Asha? Remember me? Anuradha Dixit.”

Asha turned around in her seat, smiling warmly, “Of course I remember you! Divekar Uncle’s daughter. Dixit, after wedding, is it?”

“Yes! Back home for a visit. It’s good to see you. Do you visit this garden often?” enquired Anuradha, looking around.

“Oh yes! Only patch of breathable air in this suburb. I like to come for a jog every day. What about you? Where have you shifted now?”

“Navi Mumbai, but I still prefer our Old Mumbai… Old’s gold!”

“But your new place is suiting you well, it seems. You were such a skinny girl. You’re looking cute now!”

“Cute?! Hmm… I hear you… A nice way of saying chubby…”

“No, No. I really meant it. Besides, that’s the norm post wedding, isn’t it? How are your in laws?”

“They are lovely… Seriously! My mom in law is one of the most generous cooks around. Generous with tadka, generous with the ghee. It’s her life’s mission to stuff me like an aloo paratha from Only Parathas.”

“I’d say that’s great, Anu! See, she is breaking stereotype!”

“Yeah… I do love her, making it harder for me to refuse. Besides she is genuinely a great cook. Can’t blame her for my second helpings…”

“Relax! You’re young. You are married for, what, two years now? You’ll lose the load, don’t worry.”

“When Asha? Oh! I’ve tried so many things. I’ve given up fast food. Given up carbs and gone keto… Don’t try it by the way! Totally hopeless… Doesn’t help at all. It’s possible that I’ve referred to every single dietician, in Navi Mumbai. I’ve tried small meals, 2 hourly; and successfully gained two more kilos. Please don’t laugh… Now I’m on a new diet, only two meals a day. I don’t really think it’s working and it’s driving me crazy. My only consolation is making my mother in law happy. She looks on proudly saying, ‘Now you suit my son, well!’

“I saw you from a distance and you look so fit, Asha. I wanted to ask you to help me out. Spill your secrets, please.”

“There’s no secret dear, I eat four full meals a day. Occasionally even junk. Oh, and I love Only Paranthas…”

“Not helping, Asha…”

“I’m not done yet, sweetie. I also come here daily, walk and jog for an hour. And my office is on the seventh floor, but I don’t use the elevators.”

“Hmmm… I was dreading you would say something like that. There’s one small problem. I hate sweating. Besides with two paltry meals, I have no strength left.”

“What can I say? Sometimes there is no happy choice, Anu, only one less grievous than the others. If you want avoid grief later, that is. And learn to say no. Come on, walk with me.”


Tadka: Sautéed spices

Ghee: Butter

Paratha: Stuffed flat bread


The above story is an entry into #TheChoice a Five00 entry.
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Photo by : Archana’s Kitchen


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