My Cruel Gym Instructor

Cambridge University Boat Race Team Preparations

I joined a local gym last week near my house and my purpose is to improve fitness. I am not overweight anything but my job requires me to spend the entire day sitting at my desk, so there is hardly any physical effort required.

I have joined a gym a couple of times in the past as well, but never been able to stick with the routines due to the hectic schedules at work. But this time, it is quite different as it takes me only five minutes to reach the new gym.

After the first four days spent enjoying cardio routine such as treadmill, cycling, etc. it was finally on the fifth day that fate slipped on the misery gloves. After 15 minutes of enjoying a treadmill run, I was asked to do the one exercise I hated the most: Push-ups. Not that I am too physically unfit – I’ve been quite athletic throughout my life – push-ups and I don’t go well together.

“Three sets if twelve each,” screamed the instructor.

“Ha! We’ll see,” I screamed back but only in my mind.

I moved to an undisturbed area on the gym floor and got down on my hands and stretched back my feet.

“One,” “Two,” “Three,”

Wow! Going great.

“Four,” “Five,” “Six”

It’s becoming tougher by the second.

“Seven……” “Eight……………..”

Perseverance, my boy. It will get you places.

“Nine…………” Huff huff! Seems like my face is going to explode.

“Ten……” “Eleven…………………..” “Twelve!!!!!!!”

I did it. Euphoria. One set knocked over.

Oh No, two more to go!

The remaining two sets were short-lived, Six and Four.

After this, the instructor rallied me around for another hour of grilling exercises for chest, back, biceps, triceps, abs and what not. Finally, when I was allowed to leave, I was so worn out that I couldn’t even drive back home properly.

Next day turned out to be even worse with my first set of push-ups allowing me only 3 and the second set only saw me go down the without coming back up ever again. After a lot of trying to convince the instructor, I was allowed to proceed with the remaining exercises. Yippee!!

But everything else was also horribly below the dismal standards from the day before. From that night onwards, I have been in a state of constant pain of my muscles, or the sort that I cannot describe in words than to say that 48 hours have passed since that second session (yesterday was a rare day off) and I still can’t even lift a cup of tea and bring it to my mouth. I can’t sleep well at nights or turn in the bed without moaning in pain. I can’t even put on my jacket quickly enough.

And today, just as I am about to publish this post, I am again ready to head for the gym. I hope my cruel instructor has some mercy on me today.

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What’s your Sun Sign?

virgoWhen somebody asks me what star-sign, or sun-sign, or moon-sign I am, a sort of embarrassed grin shows on my face. I am sorry, I could just easily say I’m a Virgo, but something in me stops me from saying that. Then as a few moments pass, I usually stumble for an answer but none comes out.

The problem I face is that whatever I tell others about me should at least be consistent with what I myself consider to be true and of any relevance whatsoever. But when a question like what Astro Sign I am comes up, it puts me into a dilemma.

Firstly, some people in an ancient civilization thousands of years ago came up with this idea that you are somehow governed by the position of certain celestial bodies (like the sun or the moon) in space at the time of your birth. Not only that, they even place you in the same “group” as others who were also born in the same “time period” even though in different years. The thought of belonging to a “group” based on what constellation was being seen at the time of birth sounds as ridiculous to me as belonging to a group based on the color of the walls of the delivery room. Extremely useless, isn’t it?

Similarly, another supposition that a constellation has an effect on a person simply by virtue of it being a recognizable shape in the sky is quite unreasonable. What about groups of stars that don’t form a recognizable shape? Does the non-appearance of a figure make the other stars impotent? What about the asteroids right in the middle of our own solar system? Don’t they get a say on my life? What about Neptune and Pluto? I love Pluto and I want Pluto to have a role too. But no one would listen to me. I know, I know what you will say about this. Wishful thinking on my part, isn’t it?

Anyway, ever since I was a kid, I have been told time and again that I am a Virgo. Well, my birth date falls on 29th August and matches with the date range for Virgo (23rd Aug – 22nd Sep), so I am Virgo. And whatever people said about my personal attributes based on my “sign” was, again, based on the description for Virgo.

But a few years ago, while studying astronomy as a hobby, I discovered that the charts published in newspapers, magazines, astrology books and everywhere else were all WRONG. They were all based on the noted positions of the sun relative to the 12 constellations more than 2000 years ago. I found out, as a matter of fact, that these relative positions have changed over a period of time due to the wobbling of the earth around its axis – also called precession. So, as of the new charts, my actual sign turned out to be…. LEO!! (Aug 10 to Sept 16). Look it up here.

astrotattooWell, I was hurt. I sort of started believing I am a Virgo and it did seem like the most beautiful sign of all 12. Especially when they said that Virgos can be “tough on the outside but soft on the inside” and that “we care a lot about those we love and sometimes really hate the people we hate,” I know they struck a chord with me. And I am not the only one. Others were angry too.

But, now that I know I am not a Virgo anymore, I can’t continue to lie to and deceive people I interact with. Add to that the fact that there are 13 – and not 12 – zodiacal constellations (Ophiuchus – Nov 29 to Dec 17 so boo to those affected by this), the whole thing makes even lesser sense to me now than it did before. Damn that bloody astronomy that changed my view and took away the cosy comforts that astrology provided me when it told me I was part of a group who acted in exactly the same way as I did and that everything happening in my life was pre-determined and so I was not responsible for my failures. And even though the scales fell from my eyes long ago, this exposed piece of error on part of the astrologers even killed whatever little fun I had reading newspaper horoscopes.

