The thing with humans (and M Karunanidhi) is that it is in our nature to covet the things we will never have; like an amazing performance by Katrina Kaif, or a clean Indian government, or Ferrari’s latest, the La Ferrari (Italian for “We’re really lazy with naming cars. It was either this or Rupesh”). Some of these goals are so unrealistic that eventually we give up on them. I may one day own a Ferrari, and some day with enough courage and physiotherapy, maybe Katrina Kaif will recover from the stroke that rendered her that expressionless, but we’ll never have a clean government. There is one other unattainable goal that I haven’t given up on though; six-pack abs and a great body.
A day at the gym: The writer learnt the hard way how actors get their sculpted abs. Pic for representation
(I’ll continue when you’re done laughing)
(Done? No? I don’t blame you. Breathe.)
(Okay now you’re just being rude.)
(I hate you)
(Seriously, stop. Think of something sad. Okay; your dog just died)
(What? NO NOT BECAUSE I ATE IT. You know what? Go to hell. And YOUR MOM’S a fat-ass.)
I began my quest for the pot of six-pack gold by looking for a gym to join. This was tougher than I thought it’d be because gyms aren’t what they used to be.
In fact, they’re not even gyms anymore. They’re ‘Fitness centres’, unless you’re willing to spend Rs 50,000, a kidney, and a child sacrifice (per month) more, in which case they’re ‘Body Sculpting Studios’, attended by actresses who look like they came there straight from a whole different kind of Body Sculpting Studio.
These Body Sculpting Studios offer different packages, like the ‘Standard Package’, which costs Rs 12, and involves dying in a pool of your own blood when a dumbbell falls on your head as nobody pays attention to you because you’re the cheap bastard that took the Standard Package. And you have to die between 11 am and 6 pm, because before and after that, it’s the more expensive ‘peak hours’ which are only for people who took the ‘Deluxe Pro Weight-Loss Gold With Cheese’ package. Besides, you don’t want to work out with these people anyway, because they’re made entirely of muscle, protein shakes and Being Human t-shirts, and may accidentally bench-press you.
After I signed up at the gym 360 Degree Wellness Laboratory, I was first assessed by a dietician, who asked me to list my daily food intake on a piece of paper so she could prescribe me a healthy diet plan. When she was done crying, she informed me that TV was ‘not a food group’ (bloody quack), and that I had in fact died six weeks ago, and what I thought was my life was just the remnant of the sugar rush from the super-sized 4 litre cola that had killed me.
I was then sent out to the workout floor, where more surprises awaited me. Gone are the days of dumbbells and barbells. Gyms Holistic Physiological Workshops are now full of machines with names like The Arc Trainer, which is great for cardio, or the TRX, which was amazing in Jurassic Park.
To help me with these machines, I was put under the care of a trainer, who asked me if I had ever gymmed before. It’s very important to answer these questions honestly, because it gives your trainer the opportunity to ignore your answer and put you through exercises that’d make Arnold Schwarzenegger cry. However, I’d highly recommend getting a trainer because they get you to exercise better with motivational banter like this;
Trainer: ONE! TWO! THREE!
Me: It hurts
Trainer: FOUR! FIVE! SIX!
Me: No wait, my nipples just flew off my chest from the strain and are now stuck to the ceiling.
Trainer: SEVEN! NIN… Wait, what’s after seven?
Me: enters cardiac arrest
Trainer: No seriously, what’s after seven? I quit school to join the MNS.
My gym Commando Training Institute experience peaked an hour later, when, dizzy from the pain and looking for a restroom to throw up in, I accidentally wandered into an aerobics class. I was the only man there, and I found myself doing steps that even the guy from Gangnam Style would be ashamed of. For half an hour, I did a series of high-energy steps that make Farah Khan’s IPL dance look like the Nutcracker. This went on until a particularly ferocious kick-step routine, during which the lady behind me gave me an actual Nutcracker, and I crawled out in defeat.
I have now decided that six-packs are overrated. The effort required to attain one would outstrip the actual joy of having one. I shall not prescribe to society’s ideas of the ideal body. I am my own person, and I am beautiful. Also, my Standard Package has expired, and I can’t really afford to renew it after I paid for my new TV.
Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi