Shalini, finally, decided to lose weight. She could not take any more of the bullying. She had been having a tough time with friends and family. They are not happy with her eating habits or her lazy attitude. She wanted to begin the change by jogging.

Equipped with her music player, headphones, and a bottle of water, she set out to do some jogging early in the morning at five.

She was surprised to see so many people sweating out there so early in the morning. She knew most of them as it was a small town.

Radhika remarked, “Hey. It’s great to see you on the jogging track. Looks like you are all motivated to make amends. Good luck to you.”

After saying this, Radhika did not wait for Shalini to respond to her. She kept jogging. Shalini wondered if this is a part of the jogging etiquette.

Within a short span of time, Shalini started feeling tired and hungry. She recollected the reasons that prompted her to consider the ideas of jogging and dieting.

Prakash, her boyfriend, never commented on her weight gain earlier. However, in the past few weeks, he had been asking her to consider something to lose her eight. Finally, she recollected how rude he had been to her yesterday.

Prakash said, “It’s high time you do something about your weight. I’m tired of telling you to deal with it. You never listen to anything I said. If you do not think about it, we might have to take some decisions in the near future.”

She was shocked to hear such words from Prakash. While jogging, she kept on thinking about her relationship with Prakash.

Things were fine until a few weeks ago. Earlier, he used to praise her for everything. Though she gained a few pounds in the last few years, she never looked awkward or unhealthy. She thought she did not completely fit into the category of fat people. She never worried about her weight as much as her mother did.

In the past weeks, she realized the fact that there has been a change in Prakash’s attitude towards their relationship. He had been coming late to their dinners. He has been ignoring her calls. All this started after he joined a new company. For a moment, she wondered if he was smitten by someone at his new working place.

Earlier, he used to plan about their marriage after six months and always talk about their future together. Of late, however, he has been too disinterested to talk about it. Shalini thought about the changes. With regards to her weight, she understood that there has been no significant change in the past few weeks for someone to get suddenly disinterested. There is something more to this, she thought.

Shalini tried to discuss this with her mother. She expected her mother to understand her situation and help her out. Instead, her mother said, “You always find problems with other people. Why don’t you look at yourselves? You have gained so much weight. And, you expect people to be nice to you despite your weight and snobbish attitude. I wonder if he will remain to be your boy friend if you continue to gain weight at this rate. It is not just about your weight. It is about your life style and your eating habits. You never listen. You need more discipline in life. I’m so worried about your future.”

Initially, Shalini could not relate to her mother’s words. Then, she thought about her situation and compared it with every other person she has known. She realized that her situation is definitely on the brighter side of things. She earned better than her cousins and doing pretty well when compared to her peers. She has been extremely successful in career. Though she did not have too many friends, she had few friends who create a very strong support system for her.

After contemplating on all these things, she thought that losing weight is not the solution for the problem in her relationship with Prakash. This is because her weight is not the problem with their relationship, she realized.

Finally, she thought she should take some action. She went home after looking at the sunrise and coming up with an idea that would really test Prakash and his love for her.

She called up Prakash and said, “Hey, I went to jogging this morning. Thanks for forcing me to think about jogging. It was such a wonderful experience. I had loads and loads of fun while jogging.”

Prakash did not understand the fun aspect of it all. He said, ” I’m glad you listened to it. But, how did you have fun? I thought you would have been cursing me the whole time you were jogging.”

Shalini said, “I met this guy from my college, Hemant. You must talk to him. He is so much fun. He can make you laugh like anything. I laughed so much this morning. I did not feel tired, at all, thanks to his jokes.”

The second day, she did not go out for jogging. But, she called up Prakash and told him that she went for jogging and she had good time with Hemant. She talked more about Hemant then the previous day.

Within a few days, as Shalini expected, Prakash started showing signs of jealousy.

Finally, she was ready for the masterstroke.

After about one week, she told Prakash, “Hey. I will not go for jogging from tomorrow. Hemant told me that I look beautiful the way I am. He really explained me about our fascination towards an ideal shape. He explained how this attraction is all fake and we need to remain true to ourselves. I never knew he had a spiritual side to him. We are meeting today evening for dinner. So, sorry, I cannot come with you to the movie.”

Prakash was furious and he blurted out, “What is happening here? Are you dating him? You are not breaking up with me. Are you?”

Shalini answered, “Why do you think of it like that? Hemant is just a friend. It is just a casual dinner we have planned. And, why would I break up with you? I have no problems with you. It was you who had problems me with me since the past few weeks. But, if it really comes to rethink our relationship, I might consider Hemant because he likes me the way I am and does not expect me to change. You were like this until a few weeks ago. But, things suddenly changed and you now want me to change.”

Prakash was dumbfounded. He was terribly upset and he disconnected the call with Shalini.

She did not like his reaction. She felt very angry on him. Prakash tried calling her after a few hours. She did not take his calls that whole. She completely avoided his calls for almost two weeks. He sent many apologetic messages for disconnecting the calls and treating her like that. She did not respond to any of them.

Prakash could not bear her silence any more. After waiting for two weeks, he decided to go to her house.

When Prakash went to meet her at her house, Shalini was getting ready to go somewhere.

Prakash said, “I’m so sorry. Please don’t ignore my calls. Please talk to me. I’m missing you badly. You cannot do this to me.”

Shalini replied, “If you came here to tell me this, please leave already. I think you have been taking me for granted. I’m tired of everything. Please go. I have to go out. I have a nice party this evening. Hemant got the tickets for that fantastic party. Of late, you have been feeling embarrassed to take me to parties with you.”

Prakash felt very humiliated and angry at the same time. He thought it would be better for him to leave that place. Then, he thought that he would lose her forever if he left in a rage of anger.

Prakash said, “I’m sorry for everything. Please do not break up with me. I know I have neglected you a bit. I was smitten by Smitha at work for a while. May be, I have been rude to you because of that. But, I realized my mistake and wanted to be nice to you again. Please do not leave me. I want us to get back together. I want us to get married and live happily.”‘

Shalini was shocked to hear him speak his heart out. She was glad he opened up about his infatuation. She said, “I’m glad you finally got the guts to speak the truth. But, I’m not sure if I can get together with you again. What if you get obsessed with some other girl in the future? You will ill-treat me again. I’m tired of all this.”

Prakash could not control his anger anymore. He said, “Look, who’s talking. You have been flirting and partying with Hemant. And, you tell me that I need to change.”

Shalini laughed and said, “I knew you would broach this topic. Just so you know, there is no Hemant in reality. I have been spending time with Radhika, my college friend, all these days. I brought up the topic of Hemant to get the truth from you. I don’t like the fact that you do not trust me. Thanks for everything. Now, if you leave, I have to go to a party.”

It took four more weeks for Prakash to apologize completely to Shalini. However, she was not ready to discuss the topic of marriage with him after all this.