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The Revenge of The Bulk! February 5, 2006

Posted by espritnoir in Creative Writing, Humour.
5 comments

As I pushed away the empty plate that carried the greasy remains of what used to be ghost dum biryani, I let out a sigh of sheer contentment. If Heaven was a food item, an excellent biryani with succulent morsels of mutton would probably be it. And as I lingered on at the table, wondering whether I could prolong my lunch hour by just another 20 minutes to indulge in something sweet, the regular maitre’ de seemed to read my mind and came up to me and suggested “The chef highly recommends the sweet dish today – hot gulab jamuns with a side order of vanilla ice cream, Sir. Nobody quite makes them like the chef, Sir.” And, as I loosened the belt on my trousers by one notch, I knew I was going to be late to work by more than just 20 minutes. Aaah, Heaven, sinful Heaven.

2 servings of gulab jamuns, (nobody could have had just 2 jamuns, they just melted in your mouth. In fact, the first bite that I took, I actually thought I had bit into just the syrup, until I could feel the taste of the jamun trickling down the back of my throat. Amazing!) and a couple of notches later, I started walking back to the car in deep content. The rest of the Friday looked too tempting to spend behind a desk, so I called in and told them I was going home, as I was feeling slightly out of breath and felt an attack of asthma coming though. I was due a lot of leave anyway, and had been stressed out working almost 16 hours a day for the past 3 weeks for a major event for one of our key accounts, so it wasn’t too much of a moral dilemma to lie. And come to think of it, I did realize that I was feeling slightly out breath, and was feeling slightly giddy. Must be all that rich food over the last few weeks. Business lunches, social dinners and with my taste for the good life, second servings of everything was a must. But I wasn’t worried too much. I had always been fat, since I was a kid, so my body was used to this. My heart just pumped faster than most guys my age, so it knew exactly what was expected of it. But, that out of breath thing had been bothering me a bit for a while now. Come to think of it, my calves ached while walking too. Must remember to check it out with my doc. Mental note, call up doc. Hope he hasn’t shifted his office in the last 2 years. It was conveniently located near a small bistro types, which served the best Chicken A la Kiev in Bombay. Just right. Just one cut into the chicken breast, and the melted butter just oozed out and mingled with the mashed potatoes and steamed veggies, with an aroma that seemed to fill the room up. Bliss. And I put my thumb and index fingers together and raised my hand to my lips, to make the universal sign of the kiss, the way the Italians do it.

And that’s when I noticed it for the first time. Strange, I thought, I never knew my hands were so large. Funny how you don’t realize these things earlier. I mean, they seemed slightly bigger than usual. Maybe its just my imagination. Anyway, I had reached my car, and I did the beepbeep thing that let the car know that I wanted to get in, and opened the door of the Ikon. I liked this car a lot, Comfortable and fast. But I was thinking of upgrading it to a bigger car. Lately it felt slightly cramped. I patted my belly and hind parts, and smiled to myself. I’m not all that bad, I mean, I wasn’t a Sumo wrestler. Well, not yet, anyway.

Hmmm…funny, had somebody fiddled around with the seat position in the car? I couldn’t seem to squeeze into the space behind the steering wheel. Nobody could have messes around though. I had just unlocked the car myself, and nothing seemed to be missing. Nobody around, the car park seemed empty. I slipped out off my jacket, got down on one knee and tried to push the seat back to the farthest it would go to, but it was strange. It wouldn’t go any further. Now I was irritated. You just cant grow that fatter, just by having one lunch. And I had driven that car myself in the morning. And was it just my imagination again or were my hands even larger than before? God, even the trousers seemed to be a lot tighter around my waist now. I tried to loosen up the belt further by a notch, but as my now definitely huge fingers fumbled with the belt, I was struck with the awful truth that there were no more notches to go. Damn, what’s happening today. Why is everything going wrong?

And then it happened, just like in the funny scary movies. I felt a sudden heaving feeling in my waist, and my stomach just bloated up by a couple of inches. And then a button popped off my new shirt and flew off into the distance. In other circumstances, it would have been quite funny actually. But, this was crazy! I MEAN BUTTONS DON’T JUST POP OFF AND FLY ACROSS THE STREET!!! Then another, and the top one threatened menacingly to do the same.

WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME!??!

