When Time magazine had diets on the cover a friend rang me up and said “Thanks to you I knew of every diet” And if truth be told, I wish I knew when I was better off. What I weighed ten years back when I was desperately trying to lose a kilo is the weight I would die to be now!

I’d like to hug every young girl and say hey you look lovely and fresh and thin and you are not overweight: just enjoy what you are now.

Just two weeks ago a few of us decided to go on the GM diet. Nothing like group therapy and effort and we were so jubilant a week later after losing 2/3 kilos. Please note this week there is an ominous silence from the group cause it’s all come back?

There are no short cuts to losing weight. It has just got to be a way of life. Input = output unless of course you are one of those that genes or God favours. Actually when you come to think of it why would God bother with you who have just eaten an ice cream instead of the fat free Gelato and give you an extra pound??

It’s just us and the Indian way of cooking. I remember when a friend went to Germany to live and thought she would make her pocket money by demonstrating Indian cooking. One day a German lady naively asked why we always but always start by pouring oil into the vessel in which we are cooking. Think about it.

We may have one of the world’s lowest per capita consumption of coke but we can boast of being the highest consumers of oil. If all goes well according to statistics by 2025 we can overtake China and become the Diabetes Capital of the world.

And then being the Heart attack capital is not far behind. I heard we are now the scam capital but that’s transgressing.

Our diet they say should have a lot of fruit and the poor man’s fruit is no more the poor man’s and though it has a lot of potassium it’s a no no fruit for dieters. Actually it costs a nawab’s ransom to go to the fruit shop. You have to ask plaintively for Indian fruits as everything is from South Africa, New Zealand or Australia and even Japan. Then come vegetables and even General Motors has a desi variety and so no need to splurge on brussel sprouts and asparagus.

And no one is asking anybody to have onions either! Lean meat and fish and remember you get an allowance of 1 tablespoon of oil for the day: of course all cooks in the kitchen give up and either make inedible food or cheat. Mine swears he uses no oil but keeps asking me to buy more oil as if there’s a bhoot in the kitchen no one has seen.

So what shall we all do? Increase business all around: go jogging and have more knee replacements? Cycling I hear is now the in thing and when I innocently asked a friend to lend me his, he paled and informed me that bikes nowadays cost from Rs. 15lakhs onwards. When we started our business 15 years ago I remember buying a cycle for the peon for about 1 k which came without a seat. Actually one bought only the cross bar and everything else came as extras including the seat! And we are the world’s no 1 cycle manufacturer!

So shall we discuss progress next year?

(MD, JWT Mindset)

santhasays@gmail.com