A lot of things have happened over the past week. Apart from the fact that South Africa won the greatest One day International ever played and India is on the brink of victory, yours truly has made a resolution to shed some weight. Not that I have decided to do a whole lot about it. I am a strong proponent of the concentrate-so-hard-until-you-lose-weight school of thought. I started believing in this fundamental truth when the Buddhist monk-kid in Matrix said,” Do not try to bend the spoon; instead realize there is no spoon”. This was bolstered when I read, “when you want something with all your heart, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”.
Of course those of you, who are unfortunate enough to know me well, would have guessed by now that I have started talking about it already. I happened to casually mention this to a good friend of mine who was equally hell-bent on losing some weight, albeit for very different reasons. She was shocked when I told her that I had lost just a little less than 2 kg over the last week. A few expletives later on what a lucky *bugger* I was, she got down to taking some expert tips from me on ‘how to lose weight’. I almost chuckled when she admitted that she aimed at losing 1 kg a month. I almost got punched in the nose for that. Conversation was thus happening in a free and candid fashion when suddenly, out of the blue, she popped the question. Oh no, not that one, but one that is dreaded equally by mankind.
“Ganesh, tell me frankly, do I look fat?”
The fact that womankind has mastered the art of flummoxing mankind is evident by how intricately the question was worded. Allow yours truly the pleasure of taking you through the query in a systematic manner. Firstly, the line starts by addressing me directly. This precludes the possibility of me trying to pretend as if she was talking to someone else. Also jumping out of the third floor window is not a viable option because you may end up breaking your bones and would not be able to run again when she confronts you on the ground a few minutes later. Secondly, the word “frankly” takes care of whatever little ability men have at attempting a direct lie. Of equal efficacy is “look into my eyes and answer”. This is the reason, why you don’t hear men say things like,” You look perfect” or “The baby is so beautiful” or “We are just friends” to women. It is time to face it – lying to women can be a traumatic and a life changing experience for most men. Thirdly, she doesn’t ask me if ‘I think she looks fat’, she asks me if ‘she looks fat’. This makes useless the hedge that all men use at all times. You can’t start the sentence with “I think...” and later convince her that you were on top of 270 ml of Vodka and were not thinking straight.
Although, man has made tremendous progress when it comes to science, he has advanced little in unraveling the mysteries of responding in an intelligible fashion to women. Gibbering is still considered a satisfactory response to a compliment from a beautiful girl. There is very little downside to “unsatisfactory” response to a compliment. You are, however liable to get bonked on the head if you err in answering the question above. Changing the topic by talking about how this cute guy at work was checking her out is still the best way out.