Love, cuppa and diet


January 21, 2012
It popped up on my kitchen table precisely at the same time on Sunday mornings, even as I returned it to where it should belong every Thursday.
Once I threw it into the inner most rack of a cupboard amid rusty old timers, yet it sprung up two days later. On realising that my love for the cuppa would never cease, I changed strategy – no, not resolutions – I called it determination! Opted for luke warm water with a squeeze of lemon to soothe my empty tummy to begin the day.
Throughout that Friday the feel-good hormones danced inside me. But the thought of what I ignored was vibrantly alive making me absent-minded and lagging behind schedule on chores. I blamed it on citrus!
Saturday morning as my fingers felt the kettle, I paused to take a deep breath to awaken the sleepy resolve. But the salient intake of the Life Force refused to unsettle a habit sedimented over the years. So I said aloud, ‘No tea for me’. And it worked. I sipped the tangy water. The citrus began playing dirty soon as it niggled the interiors of my head. A creeping headache surfaced! By evening it worsened and I hit the bed smelling of eucalyptus.
Sunday morning, I woke up before the alarm did the honours and stood under the shower to soothe my thrombing nerves and hurried to the cupboard. A hot steamy cuppa and within an hour the spring returned to my weary feet.
With a justified excuse of ‘I need energy to work’, I stayed sincere to my cuppa up until the weekend. The following Thursday morning (my day off from the workplace), as I had nothing pressing to attend to, the occasional visitor wriggled in. The creepy guilt brought in with it a list of ‘I can’ts’… I can’t do a detox; can’t get on a diet; can’t eat healthy; can’t give up a cup of tea to begin with…
This was eight months ago. My determination has been playing hide n seek since.
A month-and-a-half ago I took control of my mind. Formulated a modus operandi to beat the vice – one step at a time for me. Settled for half a cup of tea every morning. Felt instantly good. Wow! Ten days later, I settled for 1/4 cup of tea. Wow! factor lost its zeal. But I kept at it. Hung on for 10 days more. It was time to forgo completely as per my plan. But I struck a compromise. Four sips, three sips, two, one and then none. How long will each sip duration last? My mind said one day each but I settled for one week each.
Last Thursday was my first ‘No-Tea’ day. I kept myself busy and the headache too stayed away. I hit the bed proud of myself.
The next morning as I walked out of the bedroom, I saw a fresh and beaming husband in the living room watching the India-Aussie test. Seeing him smile I thought for a minute that India managed to save face.
“So who pulled the team through,” I asked. “How can anyone rescue this side,” he replied and added: “Come sit. Was waiting for you. Made your favourite masala chai.”
So loving! How can I be rude!
A few hours later…I overheard him speak to my mother on the phone, “She’s been trying to get on a diet again…no, no, you don’t worry. I’ve fixed it. Once she abstains from tea, then she’ll easily give up other things. So today I broke it. Now for some time she’ll eat well.”
Nisha Sanjeev

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