Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mass defect

I am not one to make excuses to skip my gymming. However, one does not want to go to the dietician after about a month of absence (I was travelling), and show a loss of two kilos. Dieticians are a rather fussy lot, and they take it as a personal insult if you turn up at their doorstep like the prodigal son, only a lot more leaner and - they always miss this part - meaner. Not if you've signed up for a weight gain programme. The last time this happened was over a weekend, when, after a week's hard work, eating four meals a day, drinking soy milk till it oozed out my ears, and lifting weights until I could no longer brush my teeth the next morning, I'd gained one whole kilo, and earned an appreciative nod from my d., only to find that lazing about, skipping meals, and eating popcorn at multiplexes over the weekend had lost me that kilo.

"What! You lost one kilo over a Saturday and Sunday?" Like I said, she was the easily excitable sort.

"Er... yes, strange, isn't it?"

"HOW?"

I sorely wanted explain to her a phenomenon called "mass defect" in atomic nuclei, wherein it is observed that a nucleus is found to weigh slightly less than the weight of the protons and neutrons it is composed of, the difference in mass being converted to binding energy, which keeps all those protons from exploding outwards and ricocheting off the walls of the dietician's room, but decided against it at the last moment. Something in her manner told me that she may not be appreciative of the subtle way I injected education into humour. So I did the next best thing - I shrugged, and resigned myself to the usual sermon.

So you can imagine my apprehension at going to the gym after one whole month of eating random stuff on the go, none of which was on the dietician's pet list of 'healthy' food, which was food that made you gag and want to roll up into a foetal position. I was absolutely not prepared to go and listen to "you have lost two kilos! How?" again.

So I decided upon a brilliant idea - I would eat well for a few weeks, and then go there with a smile on my face and a few extra bananas down the hatch. I re-examined the plan for flaws, found it foolproof, and launched myself into it.

Two weeks later, I was forced to go on a trek by deranged friends, and was subjected to a few embarrassing episodes:

Episode 1: Loveleen suddenly turned to me and asked, "How much do you weigh?".

Now, if you're a guy and you're underweight and in danger of being lighter than the petite girl who asked you this question, you would know how my insides squirmed.

If you're a girl, sorry - I'd have to start with an explanation about how the male ego is structured, and that, milady, is the subject of another post.

Episode 2: Anurag patted me on the back at the foot of the hill, while I was having my chai.

Now this was probably meant to be a gentle sort of gesture, how we guys tell other guys subtly, "buck up and finish that tea, the hill's not going to wait all day for us!", but the man measures about eight feet by three feet, has played football seriously, and I suspect has felled oxen with careless flicks of his wrist during his undergraduate days. Thus the seemingly gentle pat on the back rocked me about my foundations, spilled my tea, gave me a whiplash injury, sent my glasses flying, and so forth.

While I was wiping tea from my face, I heard Loveleen gently chiding Anurag, saying that he was a largish sort (this, I was acutely aware of), and that I was a thin sort (this, too, I was acutely aware of, but did not care to have it mentioned too often), and he should be more careful. All very well-intentioned, but if you're a guy, you would know that this is not the happiest of occasions, definitely not worthy of mention in your diary, except that guys don't maintain diaries, at least not us beer-drinking, mountain-climbing, bike-crashing, arm-wrestling types.

Anyways, this renewed my enthusiasm to get the most out of that weight-gain programme. So I decided that after a week in which I would regain the weight I lost at the trek, I would bite the bullet and step over to the gym, and show the dietician a thing or two.

Ten days later, Ballu walks up to me, picks up my wrist, and said, "Senti, you are really thin."

After I set him right about his manners and explained to him that picking up people's wrists, especially without prior permission, is not a very polite thing to do, I decided to wipe the smirk off his face the civilized way: I challenged him to an arm-wrestling match.

Now, I was sure that I would win, for two reasons:
(i) I had righteous anger working for me, and
(ii) I had watched that Stallone-starrer, Over the top, and he had not. This gave me the edge as far as technique was concerned.

I lost.

Tomorrow, I shall go to the gym, sneak a ten-pound plate out, and throw it at Ballu's grin. And step on the scales while I'm sneaking the plate out. That'll teach the dietician, too.

