Scared witless by dire warnings from medical friends about the horrifying ailments that will befall those who turn fifty, one decides to embark on a fitness drive.
Thus, clad with one ‘Reeback’ tracksuit from a roadside boutique (made as USA, assures the label), one pair of cloned Nikes, one Chinese iPod and hot walking tips from the Net, one sets off on a morning walk. In Puttenahalli.
The walker’s website advises ‘Start with a deep breath’. So, one goes ‘Aaaahh, Inhaaaale !’ Bad mistake. There’s an overflowing garbage bin at the corner. Gasp, choke, gag.
‘Avoid main roads’, the website further advises. That’s easy, no main roads here. In fact, no roads here at all. There’s a huge bottomless pit where 15th Cross used to be. This bottomless pit, the notice board says, is the JNURM Underpass – that should have come up in Feb 2009. So much for the IT City.
One trips and stumbles across the debris, and ducks into a side-lane. Another bad mistake. No tar on this road. The stones slice into desi Nikes. The feet howl in protest. One takes a detour into muddy 8th Cross. Soft mud may be dirty but it doesn’t chew up your soles.
Mud doesn’t chew up soles but the local canine brigade certainly does. For sheer raw excitement in the morning, there’s nothing like five growling feral dogs charging right at you.
One takes very quick detour into the next lane. Right. We start again.
Feel the air in your lungs, the website says. The air has a misty feel. Just like a dream sequence from Bollywood. Gasp, choke, wheeze. Dream sequence shattered. The mist turns out to be dust from a local maid’s vigorous broom.
Website walking tips be damned. One finally seeks refuge in the newly tarred main road. Nice smooth tar, no dogs, no vigorous brooms, no bins. One can put in some serious walking finally.
Impact of one round object on the cranium. “Ball please!”, yell ten future Sachins, in one collective scream, from the playground across the road. One doesn’t wish to ruin the future of Indian cricket. So one tosses ball. Which bounces back from the fence. Future of Indian cricket giggles loudly. With a mighty heave one clears the fence. And adds injury to insult as one’s ancient shoulder screams in protest.
Now it’s one lonely man against the Elements. Dusty lungs, torn feet, aching arm, but one walks on grimly.
“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” “Daari bidee Saar !”
Entire cardiac system skips one colossal beat. It’s the local milkman and his bovine employees. One doesn’t wish to incur the wrath of 300 crore devis and devtas that our scriptures say reside in those cows, so one makes a strategic retreat. The Gods have won.
One retires hurt to one’s pavilion, and one bows to the inevitable. One joins the local gym, for an astronomical fee. It’s expensive, it’s crowded with brash, pushy IT types, the music is loud enough waken the dead but it does have a couple of good treadmills – and it does have several nubile nymphets in clingy garments, merrily jiggling away with no concern for the laws of gravity or for an elderly bachelor’s pounding heart.
Finally, one can put in a brisk walk…and flirt a bit in the process. And maybe get oneself a nice young girlfriend. Thus filled with hope in one’s heart, one grins broadly at the nubile nymphet merrily jiggling on the next treadmill and says, “HI. Isn’t it a fine morning?”
And afore-mentioned nubile nymphet sniffs and says, “Hello, Uncle”.
Next morning – armed with one TV remote, one tunes into the aerobics show on ESPN , and firmly settles down into nearest couch.
Potatoes are good for the heart, say my medical friends.
Naturally, that includes couch potatoes.
Cheers … Srini.