P is not a very common letter that I use, I think. At least, not consciously. But I must be honest, I had to think for a bit to write this post and hence its tardiness.
A few years back, a certain person in my life went through a phase. The said person claimed he/she was under- performing. Being a woman, I would/could not understand under performance but it seemed a perfectly normal thing in the other gender, to discuss it or be treated for it or even to have implants. ( All news to me, of course). I had not noticed anything or any difference.
In the beginning, I was wondering if I was being made part of a joke. Could my legs be being pulled ? Then I understood for the person concerned, it was serious business. He/she read up about it and then looked up on the internet. He/she was just touching the last years of his/her half century that year. Multiple references mentioned that it was a middle age thing and part of the middle age crises, which all men and women went through. It didn’t console him/her a bit.
Sleepless nights followed. And then the loss of appetite took over. One particular reference mentioned that after being diagnosed with this condition, one lived only for a couple of years. This condition was a precursor to heart disease as it affected the small vessels of the body, and the organ concerned had all the micro- vasculature in the world that one could wish for. So the person read that starting that year, he/she would have exactly two years to live. When quoted to me, I wondered how a very able with no other co-morbidity-ed ( read, illness) human being could pop off in 2 years’ ; was it ever possible ? Memories of old books and classes attended flooded my brain. Wasn’t that the basis of epidemiology – shouldn’t there be a cause and then an effect ? That was what the epidemiological triangle stood for, didn’t it ? Then how could a man just kick the bucket without any cause, and just because he/ she under performed ?
His/her weight dropped from a solid 85 kgs of fat to 72 kgs in about a month. His/her entire diet for a day consisted of just a digestive biscuit if he/she could manage it. I wished I could under perform too- if this is what it did to people – producing severe loss of appetite and even more severe weight loss, I wanted it badly. Readers will remember that I am obese and have been for ages. I wished the under performance bug would bite me.
A month or two later, a juicer appeared in my kitchen. This was followed by large amounts of that fruit of the Gods- the pomegranate. Apparently, research conducted in spare time ( time spared from worrying and anxiety and sleeplessness and work and more worry and so on) revealed that this fruit and its juices could boost performance to no mean level. Every morning saw the said person, cracking pomegranates in the kitchen and then painstakingly extracting every ounce of juice out of the pomegranate. The process was repeated every evening. The pomegranate business in the country flourished solely on the amount acquired by said person every two days’.
Needless to mention, I consumed some of the tart juice myself. I never developed a liking for it myself but to keep company, I did drink some of the nectar. A bottle of Grenadine appeared soon after. This was consumed too- sometimes without dilution.
The whole episode went on for about 9 months and then ran a natural end as all good things do, when having tried multiple remedies along with the pomegranate juice, the person got sick of all the trouble and decided to wait things out as they would turn out.
Sure enough, about a month of giving up later, physical performance improved on its own and things came back to normal. Pomegranates graced our fridge, table and kitchen a few times ever since but not with the ferocity with which they invaded us and ours that eventful year.
Thank you, pomegranate !