This new year, cuddled up comfortably inside my razai, binging on Haldiram’s New Year Celebration Pack of an assortment of sweets, I sat, watching on television the highlights of 2008. According to the channel, one of the biggest and life-changing stories of ’08 had been Kareena Kapoor’s weight. Now I had seen pictures of her often, but on this particular day, when I saw her lithe size-zero flash on the screen, for some reason I was hit hard. Such was the impact of this imagery that had I not been as fond of good food, I would have dropped, in true Bollywood shocking-news-revelation style, my pack of Haldiram’s goodies.
There are times in our lives when we truly mean to be a better person, meaning every single word of our resolve in all earnest. New Year Day is one such time. An engineer by qualification, I used to think that size- zero is a paradox, an oxymoron. That had also been my excuse all these months for not wanting to be one and for even mocking at it. But on this day, the New Year Day, the one day that you dare to be honest about all that you’ve done and not done in the bygone year, I asked myself the obvious question that I had been eschewing for a long time now:
“Theoretically assuming that a size-zero is physically possible, if I calibrate the measuring tape with Kareena as size-zero and Rani Mukherjee (and not Adnan Sami of yester years, for one must be ambitious) as size-ten, where will I ‘figure’??”
The answer was written in bold all across the Haldiram’s Pack, “Drop it! And hit the gym!”
Deciding upon a New Year resolution in itself is a gladdening activity. You haven’t even begun following it but you feel much better already! So smiling ear to ear, the very next day, I enrolled for a gym membership, greeting everyone with the air of “having arrived”.
It took me exactly fifteen minutes to realize that imagining a Mayukhini jogging full steam on a treadmill is very different from a Mayukhini actually jogging even partial throttle on one. Beyond the first ten minutes, even the peppiest of Enrique Iglesias numbers blaring at the highest of decibels cannot salvage your plummeting morale.
It is in such dire times that you call for divine help, needing something, anything to keep you going. I was reminded of one of those self-help stories where God shows a man after he is dead something like a Performance Evaluation Report in the form of footprints on sand. There are four footprints all his life, two his and two God’s following his. Then in troubled times there are only two footprints and according to God , He was carrying him in His arms all those times. I could not but wistfully conjure up images of God jogging on the treadmill, carrying me in His arms.
But they say that necessity is the mother of all inventions and so, gradually, not only did I learn the tricks of the trade but also discovered some handy ideas to keep you going while you work out.
Because I have already exhausted the word limit beyond which any post becomes scary, I have elaborated on these ingenious ideas in a sequel to this - The Beginner's Survival Guide To The Gym-Assault (Part 2). Check it out!