November 14, 2010

A Place to Be Naked

Before the Broca’s area of your brain makes you wander off to the land of i-can-streak-all-i-want…hold on I say!! I’m not talking about any place where you can actually get naked! But the funny thing is most of us have been to this place…this place to be naked is otherwise called as a Gymnasium! Ok so what’s the connection between getting naked and the bloody gym!? Well, if I were a Spartan (King Leonidas maybe?) in ancient Greece, I would be working out without a single shred of cloth to cover my body! To the Greeks, the gymnasium was a place where physical and intellectual education was imparted to the young athletes who competed in the nude. This practice was a tribute to their mighty gods and an appreciation of the male physique. Interesting isn’t it! 

Its a funny world!

Cutting to the present, so I joined a fancy gym located in one of the posh locales of namma Chennai, with the aspiration of gaining a physique which would at least be half as awesome as what Gerard Butler had in the jaw dropping movie, 300. This being my 3rd gym, I should say i was quite excited due to the fact that the gym is said to be one of the best in Chennai, with dedicated trainers, loads of fitness equipment, huge training floors and most importantly, a lot of eye candy for the visually starved ;) 

And so began, my 3rd attempt to sleep early, wake up early, hit the gym, go for work, spend time with friends, come back home, study and once again sleep early! To me this is a vicious cycle, screw up one, you screw them all! And on a fresh Monday morning, I entered the gym and informed the receptionist that today was my first day. The receptionist with her Colgate smile picked up the phone and called one of the trainers to assist me in the workout. The trainer, even though weary-eyed took me through the basics of the treadmill, the cross trainer, rowing etc.

Three weeks have passed by, and during one of the 20 minute treadmill thumping exercise, I observed. Now what is so new about that? We all observe our surroundings right? But the strange thing with me is, I like to see the way people carry themselves in a public place like the gymnasium. Like I said before we all have been to the gym at some point in our lives, and we can’t deny the fact that human beings are complex creatures! They come with different personalities, different attitudes and even in different shapes!!

However varied we might be, we do have some common patterns, we belong to a specific type and you, you who are reading this post know it as well. It is with this thought I made some very close observations. Observations of the place to be naked!

Say you are working out in the gym right now. Just pause the pumping music of your iPod, put down the barbells your holding and look around. What do you see? For the gym-hopper (like me) this would be a common but strange sight.

Turn your gaze to the cardio section; you would see a 40 year old uncle, bespectacled, balding and with a decent patch of hair around the head, dressed in a huge tee-shirt, with his chubby cheeks and copious stomach, struggling and sweating to keep pace with the speed of the treadmill, huffing and gasping for breath, with the dream that one day he can fit into his old 32 sized pants once again. Poor sod. Let him be.

Now look to the EFX cross trainer section; you would see a woman in her late fifties, with heavy duty make up, clad in a salwar, with gold bangles and necklace, slightly on the heavier side, lazily working out, watching the television. Now these women have never been to a gym in their lives before and hence the shyness to wear proper gym clothing! About the gold ornaments, I really don’t know!

Now comes the juicy part, err…I mean interesting part! Divert your attention to the corner of the gym; you would have definitely seen her! Yes, the bong bombshell, the bipasha look-alike, the one person who makes the rest of the men increase the speed on the treadmill and put on a few extra kilos on the bench press! She would most probably be dressed in a clinging outfit, straightened hair and with a seductive gait. Basically she is every man’s dream. God bless her because she makes it a worthwhile effort to visit the gym.

And there is always the trainer. Always. With his big hunky muscles and a flirtatious smile slapped across his face, short to medium haircut, he would always help the damsels in distress. The damsel in distress in this case is Ms.Bombshell. Both of them actually hit it off quite well. The workout sessions are a sight to watch… But alas! new bees like me are ignored, like as though we had joined the gym for free! And one other thing about trainers is their love to prescribe supplements to the men pumping iron. I’m sure many of you have been asked this question.

“Supplements saapdunga saar! Appo dhan pa udambu weight potu muscle laam valarum"

Well. That’s the trainer for you!!

