Skip to main content

A quick tale 56

Weight-loss program

48, 47, 46...She struggled to shed the last one kilo. Starvation, colonic irrigation, laxatives, smoking, vomiting. Nothing worked. She stood solid at 46 kilos. So tantalisingly close to her target and yet, so bloody hard. Her bulk just refused to come off any further. That's when she came up with the idea. A kitchen knife in hand, she stood on the scales. Drip, drip, drip...and the weight started sliding. 50 gms, 200 gms, half-a-kilo and finally! There! The needle settled on the magic number - 45. Plop! Her fingers fell to the floor and she swooned.


Anonymous said…
"He saw her. She looked away. He saw her again. She looked away again. And there went another precious day."

for those wondering, its my take at a quick tale and for those wondering, it has no deeper meaning, it just pretends to be deep, when it's as shallow as you see it.

This quick tale thing has become something like the story of the emperor's new clothes ...nobody sees the point of it , but since everybody else goes "Brilliant", "Awesome", "Lovely", the rest that don't want to look like fools follow suit in the parade ...
Anonymous said…
the first anonymous commenter should probably respect the intelligence of the other commenters. But it would have been a better fit with the theme for the previous post "quick tale 55"!

Anyway, this story reminded me of another about the hairdresser of the king getting 6 and a half pots of gold and in his futile attempt to make it 7 full pots he becomes a stingy, poor man.

Don't let any half baked celebs read this... otherwise we'll have Lindsay Lohan walking around with an arm missing!

And to anon 1 "Huh?"
Thanks for the tip off! Will def try and make it to some of the screenings
~phobiac~ said…
hey....Ammani...some people get obsessed with things so trivial ! true ......

@Anonymous :

didnt use Brilliant", "Awesome", "Lovely", ...happy ??
Anonymous said…
sorry - don't get the point -does a finger weigh a kilo?
OCD exemplified beautifully. A slight hint of suicidal tendency tho. I'm starting to get worried
Sneha Acharya said…
ooops ... thts too much of desparation .. ouch
Anonymous said…
Hey, anon-1, your not seeing meaning in these stories does not imply that no meaning exists.

The depth in these stories, in my opinion, is that the interpretation is left to the reader. Like a poem. Or an uncaptioned photograph.

Also, your short story is pretty dumb.
well said anon 2!

and anon 1 if you don't get it don't read it!
Jasmine said…
Pretty gruesome.

(There, anon1, happy?)
Lavanya said…
Hopefully, she stopped at 45 :)
shyam said…
ooh, gruesome. Who was that king who carved off a pound of flesh to pay off someone or other? Cant remember his name.
shyam said…
Hey Anon, let the world know you have an opinion but do it openly. Dont hide behind anonymity.
WA said…
Gruesome is the only word I can think of and I know I am repeating here! But it just is gruesome and ghastly
Anonymous said…

I think the king you are talking about is Sibi Rana
Anonymous said…
i second Wicked Angel's comments..
Surinder said…
ooo .. that was a grusome twist !

are we allowed to put logic to these short stories :-)
Anonymous said…
"A Tiny Little Firefly and the Big Bad Fire Engine Named Camphor"

It shone. He tried to cover it. It shone bright. He desperately tried to cover it. Yet it kept on shining dazzlingly bright.

So, finally, he tried to strangle it with his strong kosher hands ... only to see his fingers catch fire ... and vanish into nothingness.

[A tribute(!) to Anon 1]
Niren said…
Then a few minutes later a hawker passed by. He was selling helium balloons. He had been delayed a few minutes because he had to buy pastries for his daughter's birthday.
PVS said…
I was reminded about this post when I read your quick tale.
Anonymous said…
I guess the one who commented at 8:56 PM tried to liken anonym 1 to camphor and Ammani to the fire that anonym 1 mistook as a firefly.

Niren's comments seem to be more of a tangent to that one, and hence diluting, or am I missing something here???

And BTW, anonym 1, the depth of interpretation is directly proportional to the richness of reader's past experiences, openness to others' views/ideas (I acknowledge your view, but respectfully oppose it), and of course, level of intellectual/emotional maturity.

There was only one Newton who dared intepret the falling of apple in a richer/different way than all the anonyms had been doing for ages!

- Anonym 101
i wonder if anyone ever gets that desperate ONLY to lose weight..there has to be more behind this desperation than just that.

an aside:shyam that was in 'the merchant of venice', where shylock demands a pound of flesh from antonio.
Vinesh said…
Oh no! HORROR story!!

