the ritual

He had never cared to step on the step-on weighing scale that lay beneath the towel radiator in the bathroom until one day when he saw it out in the open with fresh marks of a pair of feet. The marks of those slender looking feet got him thinking who it was, for his house-mates definitely didn’t look like the ones with slender feet. They might have been his own feet, only that they were a couple of sizes too big. In any case, seeing the scale out in the open, he decided to step on, and to his horror found that he was 8.7 STONES!

He wasn’t horrified at his weight, he was horrified because the scale only showed the weight in STONES! Truth was he didn’t know how much 8.7 Stones was in Kilogram. He knew 1 pound was around half a kilo, but he had no idea how many pounds made a Stone! In any case, he got on with his routine, and as soon as he was back in his room, he Googled to find the conversion table. He was really horrified now that he knew his current weight in kilograms. 55 Kg! He has never been this heavy – he was proud of his 50±1 Kg body weight. Suddenly he found himself FOUR Kilos overweight.

He went back to the bathroom to confirm his weight (in stones) – took off his clothes to make sure he got the accurate measurement and stepped on the scale once more. Still 8.7 Stones. Tried again. Still 8.7 Stones. A third time. Still the same. It was clear that he had put on weight, probably for the first time in his life!

From the next day onwards, it became his ritual to step on to the scale before shower and step on again afterwards. Now all he thought about while in shower was how to reduce the weight. He would make plans to go for a run, or start playing games again or even go to gym. Prior to this ordeal, he conceived some of his most brilliant ideas while in shower. Now, all his time was taken thinking how to shed a few pounds (shed a few POUNDS, and not KILOS!). It went on for at least a week. He was neither writing properly anymore, nor had he thought of any good ideas the whole week. And the worse part was that the scale wasn’t moving much from 8.7 Stones – true, it had come down to 8.5 Stones, but that seemed negligible, within the error margins of the scale. He didn’t even bother converting 8.5 Stones to Kg to find how much he weighed now.

Despite all this, he thought he was remarkably happy, and eating well, and sleeping well, and performing his work well. Only that he didn’t think much while in shower but that was it.

After a week’s stepping on the scale ritual, he thought he had enough. So one morning, as soon as he entered the bathroom and saw the scale, he said out loud – “I’m not going to get weighed in Stones again”. And that was that. He pushed the scale underneath the radiator, and got on with his routine. He was thinking about interesting things in shower again, weaving stories, and imagining dialogues. He was back to his old self. Except that he still needed to shed a few extra KILOS!