As a kid, I couldn’t wait to turn into an adult (and if my parents are to be believed, this is yet to happen) I imagined adulthood to be one constant party, where I could stay up all night, getting wasted on Pepsi, and if anyone tried to stop me, I’d blow them to bits with a wrist-mounted laser cannon (What? I’m sure Apple is already working on these)
However, the future has turned out to be slightly different. For example, nobody told me that I’d have to become a drug dealer just to be able to afford petrol, or that 20 years on, L K Advani would still be in love with the idea of rath yatras (It’s probably a nostalgia thing, given that he was around when the wheel was invented)
But most importantly, nobody warned me about the fact that once you hit adulthood, the world around you begins to resemble a waiting room in a giant hospital, with invalids of all kinds going about their lives with all the vigour and vitality of a post-lunch Goan shopkeeper.
Seriously, so many people I know – and these are 20-somethings I’m talking about – are suffering from a wide variety of lifestyle-related health issues, ranging from chronic backaches, bronchitis and insomnia, to more serious mental conditions, such as the desire to actually watch Bodyguard.
On the plus side, we’re all in this together, as revealed most recently by the ‘Mission: Fitter Mumbai’ campaign, being run by The Hindustan Times, a newspaper that believes in constantly rewarding its humour columnists with hefty pay hikes *hint hint* So let’s take a look at some of the findings of this campaign:
Of all the people surveyed, 88% felt that the city did not have sufficient playgrounds, open spaces and amenities for staying fit. The other 12% lived in New Bombay.
Also, about 65% of professionals felt that the Mumbai lifestyle wasn’t conducive to fitness. Well, duh. That’s like saying the Vatican isn’t conducive to abortions. A typical day in Mumbai involves braving a swarm of armpits in train compartments that even the Gestapo would’ve considered inhumane, with the rest of your time spent at a job that you hate from the bottom of your cholestrol-laden heart, but you dare not quit, because you need to pay the rent for an apartment the size of a Delhiite’s handbag.
I’m very much a part of the Urban Dead as well. At any given point, my backpack contains painkillers, antacids and if I’m in the mood for a wild party night, a bottle of cough syrup as well. I’m sure my immune system was made in China by 9-year-olds who could probably take me in a fight.
Furthermore, as a writer, my job allows me to explore various seating positions until I find one that’s really comfortable, only to be told that it is harmful and in the long run, is the equivalent of having Sunny Deol dance on your back. Since when did sitting become so complicated? I used to be able to do it just fine at an age when I thought mud was delicious, but now apparently I need a medical degree just so I don’t end up accidentally paralysing myself while sneezing (Pro Tip: Whatever you do, never ever look up your symptoms on Wikipedia. You could have a fracture, and it would, through a maze of links, tell you that your symptoms correspond with AIDS. I’ve had AIDS about seventeen times now.)
I’d love to go on, about colds, coughs and the occasional bastketball-sized tumour one develops after five minutes in Marol traffic. But honestly, that bottle of Benadryl isn’t going to down itself.
(Note: This is my HT column dated 18th Sep, 2011)