But I like the way you think :-)
Good post!
Niren said…
Anonym 101 - If she had waited for a few minutes, she would have found a less painful solution to her percieved problem. Or she could have waited until the next day when the mailman would have delivered her a coupon for a 50% discount at the local liposuction clinic.
perspective said…
Aah! that's really negative!
But you surely make me imagine... what you want me to :)
Anonymous said…

Now get your point.

Anonym 101
Anonymous said…
Brilliant! Awesome!
Raga said…
This is sick!!! How can anybody cut ones fingers off to reduce weight. I have never heard of any 'freak' doing this. Only psychos do such things and I dont think psychos care about their weight! I have begun to wonder why Ammani getting 'darker' by day?

Raga said…
This is sick!!! How can anybody cut ones fingers off to reduce weight. I have never heard of any 'freak' doing this. Only psychos do such things and I dont think psychos care about their weight! I have begun to wonder why Ammani getting 'darker' by day?

Raga said…
This is sick!!! How can anybody cut ones fingers off to reduce weight. I have never heard of any 'freak' doing this. Only psychos do such things and I dont think psychos care about their weight! I have begun to wonder why Ammani getting 'darker' by day?


You Might Also Like

Voicing Silence 1

There is no nice way of saying this so I will say it as brutally and as unvarnished as it needs to be said. I was sexually assaulted when I was ten and a half years old. While I recall the precise details of what happened that night, much of what happened in the immediate aftermath, I have little memory of. In the days and months that followed, I became increasingly angry. I would smash things, kick people, yell, scream and throw a tantrum at the drop of a hat. I was labelled difficult and called names. Rakshasi was a regular epithet and it clung to me like an dirty scent.

There were so many incidents of rage from those years and most involved destruction of some sort. I once lost a card game and went about meticulously ripping up an entire pack of cards much to the amusement of the gathered extended family. There was some other minor provocation which ended in a lovely red dress which was a gift from abroad being shredded to pieces, again to a mute audience

Word got around that I wa…

Voicing Silence 7

(To get a background on this series, I suggest you start with the first post here and then scroll up)

Headphones recommended

(Click on image for link or click here)
Written and narrated by  Abhi Arumbakkam
Animation and edit  Lucy Lee
Sound Louise Brown
Music Nefeli Stammatogianopoulu & Stelios Koupetoris

Sivaji, Jayalaitha And Us

I first noticed it when Sivaji Ganesan passed away. As someone born in the 70s, much of my growing years was marked by the rituals of Sunday evening Tamizh cinema and Friday night Oliyum Oliyum. And Sivaji Ganesan was a permanent fixture in them. Anyone who was melodramatic was a 'Sivaji' and rhymes like 'Sivaji vayile jilebi' were very much part of our book of nonsense rhymes.

So much so, I remember being fourteen and being part of the school drama team enacting a popular scene from Sivaji's Thiruvilayadal. It was a plum role that we all vied to play. Sivaji played Lord Shiva in the movie and in our minds, he might as well have been immortal. So years later, when news broke that he had died, I was in utter shock. Heck, I was not even a fan. Apart from Motor Sundaram Pillai and more recently, Thevar Magan, in every one of his movies, I felt Sivaji had outacted the entire cast. As if to tell the producers, you've paid me a lot, so let me give you your money'…

Tide - 17

Part - 17 “Are you waiting for me, Kamakshi?”, asked Padmaja a little breathless from climbing the stair case. She had never been particularly slim. But lately, she had noticed a tightening of her blouses, particularly around her upper arm that she taken to using the stairs over the lift.
“Hmm? Everything okay? Why do you want me to keep quiet? What is the matter, Kamakshi?”, Padmaja reeled off questions with mounting alarm.
“It's nothing”, hissed Kamakshi between gritted teeth guiding her neighbour by the arm away from her own door. “Come in to my house. I need to tell you something, Padmaja”.
And once inside, Kamakshi's behaviour was even more erratic. She said something about a letter and answering and now meeting someone and the man waiting for her at home.
“Where?”, demanded Padmaja.
Kamakshi silently pointed her finger at her neighhour.
“Where? In my house?”
Kamakshi nodded.
“Have you gone mad, Kamakshi? I gave you the keys in case you don't see me for days a…

What Would You Do?

