*Crack* the porcelain mug shattered as it struck the wall. It was one of those days, where the anger demanded to be felt. The storm outside was nothing compared to the storm that was raging inside the room. As my puppy howled away, I looked the mirror, and then at the broken weighing scale lying defeated at my feet, unable to move beyond 43 kgs. And then I felt a surge again; for I had frozen it in that state ever since I stood upon it a few minutes back. And then the muffled thud of a wall being punched could be heard across the corridor. Again, and again, and again.
He came back late again, wheezing as he did now, thin and terrible, with dark circles under his eyes. A dejected man, I remark to myself. A man, who was lost in his own misery, waiting for a vine to come and save him from the bog that he was slowly sinking into it. He glanced at me, then, deciding he couldn’t take any more disappointments, he trundled back to his bed, and slowly drifted to sleep. The wet sound of a sniffling nose alerted me; he had been crying again. And as the sound faded into silence, the man fell asleep again.
It’s been a week. I can see more life in his eyes now, and I knew, he could hide his pain, and his rage sufficiently, and yet, he could not hide the bones that peeked out of his skin, like grisly battle scars of a war that he couldn’t help but lose. Although he didn’t go into another fit of rage, I could still see him struggling to retain his composure as he saw himself in the mirror again. This became a usual procedure now; college, back, and then looking at himself in the grand gull length mirror, not admiring, but filled with revulsion. My owners’ eyes were light, and yet, I could see them pitted in desolation. Save him, someone. Please save him.
Today he came back, his hair filled with shining droplets, which looked like stars on a clear night. And he produced eggs from a little bag. A dead expression on his face, he cracked the egg and drank it directly. I see him struggling to keep his guts in its place, and not throw up. He tried. And succeeded. This has been going on for two days now, and I can see his face grow out, from the skull like semblance to a more defined human like face. And then suddenly, he smiled. Maybe he has some hope after all.
He threw up today. The raw eggs formula didn’t seem to work out for him. He had the look in his eyes again, the same look of rage, but this was not for the world. This was different, this rage seemed directed towards himself. The revulsion, and the helpless gaze lowered, and he began to whisper to himself, words which were designed to break his spirit even more. He just didn’t know when to stop. And he came out of the washroom, his face streaked with racetracks that the tears had made for themselves. Stumbling to the bed, he went on about a whole lot of things, and then tuned off as dreams came to invade his mind.
He was watching a movie today. A silent night, tonight. His roommate had been out of town for a week now. The silence was shattered by three crisp knocks on the door. Groaning, he got up to open the door, and welcome the travellers of the dusk. A bulky man enters, and looks at him. The first thing he comments ‘Man, you need to take it easy on yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Your weight isn’t going to magically increase. Remember, emotional stability first, physical stability can be achieved later as well.’
I don’t think my owner was prepared for this. Although true, I note. My owner had been taking it way too hard on himself, and anybody could see it. He had tried to do push up and sit ups last night. Stumbling at two, he couldn’t bring himself to get off the floor for a while. His spirit was giving away, and his carpet of a soul was being unravelled as he lived on day by day. And the dam burst, like it had the last night. My owner told his friend everything, his fears, his dissatisfaction with himself, his shame, his pain. ‘It’s a pain, thinking about all the times I’ve been called thin. It’s been a struggle, trying to justify that I am like this, and can’t change myself. I’ve been fighting my own Trojan war, at war with myself, and every step I take towards changing myself feels like I’m killing a part of me. The comments, “…You look like you escaped Guantanamo bay…..you look like a cancer patient….. You look like you were a bio-lab exhibit”, everything hurts. Being thin seems to be the only sin that I have committed. My father used to say, “People pay millions of dollars in order to decrease some amount of paunch that they have. You should consider yourself lucky. At least you don’t need to worry about things like that.” True, and yet, I look at myself and I think, no. This is not what a healthy being is supposed to look like. This is certainly not how ANYBODY is supposed to look like. Every day, I think, by some miracle, I will increase my weight. And everyday, that hope is crushed. It is heart wrenching, and it’s something most would not be ready to acknowledge. Yes, a thin person, especially a guy, will have trouble coming to terms with the fact that he will never be fit enough to say that he isn’t thin.” His voice cracked, and he couldn’t have continued, even if he wanted to. His friend, on the other hand, rather than being disgusted, he looked on, drinking in the moment of weakness in his friend, and rather than exploiting it, he gently said ‘There is no secret formula. There is no miracle that is going to happen. If you want a miracle, you need to work one for yourself. Magic, luck, karma, god. All work on one simple idea. You do the work, and they give you your bonus. If you believe in god, if you believe in anything at all, how difficult could it be to extend the same courtesy to yourself?’
The night was uneventful, and yet, my owner had a different…. Presence. He hadn’t reached the point where he could hold himself with conviction, and hold his head high whilst walking, but he was reaching there.