18 comments:

Swathi said...

one helluva hilarious post.
in this era where ppl r obsessed with losing weight, weight gain programme is interesting ..very interesting.

kakkar said...

Gym? Ha!

Anurag said...

Clarifications:

i) Those were bulls, not oxen.
ii) I didn't pat you on the back. I looked at you. You need to eat more.

Questions:
i) So how much do you weigh?
ii) Can I throw the 10 lb plate at Ballu's grin? There are no more bulls around to be felled.

Observation:
i) Arjun is a mad of few words and fewer posts.

M (tread softly upon) said...

First time here. Really liked ur post. Are u really thin and small or were you being funny?

RS said...

Funny! subtle yet strong humour :)

Senthil said...

Swathi: Thanks! :)
However, interesting would be the euphemism of the week... especially if you were in my floaters. :(

Kakkar: Ha to you with knobs on. I remember your gymming.

Anurag:
C -(i) Bulls? Er... my imagination often takes an aerial view, and I tend to miss out on such details.
(ii) Right-ho. More Soy milk...
Q -(i) Erm... fifty kilos, give or take a few.
(ii) You're welcome. Also first arm-wrestle his ego to pulp. :)

O - (i) Yesh... disturbing, working for him... ;)

m: Thanks :). As for the answer to that embarrassing question, please refer to Q-(i) above...sigh...

RS: Thanks, madame! :)

Shrutz said...

few=? =))
Okay, I am sorry!!!!

Brewtus said...

Loved the post! Funny!

shrik said...

The funniest line of all was Tomorrow, I shall go to the gym.

Rocky Geddam said...

Neat. Dig ur brand of humor.

Nice pictures on ur blog too, except that.. er.. i'll save my nitpicking for later :p

m. said...

lol...thanks! i was feeling rather grumpy until i read that - it made my day :D

AI said...

This post was hilarious!!!. but i shall not sympathize with a weight gainer. those people, in my book are called lucky. :P

Senthil said...

Shruti: Laugh, lady. My day will come.

Brewtus: Many tanks! So when are you writing the next chapter of your latest Sci-Fi?

Shrik: Easy for you to laugh. Think of the prevailing meteorological conditions. Gymming is the last thing on my mind right now.

Rocky: Thanks, man. And hey, I checked out your homepage - niiiice pics. And we have the same camera! So your critique will be of very good use. Lash away!

M: I endeavour to provide satisfaction. :)

Ashanka: Thank you, milady. However, you, being a lady, will not understand the importance of mass among men. I deserve sympathy, hot chocolate, protein shakes, etc.

Arvind said...

The whole world, i say, is against us lean guys. And leading the brigade is the bard when he made Julius Caesar say

"Let me have men about me that are fat;
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous."

I guess i have on a previous occassion said it but i shall say it again. You write well. :)

Pip Pip,
Arvind

Megha said...

Okay so this is an old post so you probably don't care, but that was positively laugh out loud funny and I had to tell you that. Well no, I didn't have to, but it just seemed like the right thing to say. Well, not really .. but .. oh whatever.

Fundoo stuff! :)

Senthil said...

Arvind: Wow! I have memorized those lines for use against friends and family. Thanks!

Megha: Happiness is a word of appreciation for an almost-dead post. You made my day! Thanksh, memshaab! :)

Anonymous said...

HILARIOUS,INDEED!!!!also read the "hold my bk while i go climb a mountain" write up..laughed my guts out,in a totally non ladylike way..snorting n sputtering...the person next to me moved away nervously probably thinking I was a lunatic or that I was having a hrt attack,both problematic scenarios for him...this is wat happens when people don't laugh often,they mistake absolute joy for a physical ailment!..anyway,loved ur stuff...will continue reading...

Hedonistic Hippy

Anonymous said...

HILARIOUS,INDEED!!!!also read the "hold my bk while i go climb a mountain" write up..laughed my guts out,in a totally non ladylike way..snorting n sputtering...the person next to me moved away nervously probably thinking I was a lunatic or that I was having a hrt attack,both problematic scenarios for him...this is wat happens when people don't laugh often,they mistake absolute joy for a physical ailment!..anyway,loved ur stuff...will continue reading...

Hedonistic Hippy