Jacket in hand, I tried walking away from the car. I couldn’t get in it anyway. Not the way I was looking by now. Bloated fingers, a waist that probably measured halfway around the Equator, shirt partly open, trousers threatening to rip at the seams. By now, a cold sweat was running down my brow, and I had broken in to a run. Well, it was more of a fast waddle really. The way I had once seen a penguin do, in a funny video clip I had sent across to friends over email. But that was hilarious, this was plain FREAKY! I just couldn’t be seen like this. I had to find a place to hide. WHERE???

As I came out of the underground parking lot, I saw a coffee shop around the corner. I remembered the numerous days I had spent there nursing a coffee and chocolate doughnuts. DOUGHNUTS! ARE YOU CRAZY? I said to myself, HOW CAN YOU EVEN THINK OF DOUGHNUTS AT THIS TIME! I was doing the Buddy Love – Professor Klump transformation (you remember the scene, from The Nutty Professor, where his lips, hands and other body parts all start arbitrarily swelling up. The only difference was that I was already a Klump going for a new world record in the upsize Sumo wrestler category) and all I could think of was DOUGHNUTS!

Nobody in the coffee shop, and the bartender had his back turned to me, so I managed to slip in without causing any shocking reactions.

I could just picture the reports on the late evening news as they towed me away in a cage :

“The Missing Link found in Bombay City. NDTV reports.”

“KingKong masquerading as mild mannered event manager for past 10 years. Exclusive on Star News”

“Parents baffled. ‘He was found in the foothills of the Himalayas. We just adopted him’ sobs mother! Aaj Tak brings you the parents side of the story”

“Is it Elvis? Is it the Michelin Man?? No, it’s THE BULGING HULK! IT’S THE BULK!!!”

I waddled to the bathroom and barely squeezed in, and was relieved for a few moments that I could fit in comfortably. But the way things were going, for how long? Later. First I needed to catch my breath. I wheezed in and out, trying to get some air into my lungs. Barely. Something seemed to be in the way. Then I saw my reflection in the mirror, and realized that my double chin had now given birth to a couple of more baby chins of their own. No wonder I couldn’t breathe. Must be all that layer of flab. I quickly undid the collar button of whatever was left of my shirt, and tried to take in as much of air as I could. Slightly better. But my waist was still troubling me. Maybe I needed to let them off too. God, I hope I can get out of here without having to break the walls down. In the few minutes that I was in the bathroom, the distance between the walls seemed to have shrunk. But that doesn’t happen, and NEITHER DOES THIS. People just don’t BLOAT UP!!!

And just as I thought I was going to be stuck here for good, something started happening. I began breathing slightly better. The walls started going further away. Was I…? Could it be possible…? Yes, I was returning to my normal size. GOD, IN HEAVEN, I WAS BECOMING HUMAN AGAIN!!!

Around ten minutes later, I was back to my usual size. I still had slightly bloated fingers though, but not too obvious. My shirt was a mess. My trousers luckily were slightly better off. I tidied myself up, and prayed that the jacket sufficiently hid the plight of my shirt. Almost 30 minutes after I had walked into the loo, I looked myself in the mirror. And after what seemed like ages, I saw a person I recognized. But just barely. For, the strange truth was still trapped inside me. I would never be the same again. Who knew what would release the creature that lay within. What would trigger off the transformation from me, as I saw myself right now, into the Human Bulk? Would this be my secret forever, would this be my curse? Was I a comic book character now? Would I get super powers too? Maybe they could make small action figurines of me, with those stylish capes. Hmmm, I wonder?

With these and a million other questions in mind, I made my way out into the world again. A few people had come in by now, and as I made my way out, I was sure that everybody was looking at me. They could see the Bulk, I was sure of it. But actually nobody bothered to look at me for too long. Not more than the usual stares that came naturally for somebody my size. With a sigh, I walked up to the bartender, who knew me well. “You okay, sir? I noticed the door was locked for a while.”

Feebly, I nodded to him I was okay. “Feeling slightly off. Nothing much. Give me black, to go.”

“Anything else, sir?”

“Throw in a couple of those chocolate doughnuts as well. Its been a rough day.” Well, it had, okay. And if you cant have comfort food in times of stress, when can you have it?

As I stepped out into the real world again, I was almost back to normal. I must have imagined it, that could be the only explanation. Christ, I was sure it was stress, nothing more. I laughed. The Bulk. What a secret identity to have, I thought, as I bit into the last of the chocolate crusted sugar. Hmmm. Tastes good.

And then, to my horror of horrors, the last button on my shirt popped off…

The Bulk is back!

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