Children

A question of willpower

“Are you ready to participate in the 200m race in the Sports Day?” Shantini smiled at her brother Sajeev.

“Yes, didi,” said Sajeev confidently. “Not only take part but also win a prize.”

On the day of the event, Sajeev’s mum, dad and sister watched as he huffed and puffed his way to finish last.

Seeing the tears in his eyes, mum encouraged him, “This is not the last race. There will be a next time.”

But once Sajeev saw the ice-cream vendor, he forgot about the race. He had four big scoops and followed them up with a creamy burger.

His parents and his sister were worried about his love for junk food, as it had led to him being overweight. They made food charts for him and tried to help him eat healthy, but nothing seemed to work.

A special invite

One day, Sajeev came home to find an invitation card waiting for him.

Hello Sajeev Chittaranjan,

We are delighted to select you as one of the participants in a unique Young Foodies Contest. The winner will get delicious and scrumptious snacks for a lifetime.

The Happy Organisers

A question of willpower

The card also gave him details of the venue, date and time of the contest.

On D-day, there was some bad news. “A complete transport strike has rocked the city,” announced Shantini.

“Oh no!” moaned Sanjeev, “I have to walk nearly two miles to get to the contest venue.”

Determined to win, Sajeev set off but arrived at the venue over an hour late. He was welcomed by a man with white hair and a bushy beard.

After a few tests, he announced, “Congratulations! You have won the Young Foodies Contest.”

Sajeev’s mouth watered, as he read through the long list of delicious goodies. “You’ll have to collect your prize from Jayanthy Menon at this address,” said the judge, giving him a card. “Hurry! She’ll close her office at 3.00 p.m.”

What’s for lunch?

This time, Sajeev ran to the address given. When he made it, he was out of breath. A smiling old lady met him. “Congratulations!” she said and handed him over to a bespectacled middle-aged man.

“I am Uncle Rajan, a dietician,” the man introduced himself. As he looked at the list of foods, he said, “Hmmm, so this has been your daily food list. But now your new-look lunch is ready and waiting.”

He handed over a hamper. Sajeev couldn’t believe his eyes. It contained two vegetable sandwiches, a container of curd and a salad of cucumber, tomato, carrot and radish. Sajeev was so hungry that he didn’t complain.

Once he finished, Uncle Rajan offered him a lift back home. When they reached, Sajeev was astonished to find the judge and the old lady in the living room.

He was even more shocked when the judge removed his moustache and beard and the old lady her make-up and wig.

Surprise! Surprise!

“Mum! Dad! What...?”

“We had no choice,” said his parents. “We’ve been worried about your health. Today, you walked and ran to distant venues, despite the transport strike. So you have shown grit and will power. Why can’t you apply that to your health?”

“You weren’t short of determination during your race,” pointed out Shantini. “It was the lack of a healthy routine that let you down.”

Dad said, “Eat healthy food regularly. Keep the fast food to an occasional bite.” Rajan Uncle chipped in, “Add a fitness routine to your daily schedule as well.”

Sajeev listened to them all and nodded. “I promise to follow your advice. And my aim will be to win the 200m race in the next Sports Day!”


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:14:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/what-will-it-take-for-sajeev-to-follow-a-healthy-lifestyle-a-short-story-by-debashish-majumdar/article35141886.ece

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