Friday, July 15, 2016

Of Uncle-Aunty Gyms and The Happiness Project

So of course I’ve been annoying people with reminders about their happiness projects, and gotten everything from grunts to confused looks. Also random texts about, yeh kya bakwass hai?

And no, don’t worry, I’m not explaining it all over again. But more importantly, what I’m seeing is different versions of the project popping up, and that makes it all worth it! You see, it doesn’t matter whether you made a list of resolutions and an excel to track it. Or whether it’s daily resolutions or doing something different that makes you happy every day. Because the entire point of this project was one simple thing, really, take some time out and think about what makes you happy. And all the variants are doing that, in one way or the other. And that’s really all that matters!

In related news, while I haven’t been super successful in most of my goals this week (missed hitting the gym in between, missed sleeping by 10.30 on MULTIPLE counts!), it still has been fun to think about these things at the end of the day and hope to do better tomorrow. On the other hand, I have actually found a tiny voice in my head chastising me for getting annoyed at work or elsewhere and poking me to see the brighter side, or at least create one. And that tiny voice, as annoying as it might be, helps.

The one goal that makes me the happiest though, is going to the gym. Now this is one activity I genuinely enjoy, I love the aching muscles at the end of a session, that reminder with each step that “Hey! You actually have muscles here dodo!”. And while I have visited gyms quite a few times in Andheri in hopes to sign up, I’ve been dissuaded rather easily. Yes, the timing and distance and need for sleep have been major reasons for not sticking to my earlier gym routine, but another major reason is, there is no such thing as an actual gym in Andheri West.

Let me explain.

Those of you familiar with Andheri West and Lokhandwala, would also be familiar with the majority of the population this little township boasts of. Yup, all the starlets and strugglers, and a lot of directors and producers. So, it’s hardly surprising when you realize that 90% of the Andheri West population is highly fit. In fact, fit is an understatement. Rippling muscles, six packs, and washboard abs describes it better. And while the entire area is filled with fancy gyms, all you find in them are already fit people. Already fit people who come to the gym as dressed up as when they go to the party. Because, that’s just how it’s done.

And then I enter the fancy gym. Baggy t-shirt and sweat and insecure fat. Conscious of how much the treadmill might shake, and how the 1kg dumbbell refuses to go over my shoulder. All the while looking at some TV star who was until recently fighting with a snake-turned-woman on screen flexing his pecks. With the snake-turned-woman flashing the latest branded sports bra and perfect abs near him. And chances of my stint with the gym lasting get considerably reduced.

But I recently discovered a small treasure in the midst of this protein shake jungle. A tiny gym, inside a society, with unfriendly timings and no fancy equipment ti records every centimetre of you and remind me how little I worked out, you silly pig. With an average membership demographic of 40+ years of age, this gym is full of real people, with real fat. And women who wear actual baggy t shirts on top of their sports bras. You know, because actual women sweat. And don’t always look like Nike Ads.

And I absolutely love it!

Even though the instructor suddenly decided I needed to do squats. And I couldn’t really get back up.

Even though I am now acutely aware that even my butt has muscles, and they can ache bloody murder.

Even though all the Uncles & Aunties can kick my ass at crunches.

I feel happy.


  1. Keep it up baby. You are an inspiration to some of us lazy folks

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