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.


  1. As usual you have managed to entertain! 🙂 About the zip, I think perhaps you are more embarrassed about it than you realise! So embarrassed in fact that unless you write about it, the feeling won’t go away!

  2. About the old man, how old will be old, Rambodoc 😉
    Your post is entertaining, as always.

  3. great post. :D.
    May be you should try the same tactics on the old guy as well.
    Make a note of his diet. 😀
    Open zip is still considered embarrassing, however low waist jeans is fashion.

  4. @ R-Doc: The farter, the zip, and the plateau! I know a few people who will exchange their lives in return for having worries like this. 🙂

    How about you leave a note on the bench where he sits saying “do not pollute with H2S” or “do not fart here”. He may be embarrassed into not coming in at all… (or he may come and fart with a vengeance, who knows…)

    I agree with you on the zip thing. Why should it be any different from buttons, eh, that many women routinely leave open? I would ask – why was the hostess looking at any guest’s crotch anyway? What does that make her?

    On the weight thing – sorry, my friend, le plateau is real. If you have been pumping iron, do you really expect your weight to go down?

    Anyway as they say – Schadenfreude ist die beste Freude, so on that note, I tut-tut away…

  5. Vivek Khadpekar


    What the old man at the gym may be doing is a stand-up variant (not as yet patented) 🙂 of the vAtAynanAsana or the pavanamuktAsana. Is he arthritic?

  6. Nita:
    I won’t even say you are right, so there! 🙂
    There is no fart like an old fart, they say, but who am I to quantify it?
    Thanks. Good idea.
    Weight training causes fat loss. Weight is only a vague parameter, as you know. But what particular thought about this did you want to convey? Cardio and calorie restriction?
    He sure looks it.

  7. R-Doc:

    Actually two thoughts.

    1. That despite caloric restriction, ceteris paribus, your weight will plateau, after which you will not see any weight loss.

    2. If you are pumping iron, you are disturbing that ‘ceteris paribus’ condition in 1., so even if you are losing weight, you are gaining some muscle which is denser. So shapelier you may get, lighter you will not 🙂

  8. corrigendum:

    even if you are losing FAT and hence some weight…

  9. The oldman at the gym – definitely bothersome. get him expelled on the grounds that he is a public nuisance or take your surgical mask to the gym to save yourself.

    #2 – Happens to the best among us as you have proof with the photo there. I mean he must have people to dress him and all that and yet!

    #3: I suggest that you buy a whole box of those lindor truffles and then start the weight loss program all over again after eating one or two. And ship the remaining ones to me. I have reached a point when a few more Kgs would hardly be noticeable.

  10. Your gym is not unique in having malodorous members.

    Your old fella may just not be agile enough to play the “fart as you walk” game that members of my stinky gym play.

    I swear that they find amusement in the public reaction to their pungent contrails.

  11. Vivek Khadpekar


    My apologies for a typo: it is “vAtAyanAsana” not “vAtAynanAsana”. The first “n” should not be there.

  12. Shefaly:
    I get you what you are saying. Which is why I never used weight loss as a parameter even in the post. I said ‘fat loss’.
    Welcome. 🙂
    For the nth time, I can’t understand!

  13. Vivek Khadpekar


    In ‘Yoga for (English-only) Dummies’ they have something that is called the “gas-relieving” position. There’s actually more than one such position. Not being a Yoga enthusiast, I don’t know exactly how many, but the two named in my comment I know by name, and I was guilty of a typo in one of those, for which I apologised and gave the correct version.

  14. @ R-Doc:

    Fat loss plateaus are probably a good thing, no? Within reason, of course.

    Beyond a point you will probably lose lean mass, then full-on ketosis. The side effect of the latter? You will smell like that old man, from the wrong side.. :-/

    @ Vivek:

    The aasanas you name both need a person to lie down. The man is doing them standing up, you think? Or is one of the brigade mentioned by Dr above (‘fart as you sit’ being his variant)?

  15. You can buy a room freshner and spray it around the “old” guy. Do it every 5 minutes and he won’t come from the next day. 🙂

  16. Vivek Khadpekar


    You appear not to have been very attentive to what you were reading [it’s OK; happens to all of us at one time or another :-)]. My first mail did say “…a stand-up variant (not as yet patented) 🙂 of…”.

  17. Shefaly:
    The way NOT to lose lean mass is very important. There are several techniques in training, including limiting time to less than 50 minutes, having whey protein after a workout, etc.
    Hmmn. Have to try this out, maybe. Thanks. 🙂

  18. Six mangoes a day! I am jealous 🙂 The calories ? Oh, you have the rest of the year to work them off – enjoy the mangoes for now 🙂

  19. On a tangent here: don’t you get weird looks at the hospital? And don’t your colleagues ask you about your zipper during rounds etc.?

    I love men leaving their zipper open. So, you can feel better now.

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