Morning walk
I felt my entire being drown in that moment of solitude Image Credit: Justin Clarke

Some questions are not questions but statements dressed up as questions specifically meant to annoy.

Like this one during a video call home when my brother asked — “Have you put on weight?” During the heavy silence that followed, my image on-screen had become the focus of attention — for me, him, my mother peering from behind him and then father behind her.

Having had his share of fun, he feigned an excuse and disconnected. When I approached the husband, who was WFH on that day, with the question, he appeared lost in thought and then blurted a vague theory that had beautiful, healthy and happy in it. It struck me a while later that he had neither answered my question nor had he denied the possibility.

Recent in off the cuff by Pranitha Menon

It is not in my nature to boast, but the root of the above problem lies in my dedication. For instance, when we were expected to be the stay-at-home superheroes, I took up the cause in all earnest, so much so, that when my clothes began to shrink, the mirror curved in to magnify my reflection and I heard the silly weighing scale groan while throwing bizarre numbers that would deflect my cause, I prioritised safety over weighty problems, because that is how dedicated superheroes function, or so I believed until the heavy question was thrown my way.

Robin Sharma’s ‘The 5 AM Club’ is a book I have enjoyed reading, but it’s one thing to read lazing on a couch on a relaxed afternoon and another to put that reading into practice. It took the effort of all the Marvel superheroes to convince the superhero in me to first get off the bed and get shuffling, I mean, going.

When I stepped out into the pleasant morning, it was encouraging (read relieving) to see many others, like me, who had woken up from their heavy slumber to join the 5-something club. To keep my raised spirits up, I chose to socially ignore those nimble, lithe walkers and joggers who glided past my lumbering with relative ease. I was not in a race!

A canopy of crimson

As I took my first steps to becoming a lighter me, my eyes wandered about into the beautiful morning. The park was aglow in the golden morning light, a few gentle needles of gold filtering through the branches of the flame-of-the-forest that was abloom in a canopy of crimson.

As daylight unwrapped the multitude of hues around me, the pleasant air scented with the fragrance of Frangipani, the chorus of birds chirping a soothing melody, I felt my entire being drown in that moment of solitude. Outside the park, structures tall and small washed in the morning light appeared bare, devoid of human company.

Lost in the morning glory, it was easy to believe that the virus, the loss and suffering that humanity has endured is just another plot for a dystopian novel, all until I see a masked stranger keeping his distance from the masked jogger before him, and that was enough to get me to snap out of my poetic stupor.

Captivated in the beauty of the gentle morning, I had barely managed a few gentle steps while the other walkers had shuffled past. Losing weight requires discipline, dedication and I would need motivation, poetic or otherwise, to keep it going.

Upon reaching home, already feeling lighter (thanks to the endorphin rush and the weight of getting started lifted off), my better-not-so-bigger half looked my way with a question mark etched across his face, that I am guessing had something to do with me having finally undone my stay-at-home cape to come to terms with some weighty matters that I was in denial about, and managed to fit into workout clothes.

And I did not miss that smirk — I guess I have found my motivation, now dedication is all I need.

— Pranitha Menon is a freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @MenonPranitha