The next person you will come across is the man-behind-the-butt! Yes, this is your typical pervert, always behind a woman’s behind, always looking for a chance to ogle and drool. This guy nicknamed The Ass Man does not come to the gym to workout. His objectives are clear and simple. Ass. Ass. And only Ass! As soon as he spots his prey, his eyes pop out, his heart rate quadruples, his mind starts thinking of a way to ogle but not get caught. This guy could be anybody. But most of the times, it’s either a man in his early twenties or a middle aged man. So all you women out there…beware!

Now just turn around and watch the weights section. Do you see that Arnold Schwarzenegger look alike? He is the beef cake of the gym, muscles so huge that even my thigh looks small compared it. Pumped with protein supplements he does not care about the people around him. As he adds 110 lbs on the bicep curl, the entire gym watches in awe as his biceps pop out, the nerves ready to burst, his eyes with fury, the sweat from his brows grazing the ground, and as the repetitions increase, one wonders if he is human at all! Unmatched and unrivalled, his body is every weightlifter’s dream.

And on the aerobics floor, it is possible to see a couple working out together. These two canaries are so into each other, that they are oblivious of their surroundings. All the guy cares about is the girl and all the girl cares about is the guy. The guy would be tall and lanky while the girl would be of medium stature, sweet looking with a pretty smile…Ok now leave those two lovebirds and move on.

These people are hard to miss. Trust me you have seen and been annoyed by them. They are the megaphones of the gym, the cellulite aunty in her late sixties, the skinny lady in her late forties and the uncles in his late fifties. They come fully dressed up in every brand present in the market, yapping away to glory about how they bought a new sari for Rs.20000 or some latest gossip about their relatives. With their loud guffaws and shrieks of laughter you just wish they would go away!

Well…I’ve sort of made you see the complexities and differences of the people around us. We can easily relate ourselves to one of the specimens mentioned above. That’s the beauty of it. But…there is always a big but (no pun intended) by the end of this long post, you must be wondering –

The writer of this post never mentioned anything about himself??

Well…me… I’m the skinny guy at some lone corner of the gym trying extremely hard, with all my effort to do some simple push ups! And where do I fit in here? I’m the observer, I just see what people do and rant about it to readers like you! That’s pretty much it :) and what am I going to do now? It’s back to the push ups for me!

1…groan…2….grunt...gnnnn... …3….arghh…4…until then! Cheerio!







Special Thanks to Sandhya Prabhat for agreeing to be the guest cartoonist for this post despite her busy schedule and also being able to deliver in such a short span of time. Many thanks to her for bringing alive what I had portrayed in my mind. That according to me is the characteristic of a true artist. Both of us hope that this post has been as much fun as it was, for her when she made the cartoon and for me when I wrote the post. Please do leave a comment below if you liked it!

About Sandhya-

Sandhya Prabhat is from Chennai, India. She is a freelance illustrator and animator, currently pursuing her final year MFA in Animation and Digital Arts in NYU Tisch Asia School of the Arts, Singapore. She has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Stella Maris College, Chennai. She also enjoys reading, writing and appreciates good vegetarian food. She is currently working on her thesis (animated) short film which will be completed in May 2011. 

No, she does not have a blog yet but hopes to have one soon. 




She can be reached at sandhya.22@gmail.com

34 comments:

Preethi said...

o god it was sooooo funny!!!! n the funniest part is its soooo true ....!!!!! i don know who i play in this court room drama here but ...... i sure play the eager reader awaiting the next post ..>!! sandya the cartoon is soooo ool n expresseions are soo realL!!! great job u guys ... jayanth u write reaaaallllllyyy very welll!!!!!!!!!!1

Jayanth said...

@Preethi - Thank u so much!! i'm so relieved now!!

Viji said...

I am SO GLAD that I am the first to like it and post a comment. Your improvement is quite obvious. :) I guess your flair in writing kicks off when you write about personal stuff.. Nice.. And great job sandhya, your cartoon is brilliant..

Well I am sorta a person who you missed out..
"A virgin" who finds it amusing that many of her friends have tried the gym regime and most of them have ended giving it up and she has a nice time joking about it forever as she has never stepped into one as of now :D..

All in all, a great post, fun to read and it's a great visualization of the kinds of people one is bound to meet in a gym.. :)

Hope you are one of those exceptions who have managed to keep up their gym regime

Keep writing from within..

