So I complete a month of being vegetarian…

Bring out the bugles, do some serious hand breaking applause, roll out the red carpet, call out the paparazzi. I am seriously, seriously chuffed. Make that I expect to be hounded by the news reporters thrusting mikes into my face, begging for soundbytes on how I managed the strength of will to stay clean for an entire month. And some days. I think I deserve a tiara and a cash prize. And my mug shot in the papers. On page one. Flyer. Yup, yup. And John Abraham shaking my hand on behalf of PETA.


Back to reality. I am missing animal. Let me not be a big fat liar and say it is a piece of cake and I dont even think about non vegetarian fare because I make such exciting and wonderful dishes with vegetarian stuff that I dont get a chance to miss the high brought on by animal protein. For one, I donot cook. I survive on the mercy of the cook. And this cook wields her magic best on animals. Vegetables are meant to be drowned in oil and then stirred on high flame until something black and burnt to carbon element reduction emerges. Which I stare at haplessly and then bin. And end up eating dal chawal and achar. Yup. And yellow dal at that. Did I ever mention I hate yellow dal. With a vengeance. I never in the lowest of my low moments imagined I would be reduced to eating yellow dal on a regular basis but given that the husband and the son share a sort of addiction to yellow dal, and the alpha males ruling the output of the kitchen, I am forced to comply in interests of the recession and not making one million items of food, which then serve to fatten the cook and the maid the next day. The cook who was a scrap of a thing you could blow away into the stratosphere with a gentle breath when she joined us, is today, within the year, a  strapping lady a mugger would think twice before accosting in a dark alley. I have to circumvent her when I enter the kitchen now to prevent any accidents. Given that I myself need circumnavigation if anyone is to pass me on a narrow path.

I posed in front of the husband, in his usual early morning grouch and demanded to know if I had lost any weight after I embarked on my vegetarian diet. The poor man saw the barely contained violence in my eyes, and hastily nodded yes, but declined to elaborate. Thats okay. He is a man of few words. And fewer nods. So I will take what I get, and feel even more chuffed.

And do I feel any difference within my self , having totally shifted said diet from one extreme to another? Not really. Not yet. I’m willing to see how long I last before I cave in and run shrieking, like a solitary confinement escapee, into the restaurants demanding every last leg of lamb they have. And butter chicken with naan. You know. I used to OD on that stuff. Maybe I can put that on my last wishes. Before I die, I’d like to eat one real meal with butter chicken and naan. Lots of it. With no one sniggering on the side about how much I manage to pack away and every bite showing through the folds on the waist.

Never mind. I’m off to nibble some carrots now. As the husband later told me, when I was calmer and fed, if vegetarianism could help you lose weight, explain the blue whale.

Any answers?


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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12 Responses to So I complete a month of being vegetarian…

  1. Aathira says:

    I for one have been on a vegetarian diet predominantly for the past year and no change in my weight has ever happened.

    On the contrary, I started cooking myself, with no cook cooked veggies drowned in oil, I feel lighter and things feel more edible. So I am planning to do my bit of veggies and then have a bit of animal in between maybe on some Sundays.


  2. D says:

    Been off non-vegetarian food for a week and I already feel healthy if not lighter!

    If you’re looking for great vegetarian grub, I think Italian is the way to go. Lasagne, pasta, even pizzas are super tasty and if you can skip the cheese, super healthy as well.


  3. Violet says:

    A brave effort indeed. It takes one to know one. I have been vegetarian only since last friday, “5th day today” due to Navratri you know, and have been dreaming of my coming Sunday meal for the last 4 days. Giving up non veg is real difficult, especially when you are at the mercy of them cooks. I believe it is good for us, all difficult and painful things are supposedly good for health, but I do not believe that it will help you shed weight. So, I would say stay this way if you want to, but not in some false hope. BTW, I have also given up nonveg quite a few times 🙂


  4. Gigi says:

    Instead of going cold turkey why don’t you do this in baby steps? Avoid meat for half the week, then work up to a week.
    I think its hard on your system 🙂


  5. chandni says:

    the horror! u better be eating and eating well when I visit 🙂


  6. M says:

    err…AFAIK, Blue whales aren’t vegetarians! They eat krill, right? (unless your definition of vegetarianism includes sea-food, which it does in some countries!)
    Elephants now….:-D

    M (refraining from any comments on the futile topic of food – sigh.)


  7. Roop Rai says:

    i just got me a food book on vegetarian recipes. it be rocking. didnt know u could do so much with VEGETABLES! :/


  8. Kiran Manral says:

    Aathira: Sounds sensible.

    D: I’m not cooking. I’ll eat what I get. Italian will keep for when I go restauranting.

    Violet: Have you got your menu planned out?

    gigi: Thats me. Nothing baby steps. I jump right in, head first into anything. Gave up alcohol like that too. One fine day decided to stop glugging the vodka and been two years since.

    Chandni: Oh I will load up on tasty ghaas phoos.

    M: *sigh* Yup elephants too. And some dinosaurs too. Okay.

    RoopRai: If the book is available in Bengali for my cook to read I want it.


  9. choxbox says:


    *says a hardcore veggie*


  10. Me says:

    Totally understand the craving animal stuff. I don’t think being vegetarian changes much weight wise, it all depends on how you cook meat and veggies. I hate yellow daal too. Blech!

    I envy you soooo much…you have a cook! Wowsie!


  11. Anamika says:

    Hey Kiran,

    I got this fwd in email and I thought about u 🙂

    If you read this without laughing out loud, there is something wrong with you. This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.

    Dear Diary,
    For my birthday this year, my daughter (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at thelocal health club for me.
    Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try.
    I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Belinda, who identified herself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.
    My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
    Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Belinda waiting for me.. She is something of a Greek goddess – with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!!
    Belinda gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which she conducted her aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!
    Belinda was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time she was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
    I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Belinda made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then she put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Belinda’s rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It’s a whole new life for me.
    The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot.
    Belinda was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. Her voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when she scolds, she gets this=2 0nasally whine that is VERY annoying.
    My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Belinda put me on the stair monster. Why the heck would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Belinda told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. She said some other crap too.
    Belinda was waiting for me with her vampire-like teeth exposed as her thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half an hour late – it took me that long to tie my shoes. Belinda took me to work out with dumbbells. When she was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. She sent another skinny witch to find me. Then, as punishment, she put me on the rowing machine — which I sank.
    I hate that witch Belinda more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little cheerleader. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat her with it.
    Belinda wanted me to work on my triceps. I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the stupid barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.
    The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
    Belinda left a message on my answering machine in her grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing her voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.
    I’m having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my daughter (the little brat) will choose a gift for me that is fun — like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

    Send this to a friend who needs to laugh. We all need a good laugh.


  12. manpreet says:

    Been off the meat for about 2 years now. Absolutely no budging of weight. Only the animals are happier seeing me around, given that I wont consume them at the slightest provocation.
    Have fun !!!!
    You are not fat anyway.


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