The lockdown did have a lot of side-effects and none knows this better than those who suddenly found that they had more “weight” to throw than earlier (no pun intended). Binge eating to beat stress ensured the midriff was the only thing that was coming out during the lockdown. Santosh Bakaya muses over some of these side-effects of the lockdown on homo sapiens and also our avian friends.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings Season 2 with your hot cuppa and cookies. ☕🍪😊
As I stepped out of my house, my eyes fell on a dog snoozing under our car, and suddenly he sprang up from his forty winks [or whatever lazy dogs do on sleepy days]. As though seized by some irresistible impulse, ears cocked up, he dashed away towards some dogs barking in the distance. His canine fraternity was calling him, ears twitching and moving, nostrils quivering, he ran towards his friends. I kept looking in his direction, my mind whirring.
I was delighted to see that gradually the old voids were filling up. The tailor who used to sit under the neem tree had again resumed his job and he had opened shop already at 7 am.
A woman in a yellow ochre suit was loudly giving him instructions on how to alter a couple of new dresses and the tailor was nodding vigorously, half an elated eye on the long queue that had already formed in front of his tiny shop.
He looked at me and smiled. With a pang of embarrassment, I realized that I too would need his deft interventional surgery on my clothes. During the lock down, I had surprised myself by the amount of food that I had been eating. Hogging, actually. The glutton in me had jumped out from its surreptitious hiding place, and was all over the place – checking out potato chips, pizzas, burgers, cakes and pastries, and even peering into food videos/food pictures uploaded by friends. Salivating. Olfactory senses alert.
During this incarceration, honestly speaking, many of us had taken to eating with a vengeance. Eating is a stress buster – yes, many of us were on an eating spree, trying to bust the stress, the boredom, the lack of motivation. Is this also a way of trying to distract ourselves from the paranoia that seemed to have become so much a part of us?
Eating is a necessary impulse, I know, but what does one call overeating? The irresistible, unnecessary impulse of the palate? The kachori valas had again resurfaced. It was only 7 am, and people with sleep kinks in their eyes, hair like disturbed birds’ nests and crumpled and un-ironed jogging suits had already started lining up for kachoris.
Are they going to eat without brushing their teeth? This thought struck me, like a hammer-blow. Do we live to eat or eat to live? While delving into the intricacies of this profound question, a highly exuberant voice fell into my ears.
“Madam, come and have a kachori, it is fresh and crisp.”
I must add at this juncture that the kachorivala’s smile was also as crisp as the kachori that he was tempting me with. I said a polite no to the kachori, but a polite yes to the smile and smiled back. A crisp smile.
“I will have your kachori tomorrow,” I said, waving out to him, the thought uppermost in my mind – what will I prepare for breakfast?
I had almost forgotten, but one of my friends had pointed out that in one of my books, Oh Hark! the characters seem to be on a perennial spree of eating. Was it my inherent gluttony that I had imposed on my characters? This was indeed food for thought.
But then, with a sheepish grin, I convinced myself that I have always been a glutton for everything – for gorging on the small pleasures of life, feeling satiated by observing the beautiful little things around, stopping and staring at the rhythmically rustling leaves, the birds creating music, the slowly breaking dawn making way for a fiery ball, the sun-lit day, the feisty clouds trying to incarcerate the sun, the fiery sun yanking the cloudy shackles, and its rays putting a glow on bedraggled faces.
Ah, the gluttony, the impassioned intensity, The Agony and the Ecstasy! The Lust for Life!
I often wonder whether I am a freak, who gluttonously slurps/gorges on the tiny things that life has to offer. Yes. I am a glutton. I plead guilty to the charge. Period.
Slowly the shops had again started doing brisk business, but I missed the back-slapping bonhomie of the migrant labourers who had gone away, taking their scars with them.
Bruised and battered, they were home.
Maybe they had started that back-slapping bonhomie in their homeland. But there were no concrete structures to be built in their villages. Where would they get to guffaw at each other’s jokes? In my mind’s eye, I saw them sitting on string cots fronting their fields and talking of the times when they were building homes for the city people, missing their own homes.
I imagined all this with a passionate glutton’s appetite for the magically mundane, absolutely bewitched by the sight of a sparrow couple necking and kicking …oops kissing …! Exposed to so much bellicosity around, had my pen become more familiar with the word kicking rather than kissing?
The sparrow couple kissed away, as I kicked away all negative thoughts, once again brimming with The lust for Life – throbbing, pulsating, beating, palpitating…all set to meet another day with a gluttonous appetite.
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