So, when somebody asks me what Sign I am, I can either tell them that I am still a Virgo, in which case I would be lying, or I can tell them that I am a Leo, in which case it will not adhere to the prevailing, albeit incorrect system, thus making even this piece of information utterly useless. Compounded by the fact that even knowing a correct Sign really amounts to nothing, I am usually unable to answer at all. But then, one realizes that delving into such an explanation for such a trivial question might not always be the smartest thing to do. So, one quietly answers “Virgo” with the hope the Bozos asking this might climb down our backs. Unless I was Ophiuchus.

newzodiacs

God’s Diary

playing-god

Dear Diary,

I am omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. I am good, I am goodness. I am the crusher of evil. I am happiness itself. I am everywhere. I am everlasting.

But, I am also bored.

Yes, it is a terrible feeling being bored. What shall I do? I made the universe, the heavens, the earth and it has been so long since I did that and placed these stupid humans on earth. Now, I am just sitting and watching them as they go about their lives. And I am bored. And there is no one here with me.

Sometimes I enjoy myself by sending hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and have fun watching those “people” fly around and smash into things and things smash into them. And at other times I start jungle fires to clear up the view. My favourite country is, of course, Japan where I like to test my nuclear capabilities. It was fun when I spoilt their reactor. The poor Japs thought they made some mistakes, but why do they forget that I am behind everything that ever happens in the world?

Mostly, I am spending my time spinning a coin to decide whether the next kid to be born should be normal or deformed. If I am tired, I simply send a death wave to kill them all.

I remember when I invented religion. That is something that is still keeping my amused. I appeared in different forms in front of different groups and I liked it when they all got confused. Now, that has brought in some entertainment in the long term. But what I found intriguing was that these people even invented some new religions of their own. I didn’t mean to confuse them so much, but what the hell! And I like the fact that most of them remember me so much, they even pray to me. I know I can easily grant everyone’s wishes but where will be the fun in that?

I want to write more, but what stops me from writing is that there will be nobody to read what I am writing. Except me! So, I think I will just stop here and focus back on Earth. There are a lot of rapes happening in India and I am finally making them more and more gruesome. But don’t you dare think I am immoral. Look at how many women I am saving by not having them raped, even though I’ve said in all my holy books that I hate women. So what if a few of them are sacrificed? At least they are realizing there is again a battle on between good and evil (wink! wink!).

godcomputerIn my defense, I may be subjecting some small amount of people to tragedies, but look at how much good I have been doing at the same time? Look at what a role model I have made out of (that atheist) Stephen Hawking by paralyzing him for life and yet he has become an enigma for everyone. He represents hope for millions whom I have made that way. So, don’t I infuse hope into the lives of people by taking something away from them? Isn’t that what humans should be learning from all of this?

But those 16% atheists, they just don’t understand me. But I know you do understand, my dear diary, don’t you?

With Love,

(The) God!

Book Review – The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

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Last night, I decided to read ’The Importance of Being Ernest’ by Oscar Wilde. It is a humorous short story described as a drama setting. The main protagonist is Jack Worthing, someone who needs to be well behaved due to him being the guardian of an 18 year old girl, but on the other hand, has a fun loving side to him, which he can only fulfil using an alternative identity of “Ernest” in another part in the country.

Being a comedy, the story is set in a world where some people follow a flawed logic, for instance, Jack’s friend Algy says to him, “..girls never marry the men they flirt with. Girls don’t think it right..” and on another occasion, Gwendolen, who is Jack’s darling says, “In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity is the vital thing.”

In such an illogical and humorous world, the alternative identity of ’Ernest’ cause great troubles for Jack and his friend Algy and they constantly try and work their ways out of it, when a clever twist of the plot towards the end unveils a decades old mystery.

Though the book is a pleasant read and may not appeal very much to an experienced reader, owing to the fact that the plot has been exploited hundreds of times in other writings and cinema, I still suggest one reads this simply to enjoy the writing of the literary genius of Oscar Wilde. This is a very easy to read book and the humorous dialogs by each character are really a treat and some of these even made me laugh out loud.

World’s Most Dangerous Saloon

 

I don’t know the actual source of this image, just something I found one of my friends had shared on facebook. This is the sign board for a very dangerous saloon. Especially because it does children cutting.

Working Like a Ghost

Danger! That’s what working for far too long does to you.

There’s a Murphy in my Office

Most of you must have heard about Murphy’s Law. I am listing below the laws that are applicable to our workplaces. Am sure most will agree with these. Have Fun!

  • The printer is either out of toner or there is no paper only when the client asks for 10 copies of a 120 page report by evening.
  • The network would snap just when you were explaining an important point over a NetMeeting conference call.
  • All mails except the most important one, which was sent way before, will find their way into your inbox.
  • The client will call only when you had left for a coffee break. And when you call back, he/she won’t be available in office.
  • When its a busy day for you, all your colleagues would be chatting just outside your cabin.
  • When you don’t have much work… all your colleagues will be busy.
  • The display settings on your computer will play havoc only when you have to finish a presentation by afternoon.
  • The better your presentation, least the impact.
  • The frequency of mailing performed by a person varies in inverse proportion to the amount of work at hand.
  • Assaf’s Laws of Paperwork
    — When there are two possible forms to fill out on any given matter, the wrong form is always filled out at first.
    — The wrong form is not discovered until it has been signed by all parties concerned, sealed, and delivered.
  • Assaf’s Corollary
    — Once the right form has been filled out, signed by all parties concerned, sealed, and delivered, it turns out it was filled out wrong.
  • Paper is always strongest at the perforations.
  • The 90-90 Rule of Project Management:
    — The first 90% of a project requires 90% of the allotted time. The remaining 10% takes another 90% of the allotted time.
  • When reading this page at work your boss will pop-up (behind your back) and ask you why aren’t you working.
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