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?"
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.
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.