It was not that Mr. Yogi was fat. Standing 5 feet 8 inches and weighing around 160 pounds he looked quite normal. But his childhood memories of being branded fatso and elephant reminded him to stay fit and not to grow out of proportions.
The advantage of being at onsite in the IT profession is that the office closes by around 6 PM and you could come home early and have some time to take care of yourself. He remembered his offshore days when he had tried going to the gym at the max for 2 months after which even coming home at night became a luxury. This gym was moderately crowded and it was occupied predominantly by the desis living in his apartment.
They came in all shapes and sizes. The fat punjabi aunty trying to shed her maternity weight, the Chinese uncle who was trying hard to lift the bench press and possibly going through an American beauty style mid-life crisis, the newly wedded husband who was teaching his wife how to run on a treadmill by holding her hands and displaying his chivalrous attitude, the Andhra gaaru bachelor buddy who was running hard puffing and panting to reduce his gongura chutney weight and impress his fiancé who was soon to be his grihalakshmi with a bank balance of more than a crore (as per last market rate for US IT groom). There was one lonely American among them and he looked as bewildered as a deer among a pack of lions.
Since it was his first day in the gym, Mr. Yogi decided to take it slowly. He spotted a cycle at one end of the gym and hopped on it with enthusiasm. As he started to pedal the stationary cycle, his mind raced dynamically to the past to remind him of his cycling experiences. His last bicycle was an Atlas MTB that his parents had bought him in the 8th standard. He took good care of the cycle for the initial period of a month cleaning it daily and oiling it on weekends. Thereafter the cycle never saw any cleaning or oiling till it was transferred to his cousin brother after Mr. Yogi finished his 12th standard.
In his 3rd standard Mr. Yogi witnessed that all the kids in his neighborhood had owned a bicycle and came to the nearest play ground on their cycle as if they were Superstars giving a grand entry with their Suzuki Hayabusa. Unable to bear the humiliation any more, Mr. Yogi demanded his parents to get him a bicycle.
As any other middle class parents in India, his parents entrusted him a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE type assignment. GET FIRST RANK. Mr. Yogi didn’t quite understand if the intention here was to motivate him to get first rank or avoid buying a bicycle. As of now it seemed to serve both the purposes. Mr. Yogi was just an above-average student for whom even being remembered by his class teachers seemed like a huge act of accomplishment. Getting first rank was therefore like Himesh reshamiyya singing non-nasal or like an Ekta kapoor serial titled without 'K'. Purely hopeless.
Why does one need to win? Can we win always under all circumstances? Isn’t there a quote which says that "Life is about the journey and not the destination"? Why do all parents bribe their children from their young age? We teach kids that if they behave nicely we will give them chocolates, get first rank and we will get you a bicycle, win the scholarship and we will get you a bike. In a way we train their mind to accept that for every action in this world they will be rewarded suitably and immediately. That is why this generation is impatient with every other thing from official matters to personal issues.
And what happens when they lose instead of winning? An immature and young mind that is incapable to digest that failure hence contemplates the inevitable. That is why you can find so many suicide cases when the 10th and 12th standard results release. That is why you see dip in work quality in companies after appraisal periods. That is why you find many suicide cases arising out of love failure. If life can be finished after one or a few acts of failures, we all would be dead in our mother's womb...had she been given birth to.
For one person to win, so many must lose. That’s the way the world functions. It’s CRUDE but it is PRACTICAL. We must teach children to learn the very fact that NOT every act is rewarding in life. Children must be taught that their conscience will hurt them when they do something illegal or bad. As Mr. Yogi was thinking this and pedaling the cycle, his foot slipped and the pedal broke off. Mr. Yogi looked around. The gym was deserted.
Mr. Yogi quietly walked out of the gym. If he reported about this incident to the Apartment authorities, he would be fined to the tune of 50-100$. He quietly walked back to his home. Surprisingly his conscience didn’t seem to hurt much now.