If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Must We Change The Foot?

Those were Gloria Steinem’s (of Women’s Lib fame) words of wisdom, that I recall here for a good reason, I assure you. It’ll be clear if you stay with me for a short while.

The subscription offered me full access on 6 days of the week, though I never managed to do more than two sessions, mostly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. So it was yesterday I headed for the gym, a 7-mniute walk, under the blazing noon sun. While I regarded it as gym, they saw it differently – one day it morphed in name into a fitness center and now again to be called a wellness center.

(How culd they be…? My aplogies for these misleading pics. Couldn’t find the real ones)

The gym was ‘conveniently’ located on the second-floor of a old high-ceilinged building – meant no lift and a steep climb. If it was part of a clever design for weight loss, it didn’t work that way because the heat and the climb made the exercisee consume enough water on entry to put back every gram to be lost and more.

I reached the landing on the second floor with my tongue out and chest heaving like bellows in a smithy. The glass doors stood wide open and guffaws of laughter coming from inside. Not the usual scene. On seeing me, the attendants – I knew them – straightened up and looked at me surprised.

‘Saheb, today the gym is closed.’

‘Eh?’ My breathing was near normal,

‘Didn’t you read the notice that we put up?’

‘What notice and when?’ feeling a little irritated.

‘We put it up yesterday itself saying the gym would be closed for the next 3 days.’

Of course he had expected me to turn up every day and hence it was a good enough notice.

‘Sir-ji, they must have sent a sms too.’

That was of little help. Their message usually begins with ‘Dear Customer…’ But then I skip over a hundred other ‘Dear Customer’ sms’s – I don’t recall buying anything from any of them.

‘Why is it closed? Are you finally replacing those aircon units, more sick than well?

‘No, Saheb, not that.’

So, no luck there, though making us sweat out under a near-dead aircon was no part of any clever design, I’ve told them several times in the past.

‘Then, changing the curtains? While they’re at it, be sure to tell them to mend the handle of the toilet flush. And the two TV monitors that resolutely refuse to beam. Not to forget that monomaniac, the weighing machine – its needle is stuck, I tell you.’

‘They are replacing the equipment in the cardio section and also the flooring,’ he said, before I could think up more.

OMG, we – the sixty pluses and those housewives – had finally come to terms with these devices of self-inflicting torture. Now a set of new monsters to contend with, I was horrified at the prospect. Who, in full possession of his faculties, would want the current equipment to be replaced? Take the treadmills – they let us claim we were doing 6 kms per hour when it was truly closer to 5; or the cycles that lifted our spirits showing 100 calories burnt in a session instead of 70. And least of all, the flooring – it looked neater than plates in many restaurants. Why would they want to peel it off?

These are mysteries of life the attendants admittedly would not be equipped with the answers. So I withdrew myself from further infructuous investigation.

At the same time, it would be dishonesty if I did not confess there was wicked happiness in one mischievous corner of my embattled heart at this unexpected reprieve.

Just as I was down the stairs a few steps, the attendant came out to the landing and called:

‘Sir-ji, I told you they’re changing the flooring.’

‘I heard you. What can I say? The flooring looks good to me as is. Not a scratch on the tiles.’

‘I didn’t mean that. From next week, the cardio section would be located on the third floor.’

saadman aungkarns

Took a little while to gather my wits, whatever was left of it.

I’m not a man to balk at changes. But I’m one with the old man Churchill on the subject: There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction including vertical. His words for most part, not mine.

Now I’m looking around for a shoe that fits.
End .
Credits: openclipart (johnny_automatic_jogging_boy. Machovka_Strengthen and sadman aungkarns)


6 Responses to If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Must We Change The Foot?

  1. S R Kannan says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed Raghu. Have been missing the ‘Kalki’ style.


  2. Sharmishtha says:

    loved the conversation!


  3. shyam maheshwari says:

    cant offer you foot but i do have some shoes to spare.


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