This trip, for some reason, I have been noticing a lot more obesity in India. From the just overweight to the can’t-get-out-of-their-airline-seat-themselves obese. Sedentary lifestyles have something to do with this, of course, but I sense that there is another major factor at work here – an Indian mother’s love.
An Indian mother expresses her love by feeding her child till he groans “bus mummy”. In the sport of offspring feeding, she is unparelleled. It is not just the quantity of food, it is also the kind of food. She gives herself high points for feeding her “ladla” snacks fried in saturated fat, mithai and lots and lots of carbs. Resistance is futile. If there is ever any research done in this area, my money says that men living in joint families are more likely to be overweight.
The “tricks of the trade” have been passed down from generation to generation. Here is a short list of “tricks” employed by loving mothers all over India:
1. Not putting all the dishes in the menu on the table to begin with. Withholding key information relating to dessert.
2. Putting more rice or rotis onto your plate while you are distracted.
3. “Roti sookhi sookhi kyon kha rahe ho”. (Why are you eating your rotis dry?).
4. If you refuse a third helping of something – “Kyon acchah nahin laga?” – didn’t you like it?
5. “Sab khana tumhari pasand ka hai. Tumhe bachpan mein yeh bahut achcha lagta tha.” These dishes were your favourites when you were growing up.
6. And lest we forget “Beta, bahut duble ho gaye ho.” Son, you’ve lost too much weight.
My advice to you is to have a gameplan for when you go visit your mother. As for me, I gave up long ago. Meal after meal, I loosen my belt and clean my plate. I workout twice as much the week after..but for the few days I am with her I can’t break her heart.
To mothers everywhere…you’re the best.