had to play ball, “But, why don’t you go for jogging today?”
“I don’t like jogging. Besides, the confounded children laugh.” She said dryly.
Mr. Barua thought - they have every reason to laugh. It’s not every day when you see a perfect round shaped 5 feet, 180 pound lady attired in the costliest tracksuit with the best possible running shoes and sunglasses and the highest bracket iPod plugged in the ears moving at a brisk pace of 0.5 km/hrs around the society’s jogging tracks.
“Then why don’t you use the society’s multi gym?” He asked.
“It is too noisy. Full with young kids in 20s. The trainer does not pay attention.”
He thought - why the trainer should? If you were the trainer why would you waste your effort on a 45 year old where lots of pretty faces are around?
“We have a treadmill at home. Use that.” Mr. Barua was being tenacious.
“It is not latest, does not tell me how many Calories did I burn….I am planning to do Yoga.”
"But why Yoga?” He enquired.
“Because that’s the only way left to reduce my weight.” Mrs. Barua said with full gusto.
“Will Yoga tell you how many Calories are burning up? Or do you think the instructor would be more interested in trimming you down? And what is the guarantee that people won’t laugh there?” Mr. Barua played all his cards in one go something akin to ‘all in’ betting in poker.
Mrs. Barua was taken aback for a moment and then produced a gem.
“Because Sheena is joining.”
Now that’s an ace. Can’t beat that. Mr. Barua turned mum.
Sheena is Mrs. Barua’s best friend cum competitor cum foe cum mate…………..
Jogging, treadmill, last year’s out of budget Australia holiday, the never used titanium finish cutlery, membership to expensive cosmetic chain marketing and numerous other financial disasters are attributed to the lady next block. Other than these, the two ladies are remarkably similar in shape and size and not to forget weight.
“Another 100 grands down the drain……………” Mr. Barua resigned.
A month’s frenzy followed. First a new set of clothes were bought. Next the entire room on Southeast corner was redecorated as per vastu. CDs of yogic incantations were purchased. So was a huge mural of Baba Ramdev.
And also the phone usage headed north. Every ‘Asan’ was talked about in details over phone with Sheena.
The Yoga Camp ended.
That evening Mr. Barua came home late and found Mrs. Barua in distraught conditions.
“What’s the matter?” He said.
“I am so worried.” She said holding her tears back. “You saw me, didn’t you? I did everything possible for one full month. Did every ‘Asan’. Still I have not reduced.”
Then she turned to Mr. Barua with tear rolling down her cheek.
“Why am I not reducing???” and she started weeping. Mr Barua sat there motionless.
In the late evening the phone rang. Mr. Barua overheard the conversation from one side.
“Really!!! Mrs. Bhatt is organizing kitty parties?”
“It would be lovely. I was tired of the last month’s menu. Kebabs and kebabs and kebabs……. And those cream topped pastries were such disgusting I tell you……”
“I hope they change the toppings to double cheese. One layer of cheese on pizza really tastes bad…..”
“Ok. Seems this month it would be fun at Mrs. Bhatt’s place.”
Mrs. Barua put the phone down and beamed.
“This month would be much better food at the parties than last time. But I will be cautious not to gain.”
Mr. Barua dived into the sports page of a newspaper.
(Already published in Zing. )