Sunday, October 21, 2007

Semolina and Less Besides

"Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake."

Author unknown

Unknown, or simply just not famous enough for people to bother remembering.

I have recently discovered a wondrous form of Indian breakfast and it goes by the name of upma, the etymology of which roughly translates to "salt-and-flour". The flour in consideration here is wheat rava, which is better known in geographical governances in which English is the prevailing and preferred means of conversation by a more melodious name; semolina. Semolina is the gritty, coarse particles of wheat left after the finer flour has been extracted. Because it is made from durum wheat and not the softer wheat that goes into bread, it is digested more slowly and has a low glycemic index, which is jolly good news for people wanting to go blitzkrieg on their weight and blood sugar (i.e. me).

Here's a picture of an upma from the eatery, Pangal - where I've been visiting every morning at 8.30 am for the past four days;

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I imagine that it comes in this shape because they are probably prepared in a big pot and and servings are made with an ice-cream scoop or spatula of some sort. Try to get to Pangal (or wherever you prefer to breakfast) as early as you can to get it hot and steaming. Since it's already prepared and sitting somewhere, you get it seconds right after you order. Fast food, indeed.

With a mindful economy of words, upma can be described simply as a savoury semolina pudding (and thus, almost dessert) and it can be easily compared to the Chinese dim sum dish, Lo Mai Gai (which contains glutinous rice filled with chicken, Chinese mushrooms, Chinese sausage and sometimes dried shrimp) - available in most, if not all, Chinese teahouses worldwide with usually minor variations in the recipe. Only, upma is less glutinous and is typically a vegan dish though Shaki said that it kicks ass with ikan bilis/anchovies.

Let's see how long it takes for me to tire of it. Oh, and if you don't already know, semolina is an anagram for "is no meal".


"Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us."

Peter De Vries, American editor and novelist

Now here's something startling (at least to me). I went back to Malaysia at the end of August weighing about 75 kilograms, and returned to Manipal 3 weeks ago at a whooping 82 kilograms of what that smart-ass Shaki referred to as "lemak berkrim".

Hold that number in your mind for a bit, okay?

On top of my previous resolution (made in last March) of not taking any elevators at all to any floor in any building, I've decided to up the ante by abstaining from riding an auto rickshaw to any place of any distance within a mile - nearly 2 kilometres - of my house (this includes turning down any offers of riding pillion on a motorcycle1). I have broken neither agendas of my regimental manifesto yet.

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An auto-rickshaw AKA fat-saver trike.

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The elevator to my lecture hall - Raj got stuck in it last block and those blokes were rescuing him.

Starting concurrently with my upma streak, I have devised a whole new diet and a buck-saver plan for myself. You can skip the details in the list and go straight to the summary in bold letters if you aren't much of a reader.
  • I started out having two upmas every morning in the first two days but I have since reduced it to just a single helping, usually with a glass of chai or coffee. It comes to about 13 rupees in total per meal (about one ringgit). It sure beat my old breakfast of oily counterfeit nasi lemak which costs 20 rupees per packet.
  • I have also cut out lunch entirely.
  • For dinner, I usually go to that roadside shop, Your Choice right outside of Acharya Compund. Their standard portion is enough-rice-to-feed-a-starving-African-village, two chicken dishes, a side of boiled cabbage and a teeny bowl of soup for 35 rupees (approximately 3 ringgits). I simply halved it - taking only half the amount of rice or less, with a single chicken dish at the price of 25 rupees.
  • About twice a week, I had a regular thin-crust Domino's pizza pie all to myself for supper (usually a couple of hours after dinner) with a 500 ml bottle of Coke. That's been totally scratched too - at more than 300 rupees every time I dial for pizza, I'm not sorry to see that go.
  • The rest of my spending cash goes into all manners of junk food - Lay's potato crisps, Senor Pepito's nacho chips, Cadbury chocolate bars, Minute Maid pulpy orange juice - which would typically cost me roughly 70 rupees a day (6 ringgit). I have decided to completely slice off that disgusting portion of my daily caloric gorge-fest out of my life.
  • On top of all that, I have also taken up brushing my teeth at lunch time and after dinner to discourage binging.
So in short, I'm starving myself. I'm eating less than a quarter of my previous daily calorie intake, and spending less than one-fifth of what I used to splurge on edibles. I feel hungry at all times of the day now but thankfully, I have valiantly remained immovable (metaphorically speaking) from my stance. Of course, all this isn't without torment inhumane masochism sufferance of the nine rings of Hell OMFG, I'M FUCKING DYING OF HUNGER HERE!!! hardship. Several times a night, I found myself walking halfway to the convenience store to buy snacks before I could stop and drag myself back to my room. Not to mention all those miss calls I made to Domino's. I bet those pizza boys must be real mystified by this mysterious hang-upper that rings them at 8 pm, 9 pm and 10 pm nightly.