He had come back late again. A state his roommate was rather used to, as soon as he came back, he pulled out a packet of that yellow coloured goop that people now eat. ‘Maggi’ he calls it. His staple diet for the last one month, every night was a feast over Maggi and a whole lot of sauce over it. My master had not grown healthier, and yet, I could see him growing thinner by the second. Whatever this thing was, it was sapping his strength right from his bones, and although the dead gaze hadn’t haunted him in a long time, I could sense that it wouldn’t be long when he would revert back to his primal state and succumb to his own sense of dissatisfaction.
He has come back from wherever he went for the last 15 days. And my gods, he has changed. The once visible ribcage was now partly shielded with freshly developed muscles. He had a different expression on his face as well, confidence burning with such intensity and yet, his eyes shone with indifference. He has changed. He has changed, and this change would not seem to be an unwelcome change in his life. He stood on me, and I could see… for the first time, I see him smile. A little arrogant, tight smile, a vicious smile that I hadn’t seen. Ever.
He came back today, and yet, as soon as the formal shoes were off, he wore his sports shoes and a jacket, and left again. One and a half hour later, he comes back, with one hand holding on to a packet of milk, another to a pack of eggs, and a bag filled with bananas and potatoes. Boiling the potatoes, he mixed an egg with the milk, and drank it away, gulping it down like a man possessed. The potatoes came later, and devouring them with a fixed gaze, he finished his meal. Believe it or not, he then went on to have his dinner, and when he came back, he fell asleep as soon as his head got acquainted to a dear friend, the pillow.
He is happy now. Not happy, but content. The routine hasn’t changed in two months now, and he stands on me every day to see himself gain weight. I feel the joy rolling through him, and I see himself preparing a chart for the next day. Now, when he comes back from college, I see him triumphant, because he knows that his hard work was paying off. The contentment, the way he walked, the way he talked. Everything had changed, and my owner had developed his own little world, with his own fascinating imagination, where he had coupled hard work and his insufferable stubbornness to wield something that he felt would be out of his reach.
Hey guys. It’s been a huge time since I’ve updated, and yet, I need to keep myself sane by writing more and more.
And so, I came up with this. My story, but through the point of view of my weighing machine.
In the month of January, I suffered from lung infection, and my weight had dropped down to 40 kgs, much to my chagrin. The following months were those filled with a lot of suffering, since being this…emancipated corpse was what I had known all my life, and I had grown complacent of it. “Oh you’re so tall, how are you that tall”, “Yes, I accidentally fell into a vat of Complan when I was a child would be my scathing response”. “How are you so thin?”, “Blame it on the metabolism man, I can’t help it”. A routine answer, this had become. I was so busy waiting for that little vine to come and save me, I didn’t even consider making a move on my own. Independent decisions were never made by me, or rather, I never thought that things could ever be under my control. I’ve heard of people who are control freaks, and all I can think of is, “how can you control when fate itself is working against you?” My friend, the one who came and ‘inspired’ me was thinner than I was, and despite that, he became a professional body builder. My aim is not to be a body builder, sure, but the aim was to get fit. And yes, two months, the two months of hard work that I put in have shown that nothing, NOTHING in this world exists that can’t be changed. Everything is amorphous, weight, mind-set, attitude, civilisations. Everything burns.
And so, I changed. I changed in every sense possible. I met my friends after a month, and they noticed that I had begun walking differently as well. Holding myself up with an air of dignity and superiority alike. An ember of smouldering rage alight in my eyes, waiting to set off. My new roommate often woke up at 5 am in the morning to see me strapping a bag full of books to my back and do push ups. In Pune, when I went for a holiday, I gained weight, and did push ups. Ran up 22 floors whenever I could. I lifted an empty cylinder, since I couldn’t find weights. In my hostel, I volunteered to bring water in times when water shortage occurred, and I trained myself to carry two buckets at a time. When I was too tired to go to the gym, I lifted my iron bed a few times, since that in itself is an intense workout.
A lot of people have asked what is so wrong in being thin. My own friend, one whom I consider close to me (now), asked this a few days back. I had no answer. The issue about people who have been strong all their life is that they lose respect of the power they have. However, a man, who has never known power, or strength, would respect it, and would know exactly how much pain and suffering has gone into gaining that strength. (Started from the bottom now we here, in a nutshell)
Honestly, I can’t bloat up and claim with all the swagger in the world that ‘I am the one who gained weight and became muscled and lean’, but yes, I have arrogance for the fact that I gained 12 kgs in the last month alone.
Some would say that I have ego right up to my neck right now. Some would be willing to pay you thousands contradicting to that claim. All I can say is that ‘just the way you are’ by Bruno Mars would be okay when someone else views you, but when you’re dissatisfied with the way you are, you need to CHANGE. Make it happen, because no tooth fairy, no goddess is going to come and bestow the blessing on you. It’s on you. Always has been.