Sunday, February 25, 2007

Toe-jam




Disclaimer: All characters, situations and humor in this piece are fictional. Any resemblance noted is purely incidental. All views expressed belong inordinately to yours truly and do not in any way reflect opinions of any canine, feline, bovine, rodent, human, organizational or governmental set up.

Let’s call a spade a spade. Outdoor is not easy-peasy by any stretch of crazy imagination. It is a series of back breaking, bicep enlarging, quadriceps hurting, knee spraining, ligament tearing, wrist fracturing, and shin shattering exercises. Constructed in such a way that it faintly disguises the essence of medieval torture at its core, this recipe has running, marching (in quick step and dheere chaal), horse riding, swimming, arms drill (salami shastra, bagal shastra etc ad nauseum), rope climbing, yoga bending, aerobics, push ups, chin ups, sit ups as its ingredients. All of these activities have specific procedures that have to be strictly adhered to. And all the salami I was conversant with was of a different nature, taste wise.

A hundred and one mostly out of shape bodies, are churned, wrung, chopped, sautéed, fried, baked, stuffed, sieved, curried, spiced, pressure cooked, boiled, steamed and cooked into a strange smorgasbord that, I’m not surprised, no one wants to sample. This assorted amalgam of human fat, muscle and bone bathed, fed and uniformed ends up indoors to the tune of discussions pertaining to law, procedures, prisons, bullet injuries, leadership, knife wounds, dowry deaths, sincerity, honesty, integrity and competencies. Let’s call a spade a spade. Indoor is not easy-peasy by any stretch of crazy imagination. Not when twelve hundred marks are at stake.

Let’s call a spade a spade. There’s nothing that can be done. The 2nd of November means the 2nd of November and it will come only after the months of March, April, May, June, July, August, September and October are over. So how does one sustain and retain the self in the face of such a hard hitting schedule? (Well, the ones really badly hit go to the hospital. However, they have, since the last two weekends been made to realize the folly of their ways. Ask anyone who has had PT and Drill classes on a Sunday…you’ll know what I mean!) The rest, who have kept in the various shades of pink of their health yawn, sigh and doze indoors and shuffle, drag, pant outdoors and thus forth cancel dates on the calendar.

Yet, you ask, how does one keep sane? Oh dear! That’s a wrong question to ask, lil’un! You see sanity has nothing to do here. As the weeks have gone by, I have been privy to the progression/regression of quite a few of my colleagues. Be it the lanky ‘Godfather’, one of the Kerala brothers, who has done everything from nostril flaring like a horse to a staccato ek-dab-ek which still persists while he runs the cross country forever looking for cover behind tiny rocks and shallow ditches. Best thing though is that we’ve arranged a rather elaborate method of saluting, and that keeps me going every morning. The second part in the Kerala brothers’ series is an earnest ‘banana’ youngster who is diligently attempting to learn Hindi and grow a respectable moustache at the same time. He is quite aware of his limitations on both counts though.

Then there is Bhai, who is bummed about going to the hills, actually he spent most of his time here calculating his cadre. Alternately, every week, he was either happy or sad…but as he’s put it best: “it’s all in the mind”. Did I mention, he could be a great playwright and director? To bhai ka cadre aa gaya, aur bhai ko running bhi aa gayi, bas swimming baki hai! Undoubtedly the best runner in our batch, Dulari, is another person who goes to great lengths to maintain aerodynamics. I guess, that is why he doesn’t cut his nails too often, to slice through air…slackers take note. This is a gem of a coaching trick. “O teri”, I can hear Mr. Shin. Too bad, you can’t transplant Maharaja’s. “Jis din meri shin thik ho gayi na…” He threatens… But then he has another strategy planned out with Motey: “End tak expose nahi karenge. Bas last mein position exchange kar lenge.” I’m not sure which way the wind shall blow, but I’m hoping by the last 10 km marathon, we’ll find out. Motey, we’re not quite sure if he was in the Island police or was he at the hands of the Island police. His dexterous digits can not merely sketch but also flick wallets, watches, pens… He’s lost weight, a new name is in order, hmmm… lemme think…

Oh! Mandeepjee ke bare mein kuch nahi likkha to woh na bura maan jayenge.. sorry jee! His biggest issue is changing clothes for that means changing his head gear. Strangely though, he has been asked to wear the turban and not the helmet for horse riding. May be he should swim the same way!

