Sample Chapter: Koffee with Kiran


The setup: There is an opulent set inside a recording studio. Vividly coloured plush couches and sofas are placed across the floor which complemented the weird graphic art and mood lighting all around. The shoot is about to begin and the production crew scurries across the floor, making last-minute adjustments. The host, a celebrated producer-director and third-generation Bollywood royalty, Ms. Kiran, walks in. She takes her seat on the awkwardly constructed sofa and welcomes the guest, who is, of course, none other than my weighing scale.

Roll, camera, action!

Ms. Kiran: Hello and welcome to yet another exciting episode of Koffee with Kiran. Our guest tonight is a significant gadget, which has numerous amusing stories to tell about its user, Mrs. Google. So, let’s welcome and hear it from the Weighing Scale!

Weighing Scale: Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Ms. Kiran: Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself and your user Mrs. Google.

Weighing Scale: Well, as you have already introduced me, I am Mrs. Google’s weighing scale. I have been with her for almost six years now. There is a ritual that the two of us follow every time we are together. She gingerly steps on me, always standing on the tip of her toes. Then she closes her eyes and gives out a low sigh before peering down at my screen. This is usually followed by a disappointed shriek. She then tries to draw her breath and tummy in, before glancing at the numbers again. Obviously, the readings do not change and she instantly gets off the scale, like a crisp golden bread slice popping out of a toaster.

I always wonder about these four things:

  1. Why tiptoe on the scale? Does she think that standing on her toes instead of placing the entire feet on the scale would make her weigh any lesser?
  2. What’s with the astonished shriek? Does Mrs. Google expect to be 20 pounds lighter every time she stands on me? Like, magically?
  3. Then, ‘inhaling deeply and tucking in of her tummy’ part. How is that ever going to bring down the numbers on scale? If anything, she’s only drawing in more air.
  4. Also, what’s the hurry to get off from me? Will the pounds keep adding like the autorickshaw meter if she stands on me for 30 more seconds?

Ms. Kiran: Hmmm. So clearly, there are some issues here. Tell me, how often does she use you?

Weighing Scale: At least six times a day—with and without clothes, before and after meals, before going to bed, immediately after waking up, ahead of her morning walk and also after the leisurely stroll post dinner.

Ms. Kiran: Okay, let me just set the record straight. Is she…errr…fat?

Weighing Scale: Well, I’ll just say that based on her age, height and body type, she should ideally weigh somewhere between 58 and 62 kilograms. But she leans towards the heavier side. She is 36-24-36 + GST (linked to Aadhar). Now you can do the math yourself as I am ethically bound not to reveal the real numbers.

But Kiran, let me tell you and everyone else watching this show that Mrs. Google is not fat! She is just overweight. And there is a huge, huge difference between being fat and being overweight, especially for women.

Ms. Kiran: I agree. Weight is as sensitive an issue for women as age is, perhaps more so when it is slightly on the higher side. If it is impolite to ask a lady’s age, it is worse to peep into the weighing scale when she’s on it.

Backstage you were telling me how Mrs. Google tried to lose weigh, and there are some hilarious stories you have about that stint, right? So, tell us about her journey from fit to fat and then trying to be fit again.

Weighing Scale: Kiran, a few years back, Mrs. Google was much thinner. Well, maybe that’s a wrong choice of words. Let me rephrase, a few years ago, Mrs. Google was less overweight.

She used to comfortably wear size 10 and size 12 in some brands. Then things started to change. Currently, 80 per cent of her old clothes do not fit her anymore and this hasn’t changed in the last one year. Yet she clings on to them, hoping to fit into them once again. Someday.

Gradually, things started trending from bad to worse. Buttons started to pop out and large gaping areas were formed in her shirts, showing off what should be hidden. Zips refused to close till the end. And whatever she wore defined every curve, crevice and fold of her body. She progressively inflated from every corner, angle and side—a 360-degrees all-round expansion. It was hard on both of us.

