People have family physician. We have a family Orthopedic surgeon, which rather explains the situation. Simply putting, we are a family of ‘brittle bones’. Maa’s been suffering from chronic Arthritis. Since when? I don’t even remember the exact day/date/year. As far back as my memory travels time, I have always seen Maa limping. And it has always been like that.
“Arthritis is 25% hereditary,” says Dr. M, “You’ve got to take great care.” He peers into the X-ray for the twenty-fifth time and lets go a single sigh – deep, resonating and ominous.
“What’s wrong now?” I whisper.
“Nothing extraordinary. Your heel bone is protruding out.” He points at the X-ray plate and I stare incredulously at the slim, white curvy thing sticking out by the right side of my right heel. It is quite apparent. Somewhat like the curved edge of a sharp blade. Or more like a curly baby horn popping out on the soft head of a calf. It nods its head incessantly – a vigorous attempt to get rid of the monster plonked on its head. But as much as it may try the appendage won’t disengage and is determined to make its presence felt.
So is the case with me. I feel the pain 24 x 7 – an excruciating, throbbing, debilitating sensation which increases ten folds as I place my foot gently on the floor. The thought of a sedate walk is something of a luxury now. The painful inheritance enriches me with newer devices to keep me balanced on my two feet, however weak and handicapping these may be. Necessity is the mother of all inventions, as they say !!!
“And it is going to get worse day by day.” Dr. M’s prediction coagulates in my brain as soon as the words drop from his lips.
What nonsense! I have never heard of such….
My physiotherapist Kapil is more illustrative, “What happens when you press a gob of clay hard with your hand from the top ? It gives in under the pressure and spreads out like melted butter. So is the case with your foot. It is unable to bear your body weight… ”
And my heel is spreading out its tentacles….” I finish for him.
“There’s only one solution to your plight.” Says Dr. M, “Reduce a few kilos in three to four months time and you’ll be much relieved of the present discomfort.”
This is the first time ever that Dr. M has spoken of dislodging the carbs off my girth that I have so fondly accumulated over a period of more than two decades. Earlier whenever I have broached the subject, he has been emphatic that a few kilos are essential for an influential persona. It kind of adds to your personality.
Now…. How? How do I say good riddance to my body fat which has always been so stoically loyal to me in every season of my life – my days of adversity as well as merry moods? Ooooh! The unfaithful me!!!I am sure I’ll suffer from identity crisis when I see my scrawny self in the mirror months later?
My sis has a ready solution, as she always has, “Join a Diet Club ?”
What? You pay to lose what has been yours for sooo long ? I am aghast.
“That’s the in thing.” She says and counts examples of all those illustrious colleagues who have exerted supreme will power and got converted into trimmer bodylines in no time.
“They’ll put you on husks, chaff and bran.” Informs my 03.00 am friend (or foe, I wonder!)
“Thanks”. I grimace.
It took a few weeks more to put me on the path of renunciation. Had it not been for my chauffeur, who by some quirk of fate, one fine evening pulled up right in front of Sweta Nakra’s Diet Clinic by mistake, I would have endlessly bidden time to get mentally prepared to give myself a break off the platter of ‘good food’ and that chilled glass of swirling calories.
But that is not all.
License precedes check.
Last that I entered the cardiologist’s clinic, I made sure I had a sumptuous fill of chocolate pastries before he could tell me to be off all that I lived for.
This time before Sweta took me over completely a sudden spell of gluttony had a stronghold on my palate. It so happened that the week previous to my fateful visit to Sweta’s, everywhere that I went, people were talking of Chicken Changezi and how forebodingly delicious it was. Even those who were on a strict regime, gave examples of how their fridge, at that very moment, was loaded with bowls full of Chicken Changezi to which they had said a disinterested no and looked away, amazed at their own will power and lack of desire, which in turn, proved how a nutrient rich diet could make you think differently and elevate you to a higher mental plane where you easily gave up on what was so dear to you just a few months back, without batting an eyelid.
I would have emerged so called ‘inspired’, had I not laid my eyes on that tumbler full of rich, brown Chicken (Changezi what else?) curry, with the oil spilling all over the plate placed strategically underneath, in my sis’ fridge. And the inevitable happened…
The next few days were spent battling with stomach ache and cramps precursor to an intestinal malfunction…
So much so for the taste of the tongue.
My chi is back in town. No, I am not talking about my maid. Chi – the Pranic life force, the core of my being, is now right in place, whirling around the seven chakras of my body in perfect rhythm as I munch on salt-less salads, sip on insipid soups and gulp down oil-less curries with glasses of warm water, I am in seventh heaven. As long as my jaws get their regular biting exercise, nothing is distasteful. In fact, I have come upon the gateway to a whole new world where everything is healthy and healing.
And I am happy coz I still have something fresh and untested to hog on…..
Thanks to Sweta who have kept me alive sill with her ‘scientifically’ planned meals.