I weighed myself today right before dinner and I am down to 73 kilograms. 9 kilograms in 3 weeks! I have even started using belts again! I think I'll go celebrate with a jumbo bag of chips and a can of Coke...

NO!... Must not... return... to the... dark... side...

I only need to cut another 0.3 point from my Body Mass Index to achieve normalcy. Soon, I can finally shake off the yoke of being labeled as overweight and enter the fraternity of normalcy, where I rightly belong, naturally. Back when I was in Lower Secondary, I was one of the skinniest boys in the school! Have I grown or what? Damn, as soon as I get my running shoes repaired and washed by next weekend, I'm starting my old jogging regime again.

Though admittedly it could be a little extreme, the documentary Super Size Me made some very, very loud points about gluttony and overeating. Suddenly, my excuse that I'm not overweight but simply undertall isn't good enough anymore.

I got scared out of my pants, literally.

P.S. Incidentally, Dumbledore - as I've rightly suspected all this time - is gay. Rowling said so herself. We'll see how many little boys now aspire to be homosexual when they grow up. The holier-than-thou parents who have sought to get the Harry Potter books banned from school library shelves are going to foam at the mouth. I'll bet two bucks that she out Dumby just to piss these anal maters and paters off. I'm waiting for the drama and LOLs to ensue.

P.P.S. A crow flew over my head cawing what sounded suspiciously like my surname over and over again. Think that might be something?

Bringing sexy back,
k0k s3n w4i

1 Also because I don't wanna die. There's this autopsy I watched where some Indian bloke bit the dust by simply slipping and falling off his bike - he hit nothing and nothing hit him. He just fell and got pawned by the asphalt.


InnShan said...

Yer, i gave you makan upma last time..u say it's weird. Haha..
Anyhow, u r heavy. Though u don't look fat..i guess..

bevE said...

.......... it just screams: anorexic. !

michelleg said...

i posted a comment but it didnt appear argh!!

im kinda anti-rice nowadays as well. LESS RICE!! but i still eat some. lolz..

gaL said...

u weigh 80++ kilos before? But why u look so thin in photos? *jeles
Do u work out?

but seriously, 9kilos in 3 weeks is a great achievement. HI5~ So who say indian food won't make u thinner huh? *winks

and i dun get it why guys love coke so much. explain!

mRAAR said...

sum peoplez.

such letarts!

Anonymous said...





You're my new thinspo.

Tze Hau said...

i m also on diet now,but not as extreme as u. SOLUTE!!!!
perhaps i should try yr method.

bevE said...

O_O too many ano's in the world..... *feels faint*


Michelle Chin said...

Who do you idolize? Keira Knightley? LOL! I love Keira Knightley. Haha.

Thin is the new in. =)

pinksterz said...

9 kgs in three weeks?! you can open a slimming center anyday! wahahaha. it will put marie france's off for sure.

me is on a diet as well. going back home to malaysia is a bad thing i am planning NOT to go back this year T_T

anyway, what is your height?

and the elevator thing:

i suddenly remembered joon keat's comment. LOL! raj's experience somehow makes me believe joon keat's story. xD

jayjayne said...

I'm horrible at keeping diets as I have a shameful and one-sided relationship with food. I love the things to bits, but they come back and bite me in the arse. Literally. I have a huge arse. Okok, J/k ;P Sorry, I just heard "Baby Got Back" and now it's stuck on repeat in my head. OH THE HORROR!

Yes, diets and me are a no-go zone.



k0k s3n w4i said...

I think that time you let me try mia is the one at the sweet bun place or Charaka. Shaki says the one at Pangal pawns all the others :)
There comes a time when "don't look fat" ain't good nuff no more.

If you're referring to anorexia nervosa, I DON'T have an unrealistic view of my body weight. I'm overweight (according to the BMI) and I'm dealing with it. So there =d

I always write my comments on the notepad in case they don't get thru. Blogger is sucky that way.
Eat semolina :D

Work out? I probably lead one of the most sedentary lifestyles compared to all the other guys in my college. Indian food is fattening actually... I just eat very little now.
I dunno about guys and Coke, but I'm not picky. Any carbonated beverage is okay with me.

@kit sze
Thinspo sounds suspiciously like a brand name for diet dog food.

@tze hau
It's drastic - and everyone knows it works... only, it's incredibly hard to stick to.

@michelle chin
As far as actresses are concerned, I'm a Scarlett Johansson, Dame Maggie Smith and Kate Hudson fan.
I'm for average! Thin is sin! xD

You can work out my height from the data I've revealed in this post :)
I'm sure you learnt the BMI formula in ur school too, right?
Anyway, before that Raj incident, I've already started not taking elevators. Joon Keat was just jerking you around :D

I love that song xD. Incredibly catchy. Some girls look awesome with huge arses - and no guys like skinny butts. So eat away! Fill 'er up.

bevE said...

i called myself fat so u cant really use it against me.