Bringing up the rear are two really unforgettable persons… One Lieutenant Tangri Kebab who keeps us droolingly enthralled with the sight of his muscled thighs and laughing at his aerobic antics. Peeche ka salute is his patented move as is the demo UAC. Any one caught copying shall be punished under Section 30 of LSW Act 2007. “Kitne chakkar lagana hai for writing this?” The other Dr. D, or D Buddha as some people call him. He is the masterful composer and lyricist of famous songs like “Jaane kyon log drill karte hai”, “Drill na kiya to kya kiya”, “Drill se laga le dil”, “Just chin up, chin up”. These numbers can be heard on the lips of everyone who thinks he or she’s not tone deaf and in the minds of the very few who know they are. We think a dedicated radio channel for the two of them should do splendidly, if not, perhaps a recording studio could be arranged. Such talent should not be made to leave the country without a trace.

Let’s call a spade a spade. These people are fun to be with. They make the troubles of the routine quite bearable. Whatever be the cause of this training, whatever it is that I have to achieve here in terms of the profession or the career, methinks life should be great with these guys around…

10 comments:

Abhigyan said...

Did you manage to gain any grams?? Some people are rightly on the right side of the fence...

xanjukta said...

nah... still exactly the same weight.. but got a lot stronger... can do one chin up now... eight more to go!!!

abhay k said...

Hi,
With the passage of life the conclusion is the best days were spent in good company of friends/guys/girls...
..but ultimately it's the frame of mind, isn't it?!!!

xanjukta said...

not sure if it's the frame of the mind or any other frame as such.. the best days were on my own actually... with some friends and strangers who crossed my path as and when they felt like it...

Harfan Maula said...

Enjoy it while it lasts. Paradoxical as it may seem, the excruciating agony of the drill and other squares will remain branded in your memory long after other more pleasurable experiences have faded from conscious thought. As for barrack room comrades, some remain in permanent residence in the frontal lobe while others will pass gently into the night. Part of the delight is of course the triumph of the human spirit over the mortification of the flesh. Ennui is absolutely vital for planting the seeds of memory. It provides the empty spaces in your mind where thoughts can roam and grow and flourish, allowing you to become familiar with them so that they stay forever embedded, as old and comfortable friends. Some of my most enduring memories are of punishment runs in full FSMO, a SLR slung precariously like a bloody useless appendage, ammunition boots pounding the flagstones in time honoured rhythm, the sweat burning the eyes as it runs its salty course, soaking the dungarees. Lungs bursting, gasping to catch each laboured breath. I also remember a good friend, who later died young, too young, who was a constant companion on the restriction runs. And in the shimmering heat, as clear as if it were yesterday, I can recall the purple haze, floating in my brain...
To life, and more power to your glutes and biceps. Bash on regardless, and You shall overcome Some day.

xanjukta said...

@harfan maula...
one quick question... when is the some day that i shall overcome??

Harfan Maula said...

Quick answer milady. The future's not ours to see. Que sera, sera... Yet hope drives us all, and is the wellspring of all human endeavour, and belief.

xanjukta said...

Harfan.. hope has ceased to exist.. all that exists is a lot of pain and drudgery... i'm in it cos i have to...

Harfan Maula said...

We're all in it because we do not have any other choice. And drudgery is a constant companion on the journey of life. Of course, enforced routines rub it in your face and make it all the more unbearable, but it will pass, believe me. As for the loss of hope.. well, I am sure it is a phase. We all go through it, but life has so much to offer in its myriad hues. You are but starting the trek.I am sure you will find the colours to paint into your canvas in due course. Chin up, ma cherie. If you survived Wittgenstein, surely you can survive this...

xanjukta said...

Witgenstein was a peice of cake compared to this.. and one that i loved eating...