Ms. Kiran: Oh poor Mrs. Google and poor you too. Then what happened? Did she do anything about it?

Weighing Scale: Yes, of course she did! So, one day, looking at herself in the full-length mirror, Mrs. Google swore aloud, “Enough is enough! This cannot be happening. I ought to get back into shape.” Immediately, she called her closest buddy, Ms. Kukki, who also suffers from this unfortunate affliction. Both of them decided to meet and discuss the way forward.

Ms. Kiran: Oh goodie! A little teamwork always helps. I’m sure they must have found a way to tackle the issue together.

Weighing Scale: Hah! You must listen to what they did. And don’t ask me how I got all the sordid details. I have my sources inside the house.

So, Ms Kukki arrived in that evening and they hugged and air-kissed like besties. While doing so, both women tried to gauge whose girth was wider. Once they settled down, Mrs. Google ordered the house help to make some adrakwali chai and pyaaz-aloo bhajiyas as it was raining heavily. Lovely weather like this calls for a little celebration, she reasoned. She also instructed her help to bring along the butter-choco-walnut pound cake that her sister-in-law had brought from Dubai last week.

And it was over tea, bhajiya, cake and namkeen that the ladies discussed their woes and swore to take up an exercise routine ASAP. They chalked out a plan too, starting with brisk walking for 45 minutes and then gradually moving towards the gym, later in the week.

Ms. Kiran: Nice. Things are getting interesting. Then what happened?

Weighing Scale: As she visualised her soon-to-be-svelte figure with child-like glee, Mrs. Google was reminded that all her track pants and tees were either two sizes small or out of fashion. She instantly informed Ms. Kukki about the crisis. And within twenty minutes, both ladies were out to buy new workout clothes.

Seeing Mrs. Google’s dedication towards the new regimen, which was reflected in her eagerness to buy new fitness wear and gear, an inspired Ms. Kukki decided to follow suit. How can Mrs. Google shine away in her new, trendy, branded sportswear, while she lagged behind unnoticed in her three-months-old workout clothes?

After one-and-half hours of repeated trying, changing, selecting and discarding loads of ‘dry fit’ technology-enabled fitness wear, they came out of the mall armed with shiny shopping bags containing pairs of slim-fit tights with contrasting and matching dry fit tees, neon coloured sport shoes, two pairs of socks, a water sipper, a post-workout windcheater and a gym bag. Mrs. Google and Ms. Kukki were all set to enter the world of fitness like divas!

On the way back, Mrs. Google even ordered a fitness tracker watch online and downloaded two exercise tracking apps on the phone to keep track of her fitness regimen.

Ms. Kiran: Hahaha! I can’t wait to hear what happened next. Carry on…

Weighing Scale: Kiran sweetie, now I will give you a detailed day-to-day account of how both ladies took on their workout regime. You better sit tight and listen up.

Day 1, 7.00 am: They met at a common point between their houses, all decked up in the shiny new gear. With sweat bands on, a hint of lip gloss for a fresh look and shoes laced up, both started walking briskly and chit-chatted all along. Due to the constant babble and energetic pace, they began to pant within 10 minutes. So, they slowed down to a dawdling stroll and completed the proposed 45 minutes.

Day 2, 7.00 am: The first day had been a great success for them as they managed to complete their walk, irrespective of the speed at which they finished it. Hi-fives were exchanged and the women patted each other’s back. Motivated, they began day two, again with quick steps and relentless chit-chat. But soon the pace decelerated and within 500 metres, they were breathless. Meanwhile, they crossed a spot where office goers stopped by to have their chai-sutta-nashta. The whiff of freshly made kachori and vada sambhar made the women go week on their knees. Mrs. Google looked at Ms. Kooki and raised an eyebrow suggestively. Ms. Kooki gestured her affirmation with a meaningful smile. Within five minutes, they were seated on the plastic stools outside the tapree, gorging on hot kachoris and sipping steaming adrak-wali chai.

