Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Do the thing that you are most passionate about right at the start of the day - is my motto. For me, ‘almost’ every morning starts with a visit to a place which thrills me, ‘entertains’ me and also gets me into a physically refreshing mode in return for the 60 to 75 minutes that I spend there. People call it ‘gym’, but I prefer to mention it as a sports arena where many ‘gymmies’ like me who come and test their strength. The only ‘sports arena’ of sorts where one can find different exercises happening at every single moment. It is one of those places where one feels energetic and motivated merely by watching other people exercise. I have been a party to view several of these ‘sport freaks’ in various ‘sports arenas’ in Pune as well as in Mumbai. Every day, I am keen to observe the gestures displayed by almost all. My mind runs in many possible ways to try and observe these exercise seekers. I unknowingly review the ‘exercise patterns’ of all the enthusiasts around me trying to understand the underlying layer of their personalities in the way they display their exercising traits.

Every one of them wants a ‘fit’ body with each one having a distinctive association with an ideal body. Many times, a focused exerciser talks about the bodies of their idols. Or else on the other hand, many come with a frame of mind of imitating the stars of body building. Be it a Salman Khan, Hritik Roshan, Arnold or more, people want muscles just like them.

Most of the talks doing the rounds on the sports arena are the newest chick on the block or in the gym. These I call are ‘serious exercisers – of the eye’, perhaps!!!. They are always on the lookout for the ‘eye soothing views’ all around in the gym, thus caring for a ‘fit-eye’.

One sect of people is the ‘great starters and immediate end ones’ – one can see a sparkling zeal in their eyes when they come in to have a round of the gym and watch other’s exercise. They might eagerly register to start off their mission to achieve a ‘Salman’ body. They buy new clothes and shoes especially for the exercise displaying their enthusiasm. They are the ones, who are not aware of the real pain that goes into making a great body. They start gyming in their new attire and the first few days goes in doing all possible exercises as told by the instructor. As a universal fact, every machine when started after a long time will take some time to take off the initial ‘rust’. Similar is the case with body, when suddenly subjected to weights and lifts, it will resist by making it rigid when given rest. These enthusiast’s do these exercises and their muscles pain so badly that they cannot move a single inch. Their hands, shoulders get temporarily locked, thus failing to ‘comeback’ to the ‘sporting arena’ again. Thus ending their ‘dream’ of being a Salman. The dreams of the ‘Salman’ like body fades off within no time and thus remain a dream.

Another group of people are what I call as the ‘fashion displayers’. They are the ones who think that going to the gym is like a fashion trend they can boast on. One can make out their ‘showy’ attitude the moment they enter the fitness centre. They carry with themselves fashionable accessories like bags, shoes, clothes, water bottles and napkins. They will come to the gym, take time to comfortably place all their ‘baggage’ and then spend time just chit chatting. I wonder, what is the use of those water bottles and napkins that they carry. Neither do they exercise as much that they will need water nor does the napkin is in use. They are usually show-offers who come to such circuits to socialize and have a ‘party’ at the start of the day. Most of them just spend time over the phone in the gym. I distinctly remember a 'telephonic gym fanatic' who used to come to the gym talking over the phone, do all the exercises while on the phone( which is hardly possible) and leave the gym talking over the same damn phone. The instructor and me used to wonder, whether he did workout, or he 'worked-out' of the gym.

Another collection of identical characters are the ones who can be called as the ‘criers- or the ultra semi- focused’ category. These creatures will come to the gym on time. They wont miss it any single day, do very mediocre workouts, have a healthy socialization pattern in the gym and carry modest accessories with them. These tend to forget that exercising also mean that one has to follow a diet plan. After their 'miniscule strenuous exercise regime' they are so hungry that they have to eat a nice heavy breakfast that too with all the calorie building elements.

‘Sleepy’ types are the best of the lot. They come to the fitness centre as if someone has pushed them hard on their bumps to get in there. They have such a drowsy look on their faces that it is very difficult to judge whether they are in dreams exercising themselves or they are exercising in dreams. A long stare on such people’s faces would immediately tempt you to join in their dreams. These faction of the exercise seekers are a forced entry into the arena and with no zeal to perform, make their presence felt on the attendance register just for the sake of it. I remember having an instructor who used to have these sleep attacks every morning in the gym. I used to find it extremely funny when he used to sleep while giving instructions. I wonder how these ‘sleepy motivators’ will stimulate their students when they themselves are moti-vated enough.

The ensemble of the gym instructors too form an interesting case of personality traits to watch out for, for the way they direct their students to realize their dreams of a fit body. May of the gym instructors I have seen have been so fit, that I wonder they themselves need some exercising to teach other’s. They come with such a ordinary body type that merely by the glance one can make out that more than the students, it is them that need good exercise routine to follow.

With a vast variety of ‘body-builders’ that I came across, I always tried to identify and relate some personality traits displayed by them and try to find out the link with the exercise pattern and the way they exercise. This gives me immense insight into the many shades of the human persona. The mere fact that the way a person exercises can give you an inkling of the way he/she is, is interesting enough. Thus I always aspire to start my day along with these shades of exercises lovers which I call ‘gym-micks’.

Monday, October 12, 2009


‘All Indians are my brothers and sisters’ is the first line of our country’s pledge. This is what we are taught when we are in school, during our growing up years. We are taught to be compassionate towards each other, towards the other person and the importance of values of being a ‘good human being’.How much of this pledge holds true, especially in today’s scenario?

With the publicity stunts of the politicians to tear apart us Indians, do we really feel ‘compatible’ with each other? Is a Marathi manus as attuned to someone from UP,Bihar? The notions of regional differences are getting imbibed in us knowingly, unknowingly by the constant exposure of various mediums.

Every state is shouting their identity in various forms, thus boasting of their uniqueness. This marginal difference of regional attitudes is evident in the less sensible portions of society where people fight with each other based on the groundless clause of regionalism.

A person coming from a particular state or an area doesn’t make him an outsider in his own motherland. The whole issue contradicts the notion of democracy that certain Indians can’t roam around freely or live freely in other states.

What is disheartening to know is that such cases happen in metropolitan cities of the country, where people throng for opportunities. They are thrashed right at the point of access and exit like the railway stations, thus carrying inhumane views of the particular state. Their ‘sense of arrivals’ and ‘sense of departures’ carry ugly mental pictures of the unreal state they previously aspired for.

I realized the attitude of these regional differences penetrating in our minds when I along with my friends from different states of the country jokingly said that hey don’t say anything about Marathi manus or else you would be beaten up. Though there was a humorous connotation to the issue, what made me apprehend was the differentiation that is being inculcated in our minds. Of course, the media has a major hand in imbibing ‘these values’ in us.

Differences of regionalism are evident in people’s mind and always poke their nose out time and again when such issues arise.What is heartening to realize is the fact that now people are taking an issue of a much deeper impact in a much ‘light’ hearted manner. If taken as a serious note by all, shall lead us to dire consequences.

Arey who Bihari, Up wala bhaiyya, Marathi manus, sardar, madras etc are being taken lightly by the people. Instead of calling each other by the state names or creating anyone’s identity from the place he/she comes from, we need to keep an eye on the type of character he or she represents, more than anything else. Then we can say truly that our pledge holds true meaning.