It started with a search. No, scratch that – it was an ordeal. And even though I will never know the nuances of that ordeal, let alone your motivations for embarking on it, I must give credit where it’s due from the way you passionately searched for me. Not a website spared. Not a picture of mine you didn’t gloss over to ensure I was the one for you.
And lo and behold, you got what you wanted. I remember the glint in your eyes on first seeing me, a symbol of the so-called “inflection point” you believed your life would witness, following which you’d break forth from the shackles of gluttony. I remember how you had grown reluctant of replacing me. I remember you ignoring your mother’s shrugs when she was told about the two of us. I remember being sheathed by your commitment.
Fast forward to a mere three months later, and I sense those sheaths wearing thin already. I fail to brush off how, in the early days, you’d give up on your guilty pleasures and just to devote time to me. I remember the feeling of our bodies brushing against each other every morning, as you tried out every position possible. And while, you were obviously exhausted by the end of each session, I still remember the joy on your face as you wiped the beads of sweat from your body. So much so that you’d sometimes repeat the same routine the very same evening.
And then time, being the deft Houdini it is, changed our relationship. The morning-evening dual routine turned into sporadic encounters at best. ‘Tomorrow’ translated to ‘never’. All of it winding up to my present plight. Of not seeing you anymore.
Your answers are seldom satisfactory. Your mother, who had over time accepted our togetherness, questions you about turning your back one me. You complain about “not having enough time”.
Then, when its time to reap another excuse, you accuse me of being “too thin” to bear your weight, of being too short or tall for your liking. Even having the audacity of pointing a finger at my colour. Body shame all you may, fact is we come in all shapes and sizes, having no choice in how our maker creates us. As for my colour, I may not be cut from the same cloth as you, but at least you were in a much better place than you’re in now. Don’t deny it – the beer belly you’ve grown is a clear giveaway.
Of all the misery and gloom that COVID-19 brought, at least it presented itself as a beacon of our reconciliation. Think about it, no more dreary commutes from home to work and back. An ample amount of time to make amends. And yet you dropped the ball on it, unable to muster the courage that had once won me over. Hope for the status quo to be lifted is bleak.
I’ve come to hear how human souls deprived of salvation are believed to be rolling in their graves. It’s funny how that applies to me too. For I stay rolled up in one corner of a room, having almost certainly reached my grave.
Your Yoga Mat
Kunal Jetley is an undergraduate student based in New Delhi, who finds solace in the corner of libraries, reading or writing.