Canadian Experience– A New Diet


Canadian Experience

This is a quaint Catch 22 kind of thing you encounter when you immigrate to Canada. You want a job? Leave your resume at various stores and offices. You will be treated with courtesy. No one is going to laugh at you for entering the august portals of a big organization and asking for a job. Someone will smile and take your resume. The crunch comes where you are supposed to give your Canadian Experience.

‘Do you have any Canadian Experience?’

I smile, ‘I just landed here a week back.’

A reciprocal smile, ‘Ok no problem, get some Canadian Experience and then call us.’

This is sort of a ragging; an initiation to a new society. You are not going to get a soft job. Soon you will be painting lamp-posts, delivering newspapers, hanging mailers on door-knobs (remember only on door-knobs or you will be fired-correction I remember now only in mailboxes and not door knobs–I was fired.)  If you have a valid license and a car then you are a lucky one. You can deliver flowers, packets and even heavy movie reels to cinema halls as I did. Three months later you would have acquired a slight roll to your R’s and yes Canadian Experience. I delivered packets in a car all over the vast Greater Toronto Area. I tell you the front seat was loaded with Junk Food. Chips, doughnuts, cokes and cookies. I lost weight.

I got lost so much. I parked in odd places to look up maps. I had a tough time handling the walkie-talkie and the ‘ten-fours’ and ‘Roger’ that I forgot to eat. I lost ten pounds in three months. That’s how I know you can lose weight with junk food.

A Possible Diet?

How will I veer my massive Punjabi cruise ship around at the age of 62? A failed dieter nonpareil. A cookie freak. A pratha maniac. How will I ever manage to lose 10 Kg? A rum guzzler? Let me put it this way I consider food as my entertainment. I am not big on making new friends but new food? Give it to me Baby, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Perhaps I have acquired this distorted thinking over the years that food can heal everything. Bananas for potassium and a breakfast substitute if you can find six of them. Tea and coffee as human motor oil. No sugar please in my tea but I will take three of those crunchy biscuits. Twisted? Yep, you got it. You are getting the picture. On the one hand it is ‘Bhookhe bajan na hoye Gopala’(you cannot chant prayers on an empty stomach) and on the other it is ‘you are eating your way to a heart attack.’

Food is no more a joking matter. It costs money. Imagine the all sustaining samosa has gone from ten paisa to seven Rupees. Seven rupees is 700 paise. A seventy times jump in fifty years. A coke has gone from 25p to ten rupees. A forty times jump. Not only is the food not good for my well being, I can’t afford it too. If we had not stomachs we would have lived and died in the place we were born. No one would have seen these massive wanderings in the sky in silver tubes searching for that delicacy in Paris or Hawaii. No stomach, no desire for food, no need to hunt animals, no need to plant corn, no need to fight over land. Eve would not have eaten the apple and Cain and Able would have been great pals.