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Travails of a Lady in a Hurry

Updated on May 12, 2014

There was a certain lady friend of mine who woke up one day to discover that she couldn't fit into her most favourite pair of jeans any more. Forgetful that she was, she didn't factor in the fact that she had last worn it in the last year of her schooling, and she was now a fortuitously married woman! She thought she had become fat rather suddenly and started worrying full time. Worried that she was, she made others sick with her tale of woe.

Her friends and others of the ilk assured her that it was a very normal process ordained by nature for a lissome figure to fill in - a bit here and a bit there, well, you know how it is - with the passage of time, especially after marriage. Her husband who was taken into confidence by the lady, on one of those rare occasions when women take their husbands seriously, about her apprehension regarding deceleration of her physical charm, told her that she was neither fat nor short but plain rotund. Besides, he said rather gallantly, that he never thought much of her looks any way! Now, I can imagine how exactly you would have felt if you were in the shoes of my friend who had, in her time, won the title of the beauty queen of her college. But, then, knowing her husband as I do, I can assure you, my dear reader, that the guy didn't mean any harm although harm was exactly what he brought upon himself with his stupid words!

Some people are forever ready and willing to give away their lives for a right cause and are on the constant look out for one; they are so very willing to do so that, if they don't get a right cause, they are perfectly willing to put any two causes they can think of side by side, and make do with the one on the right side (you can't fault them for not being ingenious); they are like mobile incendiaries which may combust and burst into roaring flames any time, especially when least expected and unsuspecting victims are around. There are others who have plain suicidal tendencies. They have a natural inclination to veer towards situations which put them at grave personal risk; like a straw caught in a maelstrom. There is yet another group of folks who are perennially befuddled and open their mouth only to put their foot in it.

Now, if you manage to take out sample chromosome from each of the fine specimens of menfolk listed above, put them all in a specially designed test tube, give it a vigorous shake, and make a thorough job of it, keep the resultant culture in right conditions for the optimum period of time in a top-end laboratory specially built for such purposes, you would get the right DNA which goes into the making of the kind of person that my friend's husband was.

It didn't strike him that his wife was fishing for comforting words, if not an outright compliment, till he was struck by her fury. The poor sod found out why truth is in short supply in this world as against hypocracy, tweaked and fine-tuned into sophisticated diplomatese, the hard way.

You can't treat any woman, let alone a woman of exquisite beauty such as my friend, like a doormat and trample over her pride without expecting to be tripped! The poor husband was thoroughly chastised and upbraided for transgressing that sine qua non quality which forms the very basis of a healthy man-woman relationship, namely, chivalry on the part of the former. He went around for a couple of days with such a tortuous expression on his face, which made the onlooker wonder if the former had just bit his tongue hard or altogether swallowed it.

Enough of the husband. Now for the wife.Thoroughly convinced that she needed to reduce her weight, my friend called a meeting of her three-member war cabinet which consisted of, besides her, her sulking husband and I. The war room was well stacked with sandwiches and colas, water and wafers, besides cofee and tea - all for ensuring that the meeting went on uninterrupted for as long as it had to.

After giving her minions a recount of her past glory as a beauty queen and updated figures on the number of male hearts she had broken like so many twigs, my friend asked the attentive audience for an effective solution to her problem, namely, how to get back into shape in the shortest possible time and - here is the catch, my dear reader - without having to go on a diet (she didn't believe in starving) or take on a regime of physical exercises (she didn't have the time for it). She wanted the solution quick and fast as she didn't want to lose time to put it into operation.

My friend's sulking husband who seemed to be in a trance ever since his male ego had been grievously hurt, opened and closed his mouth a few times like a gold fish, blinked a couple of times as if he wanted to see very clearly how hopeless the situation was, stood up, audibly cleared his throat and meekly proceeded to the coffee maker. Not being the type of lady who could wait for a man to take this long to respond, she snapped her attention from him and gazed at me.

I had, by this time, managed to have a repast of a couple of sandwiches and coffee. All right, here goes, I said. After having given the matter a very careful consideration that it deserved, I had wrought out a solution and action plan. This made the lady move to the very edge of her chair and grip its arms till her knuckles showed white.

Well, you can't lose weight just like that, I said. After all, it is not an umbrella or mobile phone. Nor is it memory or marbles! Looking left and right for approbation from an appreciative audience who had apparently chosen to be elsewhere, I sighed a bit and gallantly proceeded.

Reducing the weight was only a superficial aspect of the problem! While saying this, I brought my fist down on the table not unlike a tinpot despot of a remote banana republic, delivering a speech in his own defence at the International Court of Justice trying him on charges of war crimes. The husband winced and the lady's eyes contracted like slits, in suspicion.

The thing to do was to get into shape without reducing weight, I thundered. What you need to do is, my friend, grow vertically. Yes, you heard me right. By increasing your height by a couple of inches, you allow your body mass to spread over more evenly than currently, and make you look tall and imperious. With this, I rested my case, like a lawyer arguing against the tinpot despot referred to above.

My friend waited for a moment for my solution, firmly rooted on the bedrock of science, to sink in. She then deigned her hapless husband with a beatific smile, ever so imperially, to do his bit for the cause by finding out ways and means for growing taller. The husband's face managed, somehow, to grow longer.

On my part, I lived another day to tell you, my dear reader, the story.

© 2014 Kalyanaraman Raman


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