Day 3, 7.00 am: Two days down, they felt exhilarated. After all, they had succeeded in keeping up with the schedule. But already a little bored of simply walking, they decided to enter their society’s gym. Inside, they met several acquaintances and neighbours. The first 10 minutes were spent in casual catching up. The ladies made sure to ignore Mrs. Rana, who ate like a horse in all the kitty parties but God knows how still managed to look like a French bean. She was the obvious object of their scorn.

After socialising for a while and fixing their hair in the mirrors mounted on the gym walls for a different purpose altogether, the ladies finally managed to drag themselves towards the cardio machines.

Speed: 4

Elevation: Flat

All through the ten minutes of their ‘light’ cardio, they kept cribbing about the bland song choice and the ineffective air-conditioning in the gym.

Calories burned – 38

Finishing their cardio, they sat down huffing and puffing. The gym instructor, a tall, handsome hunk, came over and asked them if they needed any help or if they would like to do some stretching.

Dumbstruck by his hotness and abs which were clearly visible through his tight vest, they couldn’t say ‘no’, even though their legs were wobbly and begged for mercy. Mr. Instructor demonstrated a few basic stretching exercises and flaunted his own muscles. Trying their best to imitate his immaculate moves, they kept falling in exhaustion and clumsiness. After four whole minutes of awkward stretching, the sweaty ladies found that the instructor was busy with other more dedicated disciples. Making the most of this opportunity, they bolted for the door.

Day 4, 7.00 am: By now, each and every muscle of their body, not in the habit of stretching or working out, were sore and hurting. The duo decided to keep it ‘light’ and stick to plain walking. Walk to the tempting tapri. Gorge. And walk back.

Distance covered – 2 km

Calories burned – 70

Calories eaten – 250

Day 5, 7.00 am: Repeat performance of Day 4.

Day 6, 6.30 am: As expected, their schedule didn’t last very long. And so, Ms. Kukki called Mrs. Google to inform that she wouldn’t be able to make it that day as it was a weekend and she wanted to sleep till little late. Obviously, Mrs. Google was more than happy to agree. She too receded under the covers and went back to her sweet slumber.

I knew from the very beginning that this wouldn’t last long, monotony would kill it and exercising incessantly would die a natural death.

Day 7: Nobody called anybody. And, as they say, sometimes no news is good news. The unannounced verdict found mutual consent.

The entire exercising routine was soon forgotten as Mrs. Google & Ms. Kukki chose painless mornings over demanding fitness. The whole ‘silly’ idea was thrown out of the window.

Ms. Kiran: Such a sad and tragic ending to a thoroughly amusing story. Did she try other methods of losing weight post this swiftly aborted exercise routine?

Weighing Scale: Well, after coming to terms that exercising was not her cup of tea, she tried her hand at all sorts of diets—starting with a weeklong GM diet, moving on to the low-carb Atkin’s diet, followed by the chhass only diet, then the most obnoxious cabbage soup diet, the much-celebrated vegan diet, keto diet and even two days of the ‘cotton ball diet’, in which she dipped small balls of fluffy cotton into juices and smoothies and ate them up. Sadly, nothing passed the threshold of the experimentation phase of first few days.

Ms. Kiran: ‘Cotton ball diet’? Gosh, now this is incorrigible. So, did she give it all up finally?

Weighing Scale: Well, Mrs. Google has stopped experimenting with all the bizarre diets. Someone recently suggested to her ‘sniff the food’ technique. She is currently trying her luck with that. Less eating and more sniffing. I wonder how that will pan out for her.

Ms. Kiran: Hmmm… let’s see what that results in. Do keep me posted on that.

So, moving on, let’s play our exciting rapid-fire round. I will ask you a few questions and you have to answer them keeping Mrs. Google in mind. But remember, the replies have to be rapid and, of course, fiery!

Ready? So, here we go…what is Mrs. Google’s weight?

