I’m ashamed of myself. This is not because I watched the Nithyananda video, which I had to, for solid journalistic reasons of course. No, I’m ashamed because I just had three gulab jamuns. I’m supposed to be on a diet, so as of now, eating three gulab jamuns is criminal, kind of like drop-kicking a child (unless of course it’s that kid from Balika Vadhu.)
Yes, I know what you women are thinking: “Why does he need to diet? He looks great in the picture above. In fact, I want to do things to him that cannot be mentioned in a family newspaper.” Alas, the fine visage that accompanies this column is only the tip of the iceberg. Underneath that face, I *am* the iceberg. Darwin would be amazed at how I’ve managed to evolve into Free Willy, minus the stamina.
I blame my profession for this. Writers don’t really get much exercise, unless they write about the burqa and have to run for their lives. I mean the most physically demanding aspect of my job involves scratching (usually myself, unless someone else makes a very good offer.)
It’s not just writers – a huge percentage of young, urban professionals, as a result of being confined to their desks all day, are facing a multitude of problems, ranging from weight gain and chronic back pain, to more serious mental issues, such as the need to play Farmville.
Dieting aside, I also went ahead and hammered the metaphorical final nail into my happy spot. That’s right – I joined a gym, also known as ‘the place where you go to feel like a little girl as men twice your size benchpress weights the equivalent of a post-buffet Mayawati.’
Now don’t get me wrong. I quite like my new gym – the trainers are helpful, the music’s not bad and even the air-conditioning has its moments. But these little joys don’t count for much when I’m sweating it out, dark spots dancing in front of my eyes, as I wonder who I molested in my past life so as to deserve this ordeal.
And that’s just while filling out the application form.
(I must add that the management at most gyms is very optimistic, imagining that they can actually sell me the one year package, including ‘sauna’, which is just another way of saying ‘a local train compartment, except that everybody’s dressed in towels.’)
As a new member, I had to undergo a physical evaluation, a process wherein a trained professional measures your BMI, body fat percentage and endurance levels, all the while maintaining a solemn expression, when what he really wants to do is go all Navjot Singh Sidhu on your fat ass. (“Oye Guruuuu!!!! Your body fat percentage is more than my SSC score!”)
The actual workouts involve a machine called a cross-trainer, which is a certified weapon of ass destruction. It may well be my ultimate downfall. A cross trainer to me is what Waterloo was to Napolean, what Stalingrad was to Hitler, and what grammar is to Chetan Bhagat.
Of course, I needn’t kill myself in the gym. Instead, I could try the Kareena Kapoor method *coughbulimiacough*. It’s simple – I’d just need to make myself puke. It might help to watch that Nithyananda video again.
(Note: This was my HT column dated 7th March 2010.)