Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Indians, it is said, are a deeply religious lot. For urban Indians, gymming is the new religion, and the daily yatra (travel) to the gym is the new pilgrimage.
Instead of trekking up mountains where the gods reside, we fervently toil on the treadmills. Koshto korley keshto meley (hard work will lead you to divinity). So, huff puff huff puff pant pant pant pant… (are the pants becoming looser?).
The strict tofu-and-lettuce diets follow the route of self-denial and the austerity of upavaas (fasting). Detox the body and purify the inner/leaner self. Overcome GLUTTONY, the deadliest sin…do NOT drool over the DEVIL’S DESSERTS (or Satan’s saturated fats). And, if we do (and I often do) get tempted, we can do our prayaschitra (redemption) by an extra hour of treadmill-ing.

We are the new CRUSADERS (AGAINST CALORIES), seeking the elusive HOLY GRAIL OF THE SIZE ZERO/SIX PACK. Ramakrishna said, jato math, tato path (there are as many paths to God as there are faiths). So, pilates, aerobics, kick-boxing, belly-dancing or the genuinely divine yoga, all roads will, hopefully, lead us to THE ONE goal – the body perfect.
In this gym-mandir (temple), we forget the macrocosm (kids, spouse, office, home, kitchen... the whole calorie-filled world) and focus on the micro – the biceps, the abs, the little finger on the right…with absolute concentration. The reward for THE DEVOUT is the feeling of SHEER VIRTUOUSNESS that a gym-session brings in us.
The Hare Rama Hare Krishna chant is replaced with Bollywood music (the new prayer on the pilgims’ lips, er...earphones) pulsating from the speakers, egging us on, creating a trance-like self-absorption that can almost transcend the finite (and fat-laden) boundaries of the self.
And as we shed our inhibitions and, hopefully, the kilos of fat, our inner, leaner selves merge into the divine…the demi-god figures of a Salman Khan or a Bipasha Basu (or a Posh Spice or Becks). As the body is liberated from the calorie-shackles, NIRVANA (divine bliss) is attained. HALLELUJAH! HARI OM!

CONFESSION BOOTH: This PILGRIM’S PROGRESS is very tedious and transgression-filled, her treadmill-CANTERBURY TALES is more of a sedate stroll, but she hopes that at the end of the road she’ll meet the GOD OF SMALL THINGS (Waistlines, specifically).

What's your gym-confession?


Paul Bernard said...

Another very enjoyable post. A woman of many talents, I could easily see you penning a newspaper column. Have you ever thought about it? I like a female columnist who can give a female perspective without alienating men. You certainly do that with your entertaining style.
Well, on your recommendation, I read My Last Duchess and loved it! I also read another great poem of his about a man who murders his lover.
Anyway, think Mr Browning helped inspire my daily tale, 'Moth', which was an attempt to write something a bit different.
Anyway, keep being inspirational Sucharita...

Mystic Margarita said...

I chanced upon your blog though Eve's Lungs. I must say your posts are entertaining slices of life that I can relate to. I'm from Calcutta myself - are you too?

thesparklingthoughts.... said...

Nice post.

SwAtI said...

Hi Sucharita!!

You write amazingly well..:) Its an absolute delight to go through your posts :)

I wish I was one of those figure obsessed females.. My confession is that m the careless sorts.. Thoroughly lazy!! I eat what I like..dun count the calories I consume..
And I so desperately wish I was one of those health freaks.. :(
It seems you are a health conscious person...

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks Paul, Swati, Margarita, for the compliments. Will try to live up to them. Anyway, all my flourishes are in my writing...the gym is just a new place I visited, much like a tourist.

Jaquanda Rae said...

I usually start exercising and yearn to see results and give up when I'm not satisfied after three weeks. Gyms out here (Jamaica) can sometimes be a place for flirting and initiating booty calls...I put up with it but sometimes it annoys me. These days I go walking in the morning.