Weighing Scale: 62 + 8 – 40 + 50 – 2

Ms. Kiran: Very well. Tell us about her one secret that even Mr. Planet doesn’t know.

Weighing Scale: She secretly eat chocolates and candies. Mrs. Google stashes them at various covert places, like inside the vegetable compartment of fridge, in the lower most section of her cupboard, unused purses, side table of her bed, behind the spice rack and even in the loo.

Ms. Kiran: What does Mr. Planet say when Mrs. Google asks him if she is looking fat in a particular dress?

Weighing Scale: Oh, he has this one absolutely figured out and well-rehearsed. It’s always a big, compelling ‘NO’. The genuinely surprised and ‘are you kidding’ wala expression on his face is priceless.

Ms. Kiran: Has Mrs. Google ever shared her actual weight with anyone? If so, with whom?

Weighing Scale: Yes. To her doctor, dietician, personal trainer, a sales person for health insurance purposes and one more sales guy at a bicycle shop, just so that he could give her the precise recommendations. Also, to a ride operator at an amusement park because the ride had to be correctly balanced. But for rest of the world, including Mr. Planet, it is a dark, well-guarded secret.

Ms. Kiran: Share a recent embarrassing incident of hers.

Weighing Scale: Last week, she met a friend after a long time. After shrieks of excitement and cheek-on-cheek air kissing, her friend stepped back and looking at Mrs. Google’s tummy, exclaimed, “Wow, looks like you have some good news there!”

Ms. Kiran: Hahaha! I am sure Mrs. Google wanted to strangle her.

Weighing Scale: You bet! Wait, I got one more. A few days back, she had to stand in a queue at the cash counter of a mall for almost half an hour due to some technical snag in the billing system. So, by the time things got working, she was visibly irritated. The woman behind the desk looked at her upset face and said, “I’m really sorry about your wait.” Without thinking much, courtesy to her bad mood, Mrs. Google snapped back, “You’re not so skinny yourself, madam. Mind you own business, please.” The poor girl did not even try to clarify her intent and resumed work but the ladies standing behind Mrs. Google were in splits. That’s when she realised what the girl had truly meant. She made a quick, embarrassed exit.

Ms. Kiran: OMG! That’s indeed funny.

Okay, tell us five things that make Mrs. Google flip out every time someone mentions in front of her.

Weighing Scale: Hmmm… Yoga, plus size clothing, health food, skinny jeans and people linking her allergies, acne and hair fall to her weight.

Ms. Kiran: If she wakes up as Katrina Kaif, she would….

Weighing Scale: If Mrs. Google wakes up as Katrina, she would go to her office and meet the big boss. She’d ask for a favour, which of course he would undoubtedly grant, she being Katrina for that moment. The favour would be double promotion and a separate cabin for a friend of hers, Mrs. Google.

Ms. Kiran: Haha, that would be a smart thing to do. Thanks a lot for being such a sport. You did very well. Our signature gift hamper, loaded with goodies is on the table next to you.

Now, before you leave, would you like to say something to her through our show?

Weighing Scale: I would like to tell Mrs. Google that although you eat less but you eat wrong. Having some extra weight is not that ‘fat’ an issue as you have made it to be. Being healthy and happy is more important than being thin and sad. So just remember, we all love you for the ‘weigh’ you are!

Next morning, while still in bed, I couldn’t stop laughing at last night’s dream. The incidents shared in it were all factual and indeed hilarious. My husband gave me a puzzled look, seeing me wake up in a happy-but-don’t–know-why state. Inching closer to him swapping my stupid grin with a seductive smile, I whispered, “Do you also love me for the ‘weigh’ I am?”

Perplexed by my unexpectedly amorous mood, barely an hour away from office time, he fumbled, “Of course darling, I love you the ‘way’ you are.”

Ah! If only men could ever understand what woman want (and mean).

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My Stuff Speaks 

Author – Sania Siddiqui

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