Cheers!

Viji

Jayanth said...

@Viji - thanks a lot! a virgin huh? interesting! and i hope to be an exception :) tx again!

Anonymous said...

awesomely awesome stuff man . lol

one thing for me is . tell me also how to create a blog lol ;-P . im inspired by the way u sarcastically rape the gym gangs . :-P

Vishnu said...

Brilliant cartoon, nice read

poorvaja sundar said...

Hahaha Good one!I could totally relate to most of what you described!Really funny and nicely written!
I should say this is one of the most entertaining blogs Ive come across recently!

Jayanth said...

@anonymous - who are you!? and thanks a lot! and just go to blogger.com and you will have your blog ready in minutes! :) and thanks once again!

Jayanth said...

@Vishnu - thanks machi!

Jayanth said...

@Poorvaja - First of all hi! i don't think we have met before! and thanks a lot for the compliment! do watch this space for more!

Meghna said...

Ju, That was brilliant! It is exactly the sorta stories i wud bring back to tell my friends after an evening at the gym!
[I quit my gym cos my trainer was the ASS guy apart from being an ass himself!]
Good one :)
keep it coming!

shriram said...

thats one damn awesome cartoon!! and watte wow brilliant narration :-)

Meghna said...

Sandhya, I recognized your signature at the bottom of the picture before i scrolled down to see the credits! I've been a fan of yr artwork since school :) and this one is amazing, as usual!

Sandhya Prabhat said...

Hey!

Just saw this now. Great read, it's really funny!!! Wonderful descriptions, as I already told you :D Excited to see this on the blog! *tak* hifi!

Thank you Preeti, KK, Meghna, Vishnu!

And thanks, Jayanth :D

Sandhya Prabhat said...

My favourite is the three discussing the sarees. Bang on!

Jayanth said...

@Meggy- I dint know you were the victim of the ass man/trainer! and tx btw!!

Jayanth said...

@Shriram - lol tx da :)

Jayanth said...

@Sandhya - my fav part is the bombshell ;) and thanks!! look forward to work with you again!

Suchita said...

oh..man!!! this is seriously hilarious n soooo true...!! toooooo gud da...!!!i neva tot u going to the gym will actually make u write blog on it!!! :P
Sandhya: i luv the sketch... its really gud... totally complementing the write up!!

P.S.I must say..the title is kinda cool!!!

Jayanth said...

@Suchita - i dint think i will blog about it too :) go the place to be naked, you'l know what i mean! Thanks once again!!

harish kumar said...

Kashyap this is wow :) every blog gives me a new idea to think your practical approach. I must have told you many times whenever I get into some situation which is very tough to handle, wat I do to recover from it ? I simply think wat Jayanth must be doing at this situation and indeed I will get an answer. Btw good job da , this Blog is really Unique from rest of them and yes, great job done by the person who made pictures . Simply awesome.

Jayanth said...

@Harish - Thank you da! :)

filmaana said...

one word - Awesome. keep up the good writing. karthika

Jayanth said...

@Karthika - Thank you so much :)

sarala said...

so this is what u hve been doing at the gym?????mmmmmmmmmmmmm.no wonder u have not pumped ur muscles. good cartoon.seems like u are a mind reader. a true follower of christopher nolan.

Jayanth said...

@Sarala - ha ha lol! Thank u! il be mr.body builder soon!

Alka Gurha said...

I guess you are having a great time at the gym...Ass oglers in Chennai too! I thought they were exclusive to Delhi.
Interesting read!

Jayanth said...

Hey Alka! Thanks! and ass oglers are city agnostic :) They are universal! lol

Ganga said...

Hai,
It is a great narration and a cute revelation.
Sandhya's cartoon has doubled its intensity.
All these years what I saw in Ahmedabad,Bhopal and Chennai, U just gave a good visual narration.It's truly amazing.

Jayanth said...

hahaha...thanks!!

Gaurav said...

dam gud fun!
im no reader, so cant say if u write well..
bt enjoy ur posts a lot.. keep cmin out wid more of the same

Jayanth said...

thanks buddy!!

Jack son said...

Good written. Thanks admin
playground equipment

Jayanth said...

Thanks Jackson!