Weekend Athletes.

I was inspired to suggest this post for Shackman’s and my 2 on 1 weekly Friday post on the same topic after I had published Retirement 2 on my blog.

It is not as though weekend athletic activity is something new that has just caught on with the younger corporate crowd. We had such activities too in our working days. Golfing, sailing, cricket, tennis, billiards, bridge, etc were all part of our weekend lives.
My readers know that in the early mornings I sit with my mug of tea in my verandah abutting our garden. From where I sit I can get partial view of the road just outside our compound behind the picket fence that you see in this photograph.  Many walkers and joggers who know me greet me as they pass by.

On weekends, both on Saturdays and Sundays and on all public holidays, the number of joggers shoot up sharply and on some days, large groups jog with motorcycle/scooter born cheer leaders egging them on.  Sometimes, the numbers are so large that the parade to stop can take up to half an hour!

I call these holiday joggers weekend athletes as I do not see them on other days.  They may well be jogging somewhere else on other days but, on holidays the groups who run outside my home do not put in an appearance there on week days.

I am neither a weekend nor a week day athlete! During my working days, till my hips gave way, I was a weekend athlete playing golf and /or tennis on Saturdays and Sundays as well as swimming a few lengths of whichever club swimming pool that I was a member of at that time.  During weekdays, I had to satisfy myself with just the yogabhyas at home every morning and I really used to look forward to the weekends for the golf, tennis and swim.

Those activities came to a stop in 1981 and I had to satisfy myself with yogabhyas, and the club’s gym facilities for those exercises that I was allowed.  I however used to love the post exercise sauna and shower.  Since my late wife took ill and I had to assume caretaker duties all those also stopped and I never went back to them after her death.   I now restrict my exercises to just the morning yogabhyas.

Many of my friends even now play weekend golf and the retired ones among them play more during week days as they can afford to!  I sometimes go and sit at the cafe in the club and read books or magazines while I wait for them.  None of them jog!

How Do You Do?

This cartoon, please click on it for a larger resolution, reminds me of the very first time that someone asked me “how do you do?” when introduced. I was quite puzzled and responded with “do what?” I was of course taught subsequently that it was one of the many idiosyncrasies of every day spoken English and that one responded to that question with “fine thank you, and you?” and the first one was expected to respond with “I am fine thank you!” too.

I also learnt to respond with “The normal way, why, do you do differently?” with people with whom I could get away with such quips.

I also learnt that instead of “how do you do?” “how are you?” may also be used and the same ritual should be enacted.

As I stayed bemused with those introduction rituals, I also learned to say and respond to “pleased to meet you” and “likewise!”

Now, the greeting even from old friends is, “how are you doing?” I usually respond with “I stopped doing a long time ago!”

No, I too don’t use “Fine” any more. I also ask a counter question often, “how much time do you have?”. When puzzled people counter question “for what?” I would respond with “to hear all my health issues!”

My first choice for greeting among all my Indian contacts is either Namaste or Namashkar.

Retirement 2.

I had no clue that things have changed drastically since my working days when I wrote the post Retirement last week. I was in for a rude awakening earlier this morning when a fellow alumnus, Ram, 25 years younger than I am and an active marathoner, mountaineer etc wrote this on our Alumni WhatsApp page. I leave it to my readers to see how things are today in India’s corporate world.

“A few decades back, people would just begin to build a house, or plan a foreign vacation or buy a big car around the time they turned forty. This has now galloped backwards to the twenties. You are done and dusted with all these pretty early. The result: you are twiddling your thumbs at forty. It feels like sixty already. It is BORING!

There hope; at least, old people get respect. But, those who have to give that respect have disappeared. There are no servile, …grinning juniors offering to carry your bag or fetch you coffee at office. They have been replaced by headphone-secured, gum-chewing Gen Y kids whose most vital goal is to make you feel like you are 100 years old. That is when you go buy yourself a Harley, or at least, a Bullet and a leather jacket. Now, you look both old and stupid.

Seeking thrill becomes your singular objective. But, there are only so many times that you can party, or fantasize start-up ideas or go to Thailand with the “boys” ! So, what do you do at forty?

Not all become entrepreneurs or go biking in Leh. They don’t have the wife’s permission. Their sphere of influence is limited to where to buy the bhindi from, as long as she determines the quantity, size and the exact shade of green.

What do you do at forty? Other than getting drunk every weekend and threatening to quit your job to become a farmer? You already have a house, and another one on rent. You have two cars. You have a holiday time-share. You even have life insurance. And it’s not that you are going to jump to an entirely league and get yourself a yacht and a mistress. Where will you keep them?

So, basically you are stuck right here, in this very league, that is beginning to stink. You need some freshness. You want new. You wonder if you should be a foodie/food blogger. How about an amateur photographer? Or a musician. But, all of these cost money. You are at your wit’s end.

You want to run away from it all.

Wait, did someone say ‘run’?

Yes. And, that’s how the weekend marathon runner, weekend cyclist and bikers are born….!!! 😁”