There have been a few people, incidents and things that have been occupying my mental disk space.
Here are just three of them:
1. The old man at the gym: he looks like he has swallowed an intact 75 cm Swiss (gym) ball at last night’s dinner party, and comes to the gym every day. To workout, pound the treadmill, jump ropes, and pump steel, right?
Na. He comes in, sits on a stool, and wiggles his belly so, like a fish flutters when taken out of water. He also breathes visibly. Else people would have been calling out for the Coroner. At the peak of his exertions, he is seen stretching his arms, though not his legs (too far away, you see). So, why is this man, who obviously does not need a gym as much as his verandah at home, bothering me, you ask?
Fair enough. In the meanwhile, you will have noticed me close by straining every sinew, red in the face of a Valsalva maneuver, and gasping for breath before I suddenly, you notice, look like I am having a pulmonary embolism. What happened, you think in alarm? Hungry for oxygen in the air-conditioned environs of the gym, I inhale, only to be shocked out of my wits with the most overpowering stench noticed around a human being outside a hospital. Our old man, we finally conclude (based on significantly long trials), comes to the gym not to workout his skeletal muscles, but the smooth muscles of his intestines, passing gas as regularly as he breathes. I am sure his yoga must be encouraging him to do this. What do I do? I can’t tell him to change his diet, can I? And I can’t change my gym.
I am thinking of donning an oxygen mask attached to a cylinder (taken out on loan from my hospital) and working out near him, so he catches the message. A good idea?
2. Open and close case: I go with family to the wife’s boss’ house for a formally casual dinner invite. You know, the kind where you have to pretend to be relaxed while sweating in your underpants in discomfort? Effusive praise greets me for my public work (probably blogging more than surgery). As I sit down and the pleasantries start, I realise that, enamored of my trim fit jeans and a shirt that would do a 20 year old kid proud, I had failed to notice my open zip. I surveyed the room like Samajwadi Party’s Amar Singh would have for hidden cameras prior to unrolling the sacks of cash for bribe-worthy MPs. No one was looking. I quickly zipped up. As I looked up, I saw the hostess looking at me with interest. I smiled in supreme cool, as if these things are gifts that I bestow on those I visit.
Rather, I imagine, like a Shah Rukh Khan zipping up for a chewing gum ad (“keeps your mouth zipped, but no more!”)
My wife has not stopped mentioning this incident for some time now, for whatever reasons. I am disdainful: why should an open zip be an embarrassment? Look, analyse it: what is the big deal about it? Why should anyone feel shame, unless caught on national television with visible crotch? Even if that happened, you could just quit private life, and take to politics instead.
3. A plateau in the fat loss program that is the result of one hundred and eighty mangoes. Yes, ma’am, I have been having six a day for at least the last month. At a time when the divine Chausa is reigning at the store shelves, it is heartbreaking to tell oneself that “six mangoes makes for at least a thousand calories a day EXTRA, you moron!” Especially when one has been mournfully looking at the blue Lindor truffles (the rich dark chocolate made by Lindt) without touching them, rather like how one would look at one’s beloved behind prison bars. Look-look, but no touch, wokay?!
Pic source: from here.