Flying back to Mumbai on the second of January last year, I leafed through New Magazine to see who was hot and who was not. Looking at those celebs in their bikinis, on their sunshine getaways, I vowed 2010 would be the year I shed my excess baby weight (from 11 years ago!) Twice in the past few years I have been asked when my baby was due. Once by a beauty therapist who refused to give me a massage because of ‘my condition’ and then couldn’t stop laughing when she realized her gaffe. The other by a bloke who worked in the chip shop.
So, within a day of arriving back in Mumbai, I signed up for thrice-weekly yoga and ditto weight-lifting sessions with a trainer. I even resolved to run the Mumbai Marathon (which seemed like a long, long way away then but is now only days away) and have been training since September. However, exactly one year on, I can report that I am two kilos heavier than I was then. What the hell happened? Who am I kidding? I know exactly what happened… the Mumbai Sunday Brunch.
Every time I walk through the doors of those five star dining establishments, I call to mind that TV show where they encourage fatties to eat less by showing them a vast glass cylinder containing all they have eaten in the past week. I imagine that glass cylinder is me and try to be disciplined but by the time I’ve finished the first glass of fizzy Sula, I’ve forgotten and in I plough. I always start off well with a bit of sushi and some tiny bits of salad in a shot glass but then it all goes belly up and I end up tucking into the roast beef, bbq chilcken, Thai green curry, mini pizzas, a crepe or two, a tiramisu and maybe a little tart just because it has some gold leaf on it. All washed down with a couple of buckets of Sula Brut(al) . It’s not like I lived during Rationing, it’s a kid-in-a-sweetshop thing. I just can’t help myself. Anyway, point is, my resolution wasn’t wasted: I am ‘fat but fit’ in the words of my trainer and I do expect to finish the Marathon this month.
So I will continue to make resolutions and if I get half way there, it’ll be an improvement. This year, 2011, I resolve to be more patient because patience is the key to happiness in a city like Mumbai.
Instead of huffing and puffing when asked by a person in a shop to “sit for some time” while they sort out a simple bill, I will relax, accept their offer of a sugary thimble of chai and watch the world go by.
My usual reaction of going ballistic and frantically tapping my watch is not good for me nor anyone else near me. I have all the time in the world to enjoy this city so unlearning my western ways can only result in a happier Mumbai experience.
Resolution Number Two is to do a bit more exploring and look behind more doors. After 18 months in Mumbai I have only just discovered the glory of an early morning run along Juhu beach, watching the world and his wife salute the sun. I have also been introduced to the joys of a dawn jog around Aarey Milk Colony where I watched the buffalo and the pigs go about their business in the morning mist. This time next year, hopefully, I’ll have a list as long as my arm of fantastic new places I’ve discovered and will be super laid back because of my new found patience and then I won’t care if I’ve put on another two kilos.