Weighty issues of Corona Two days back, my good friend Ganesan was not his normal self and appeared preoccupied. After our customary seniors’ meeting he wanted to have a word with me in private. With a guilty look he told me that he had put on weight during the pandemic with an increase of eight kilos. Even under normal circumstances, he sways from one side to another side like a typical Tanjore doll and he is prone to twisting his ankles . Fifteen days of regular walking did not bring even a semblance of relief to the weighty issue . Thank God that only a week back I had checked my weight. It had gone up by 800 grams. I took this as an early warning signal and switched over to continental breakfast minus egg and definitely I feel lighter these days. Ganesan is a fine gentleman and I wanted to help him to get the weight off his mind. After consulting my brother a Sidda enthusiast I suggested that that he should boil 1.5 liters of water with 2 teaspoons of Jeera and 2.5 teaspoons of Horsegram and start drinking this, instead of normal water. I was reassured after what I confirmed after googling. Still, the prefix Horse before gram made me nervous about possible reactions and I made sure that Ganesan indemnified me in the presence of a witness. He has also switched over to continental breakfast in the place of AKKI ROTI and MYSORE MASALA DOSA. Obviously his face has become pale and the prescription is under trial. After this episode I started observing people on the jogging track [almost two kms] and spotted quite a few Tupmans[PiICKWICK PAPERS] and Sancho Panzas[DON QUIXOTE] sauntering around but fortunately face masks saved them from being identified. As for the middle aged women, suffice to say that many have switched over from jeans/T shirts to Salwar Kameez for obvious reasons. They are in a hurry to avoid any conversation. One more dimension to this weighty problem is the increase in the waistline demanding fresh set of clothes particularly trousers. While there is space and extra cloth in the joints for normal trousers stingy jeans makers don’t give scope for alteration. That is the American concept of use and throw unlike Indians who believe in giving waist room. The system of rotating used trousers among brothers in our family [in practice for the last sixty years] is not possible because they are also facing the same problem of the battle of the bulge. Our maid Manjula came to work after forty five days. She has been with us for five years. With a fully paid holiday during the Corona days she had added inches all over. After customary greeting she loaded the dish washer obviously daunted by the vessels greeting her in the kitchen sink. The fridge which resembled a ware house had to be emptied to create space for fresh arrivals. My daughter told me that Manjula was panting and puffing while on the job. Maids are the most affected during this period. Viji, a girl in her mid forties and our neighbour complained that her husband was asking for fried items like vada,bonda with evening tea. Obviously he had been pampered this way in the office canteen. She also found a secret that her husband must have a sweet after lunch, what you call dessert. Viji is naturally tempted to partake in the culinary delicacies. While her husband gets rid of the effect of excesses, by a regular work out on the tread mill, she was unable to do so by being occupied with dishing out varieties of eatables day after day. While we have discussed ad nauseum ,the impact of corona on our personal life,economic impact etc, the issue of battle of the bulge has not been given enough weight and how we are going to get rid of the problem .A healthy range of BMI is between 20 and 25 .[body mass index calculated with reference to the height] If we want to lose 1 kg we have to burn around 7000 calories .My fitbit watch tells me that I burn around 100 calories after walking for 45 minutes at 4.2 kms per hour. Simultaneously I have to reduce my intake. My daughter gets irritated when I have a nutritional chart with calories and Glycemic index with me on the dining table. All our efforts go waste when Saibaba prasadam is offered every Thursday and a jealous friends manage to produce Tirupathi laddus on a regular basis. The threat of impending festivals following one after other is real. We don’t follow the old system of viradham before virundhu ,a system designed to balance our intake. Thiruvalluvar has beautifully explained the concept of what is being bandied about now as intermittent fasting. We as a family are weighing all options open to us and we will pull our weight to get out of the jam. The question however is whether to start straight away or wait for the festivals to be over, as after all Navrathiri and Deepavali are celebrated only once a year. What is your advice?