This afternoon, I went to our local leisure centre to use their steam room and sauna. I had an hour to kill before it was time to collect my son and the leisure centre is across the road and I couldn't think of a better way to spend a tenner and so I went. No sooner had I settled into a corner of the steam room than I heard a voice ask me, 'are you from India?'. Yes, I nodded before it struck me that if I couldn't see the person clearly neither could he. Yes, I said. To this he (by now I could make out a dim outline of a man) volunteered in a very heavy accent 'My country Bangladesh' and then went on to ask me if I lived locally and if I was living with my family (yes and yes, I answered) and told me that he worked in a local Indian restaurant as a chef and that I should visit them if I hadn't already.

Having exhausted his arsenal of polite questions to ask a rank stranger, he fell silent. Shortly, I left the steam room to take a shower before dipping into…

Tide - 7

Part 7

Dear Mrs,
With regards to your advertisement in last Sunday's Hindu. My name is Mr.S.G.Santhanam. I am 65 years old. I retired in 2007 after 40 years of service in the Indian Railways. My daughter and my son are both married and settled abroad. I am in good health except for slightly high blood pressure. Last year I have undergone an operation for a growth in my retina and now my eyesight is better than it has ever been. I follow a strict vegetarian diet (no oinions no garlic) and I have managed to bring down my cholestrol levels also. Recently I have suffered from pain in my hips and my doctor has adviced me to go for a hip replacement operation which I am due to have some time in the next month. So if you reply to my letter, I can arrange to meet you before I check in to the hospital as I will have to be in bed rest for 6 weeks after my operation. I have also attached a photo of myself with this letter. This was taken before I had my new set of teeth.
Your's sincere…

Voicing Silence 4

(To get a background to this series of posts, I suggest you read the first one here, the second one here and the third one here)

Some years ago, my mother mentioned to me that she had attended my sexual assaulter's Sashtiabdapoorthy and I was appalled. This filthy beast was a pillar of the society and had had the temerity to invite my parents to its (no human pronoun for it) birthday celebration. Suffice to say I was apoplectic.

It was also around this time that the whole sordid episode of Jimmy Savile came to light and I had a thought. I began to wonder if I could take my abuser to court on historic sex abuse charges.

For days I fantasised about dragging the filthy piece of shit to court and have it look me in the eye as I would recall in graphic detail what it had done to me. Then, I would watch with glee as it lost its house, its job, its status in the society and delight in the gradual unravelling of its life.

I would have my perfect revenge. I would be able to show it that i…

Voicing Silence 2

(To get a background to this series of posts, I suggest you read the first one here)

I realised, almost instinctively that what had happened to me was not a one-off. A casual conversation with a cousin revealed that she too had been touched by the same person. She didn't give me details but all she said was, "that one, him, you know...he's a devil" and gave me an almost imperceptible nod. A secret code that meant that she knew about what had happened to me too. It was our shared language of shame, wrapped in silence and consigned to the deep recess of our minds.

Every now and then the incident would get an airing but I would almost dismiss it by making light of it. During joint studies with classmates from the 11th and 12th standard, two of them talked about the improper touching that had happened to them as children with an almost casual aloofness that I added my incident (for it was now entombed and labelled as Exhibit A in my mind) to the mix. Being abused was so…

Voicing Silence 3

(To get a background to this series of posts, I suggest you read the first one here and the second one here.)

In the intervening years since my assault, the whispers grew ubiquitous. Hushed conversations from scarred friends who all talked in coded language about what had happened to them. I should have stopped becoming angry but I just couldn't. Instead I channeled all my rage into the blows I rained on the random stranger who once groped me as I was walking past him one evening when I was in my early twenties. The nonchalance with which another pervert thought he could get away with pinching my breasts made me chase after him faster. But I could rarely sustain the rage which would blaze fiercely and frequently but never long enough for anything positive to emerge. There were no planned course of action to follow through, it was largely fire fighting on a daily basis.

And then something happened a decade ago which reminded me of what triggered my anger all those years ago. I won…

Voicing Silence 5

(To get a background to this series of posts, I suggest you read the first one here, the second one here, the third one here and the fourth here)

For years I had been wondering how to articulate my trauma. And then, a little while after I'd moved to the UK, I'd done courses in documentary film-making and had started telling factual stories. Could there be a possibility there? What purpose would retelling a personal story in all its gory detail serve? And is this what I wanted?

In 2013 I watched Yael Farber's Nirbhaya in Edinburgh to an auditorium full of sobbing men and women. I found its portrayal in all its attendant specifics and bit too real. Even the actors playing it had each suffered horrific abuse and it was their own story that was being told. It was discomfiting and I knew I didn't want to go down that route.

A year or so later, I met with Leslie Udwin, director of the documentary India's Daughter, the day
after it had been banned in India. Leslie was de…