Testing times

Testing times

It was a long time ago but the feeling has pretty much remained the same. Test results at any age are a cause for concern: a nauseous feeling of dread on D-day. While Math and Science were the biggest letdowns in school decades ago, today it is that pair of incorrigible twins known as HDL and LDL that can pull the rug from under you.

The principal’s cold stare while handing you the report card is now replaced by the new-age doctor, in a full suit and tie no less, presiding over your dismal pathology reports in a swanky hospital with one cafe, two restaurants and a takeaway. The huge red-inked numbers in the school report showed your weaknesses by highlighting all the subjects you had failed to pass. In fact, you had failed so spectacularly that an entry to the next higher class was as remote as Somdev winning the Wimbledon. But today, even as you have failed every test, your doctor warmly embraces you in his fold. He identifies you as a high net worth customer, designed to send the hospital stock soaring.

While less was bad in school, today more is the bane of your life. The higher the blood sugar levels and the peaks your cholesterol has conquered, the more of a total health failure you are. The doctor reads out the riot act which seems to consist of one word and two syllables. Everything is a no, no and a no. You have this wild idea of capitalising on the situation and sitting on a hunger strike with Kejriwal. Might as well make capital of it as you don't seem to be good for anything else.

Overnight my conversation changes. One is no longer interested in a friend’s doings, instead it is his cholesterol that really gets me. My cousin has some good news to share but sorry, unless its about his FBS and PPBS levels, I am not able to warm up to him. Within minutes of meeting someone new, I manage to inveigle triglycerides into the conversation and am all set for an eventful evening.

Acts of foolhardy courage are no longer from that blindfolded team that scaled Everest. It is about a new acquaintance whose fasting blood sugar is racing like the Ferrari team and yet he has just popped two rossogollahs. I look on admiringly at this person of substance even as I am sure I will emulate him. This is the stuff heroes are made of. Advice comes thick and fast. If Bond has a licence to kill, the treadmill offers a licence to eat. Exercise, work it off, burn those fats just to be able to eat that gulab jamun that I swear will be my last.

Test Day approaches again but this time I’m not going down without a good fight. As I pass the cafe en route to collecting my report card – sorry test results – I duck in for a quick samosa and cheesecake. Tomorrow is another day.

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