I met a neighbour in the elevator, “You have reduced a lot! Dieting?” “Yes, you can say that again”, i replied. “I should go on a diet too. I need to get into shape”, she said. “Trust me, its over-rated”, was my straight-faced reply. She thought I was being rude. If only she knew.
I am in shape like I have never before. Not one inch of extra fat anywhere. I don’t even need any yoga or exercise anymore. I might need to shop for new pairs of jeans. Nine out of ten girls would dream of saying those lines with full conviction. But I just said it with plain dismay. Don’t get me wrong, like those 9 statistics-girls, I have always wanted the perfect shape too. But didn’t want it to happen this way…
By our boss’s rule, all of us at work have our lunch together everyday. We have to wait for everyone to wind up their work and get together to eat. Then we share food, we laugh together, its fun. Every once in a while someone would bring dessert for others. Most cooperates spend a big amount on team building exercises, when it actually is just this simple – share food.But the problem is, the bossmakes it compulsory. We have to wait for the boss to wind his work up and be free for lunch – which takes not less than an hour at the least. When he goes out for meetings, we have to watch the clock go tick tick and hear our stomach grumble in low bass while we wait for him. There are days when we don’t have lunch before 4pm. Only because we had been waiting for him. By that time, the stomach churns, grumbles, hurts and eventually the stomach stops bothering too. Don’t even get to nibble things before lunch. And this happens day after day after day. Only once in a blue moon do we ever eat on time. Nobody at work understands this rules. But there is no changing this ritual. I used to sneak in some snacks to eat when nobody is watching. But rare are such occasions at our work place, plus it never does the work of a proper lunch.
This weird rule is taking its toil on me. I am not used to staying hungry for such long hours everyday. Nobody told me ‘ability to stay hungry for hours’ should be up on the résumé too. I am not just going lean, but I’m probably going weak too. I have to conceal my dark under-eye circles with dabs of make-up, I am probably going anemic. I have always wanted to reduce a little weight but now I am at a stage where I wish to fiercely preserve my curves. I have confessed, cribbed and taunted about this rule to the boss; with as much effort as a hungry being can put in. Tried to talk the colleagues into it. All vain. When the boss thinks staying hungry is not good, there are also employees who are unwillingly trying to live up to it! Bosses are meant to be quirky and vicious, but this beats all the fables I have heard – a quirky, vicious boss who also insists that you starve yourself for no apparent good reason.
Once a colleague and I were away for a meeting during lunch and we came back late. Did he ask everyone to wait for us? No.
He is a huge foodie. Eating with him is pleasure, he makes it fun. He knows all the eateries in the city inside out. For his birthday card too, they had his caricature made eating out a grand feast.You just need to mention the word ‘food’ to get him talking. And this is exactly what trips my fuse. If you love food enough, how can you keep someone from theirs?
When my stomach grumbles and I can’t think of anything else but food, that rule feels nothing better than the stone that is pelted at an oblivious street dog by a spoilt little brat kid. It is cruel, lame, unnecessary and painful. And it is hard not to plan about turning around and chewing their foot off or hurt them in some heinous way. Watch them suffer the same way you did.But I won’t. All bosses are these vile creatures that test your patience. You try to understand them, then you curse them but eventually end up ignoring them, accepting them. Try to Gandhi it out, by learning to ignore what you cannot change. Try to Gandhi it out, by learning to face the hardships, no matter how silly they are. I could push the issue more, win the fight and earn his scorn or I could push myself to rise.
There are very few people who challenge you in so many ways. Not only do I have to live up to his standards work-wise, I am in process of making major lifestyle changes. Whether he is right or wrong is irrelevant. Only thing I can do is adapt. I still don’t see the point of it, but I don’t see another smart way out too
There are fights in which you must surrender. There are times when the only thing you can do is take the blow and not fall down on your knees. And keep believing that in the end it will, somehow, make you stronger. The street dog finally realizes the brat is not worth the bite. Gandhi inside you takes over. I hope mine is on his way too.
Has the Gandhi inside you ever been summoned?