Our tale for today, commences a little over 48 hours ago.
Dr J announces that she will make masala dosa (rice and lentil pancake/ crepe) with sambhar, chammandi and potatoes for breakfast and that dinner would be special fare.-Thalassery Ghee Rice (Thalassery is a place in Kerala while ‘Ghee Rice” is rice cooked with clarified butter and spices/ condiments), charcoal smoked Mughlai Dal and chicken something (she was yet to make up her mind).
Now, we have get a few facts straight. Dr J is a well- meaning health/ fitness enthusiast who would like to eat healthy and in moderation. But the problem lies within her alter- egos. The Dairy Demon, the Bakery Monster and the Shawarma Fiend. All of them reside within her and are constantly leading her astray from the path of health and fitness.
Let us get back to our tale….
The alarm rings at 6 am. J bashes the darned thing against the night stand and swears silently. She had woken up atleast half a dozen times during the night. The last time was at 5 am, when Lil Z wanted a snack. The little one was fast asleep now. J decides that another 15 minutes or so will do no harm. Potatoes will be cooked in no time. Chutney may take ten minutes. And the sambhar was ready anyway. She dozes off again, even before she can finish the thought thread.
J is on a ship deck, a cool but damp sea breeze against her cheek. The water an azure, flowy carpet; all around her. Mr H, who is The Captain of the cruise ship strides toward her in his all- white attire and sailor’s hat. She gazes at him, lovingly. He draws closer, with his trademark lop-sided grin and crinkly eyes that are masked by his multi- coloured, reflective aviators. He looks a bit like Tom Cruise from Top Gun actually.
Suddenly, she is jarred. The ship seems to have collided into something. J is shaking. Mr H is calling out to her. Everything is hazy. She is not sure what happened….
J is being violently shaken. She opens her eyes. The dirty green- hazel eyes that she is so familiar with, stare at her with concern. The grin of mischief has been replaced with a grimace of worry.
It’s 7:45 woman! I have a meeting at 8!! You must have switched the alarm off……
Breakfast for Mr H was almost- burnt, buttered toast and over- sweetened coffee.
J had a muffin, three slices of toast and milk. The Dairy Demon made absolutely sure that the toast has extra- butter and the milk was full fat.
The Health Nut within cringed and looked away.
Baby breakfast- check.
Baby oil massage- check.
Baby bath- check.
Rock, lull, sing, shush, jump baby to sleep- check.
Make the bed- check.
Do the dishes- check.
Mommy bath- check.
Talk to parents over Skype- check.
Check and apply for job positions- check.
Upload blog post- check.
Load laundry- check.
Fold previous day’s laundry- check.
Pick up toys from the floor and clean- check.
Baby lunch- check.
The morning chugs on…
Before J can blink, it is 2 pm and she is hungry. When J is hungry- she is impatient, irritable, short-tempered and if you ask Mr H- SHE IS STARK RAVING MAD!
J can’t wait for the rice to cook or be bothered with chopping vegetables or pottering around with pots and pans.
She opens her fridge and eye- balls it’s inhabitants. A Tupperware box full of leftover pasta from two night ago stares back at her. Arms pop out from the box and beckon her.
Aah! Her gut jumps in delight.
Health Nut is now truly pissed.
She heats up the pasta with Lil Z on the hip. The cheese in it has dried up and become stringy. Hmm….Not cool…
She goes back to the fridge and whips out a bag full of shredded mozzarella. She rips the bag open with her teeth (she only has one hand to spare you see) and tries to get some out on the pan.
It’s all stuck together. She shakes it vigourously.
Half the packet tumbles out.
The Dairy Demon stirs awake from his slumber. He looks into the pan, holds his breath…
It immediately melts and becomes a gooey mess. It looks divine. Oh well…
The Dairy Demon exhales a sigh of pleasure and anticipation. Aah! Such a beautiful day!
Mr H has a good day at work. He wants to surprise his crazy lady- love. He picks up some freshly- baked cheese croissants. He knows it will get J into a good mood.
J is ridden with guilt. After the extra- chessy lunch, the Dairy Demon convinces her to have a bar of white chocolate.
She is livid with herself. She decides to be a good girl for the rest of the day.
She tries to patch things up with an utterly dejected Health Nut.
The door bell rings. The little one floats toward the door in her walker. J follows her. As soon as she opens the door, J can smell it. There is no mistaking it-
It is the sweet smell of the BAKERY.
The Dairy Demon nudges the Bakery Monster. They snigger.
The Health Nut contemplates suicide.
J wavers. The butter, the cheese, the chocolate, the bread, the pasta, the milk, the bananas, the biscuits for tea, the glass of Pepsi to down the pasta….. and now this?
The brown bag is still warm. The croissant is soft, flaky. “it’s cheese…” Mr H call out from the bedroom. J fights.
She will run an extra half hour she counters.
And not eat dinner.
Maybe just an apple.
And no hot chocolate at bed- time.
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Now just eat the darned thing you crazy woman!
They have tea and cheese croissants and watch a documentary on World War I. Simple pleasures!
J makes dinner. Mr H has to eat after- all.
She nibbles on her apple as she splutters some mustard seeds for the Dal.
Not the decadent, ghee plus butter Muglai Dal but the humble, poor man’s version. She decided it’s better if Mr H has some “healthy” food.
The Thalassery Ghee rice too is out of the window. Plain ol’ water cooked rice will do.
To make everything palatable, she cooks some spicy side- veggies and fries some Pappadam. Mr H loves his Pappadam.
Dinner is served. As Mr H spoons in some lovely yellow, fragrant dal over his pristine, white steaming rice, he says ” Why don’t you eat a little, it will do no harm.”.
J shakes her head and fiddles with the remote.
Mr H crunches some Pappadam over his rice. J walks out of the room.
She gets a plate from the kitchen. She serves herself some rice and silently eats. She avoids eye- contact with Mr H.
Just as she she takes her second helping of rice, Mr H asks, Is this MUGHLAI DAL? And did you forget about the Thalassery Ghee rice….
It is healthy woman. There is no ghee, no butter…
J concentrates on her mango pickle. Mr H smiles.
Lil Z finally falls asleep. Mr H is well on his way to dreamland. J is wide awake.
She decides to read for a bit.
She tiptoes out of the room. And snuggles into the living room arm chair with a book.
Two pages in, she feels a void.
She thoughtlessly gets out of the chair and wanders into the kitchen.
She seems to be be on auto- pilot as she gets the milk carton out the fridge and heats up some milk.
She drops three tablespoons full of hot chocolate powder into the milk and mindlessly stirs hers drink. Breaks some pieces of chocolate into it for good measure. She likes the gooey bite.
She takes the steaming drink back to the living room.
Adjusts the back pillow, picks up the book.
And then takes a sip of the creamy, frothy goodness.
The void is gone.
All seems complete.
The Diary Demon is content. It was a fantastic day.
The Bakery Monster is happy too. The croissant made his day.
The Health Nut’s tears have dried. He knows it was a bad day. But he has been through these days before. HE has seem them all. He has survived worse days.
Days when the Diary Demon pummeled him into submission.
Days when the Bakery Monster almost killed him with sugar- poisoning.
Days when Shawarma Fiend clogged up his arteries and plugged his gut.
He survived those days.
HE shall survive this too.
The key is to keep fighting.
To let THEM win somedays. J would go completely insane otherwise.
The fact that J is considered skinny and healthy is testimony to the battles he has won.
She would be morbidly obese otherwise!
Till next time…
All the food alter- egos of Dr J.