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!

Response To A Response.

Within my facebook family, I belong to a small group of people, all from an alumni group where a lot of ribbing and leg pulling goes on.

I recently had an occasion to participate in one such trail of comments. I published one cartoon photograph of a dog in a yogic position and asked two practitioners whether it was their pet. Both of them practice and preach/teach yoga.
yoga kutta

Another friend, not one of the two yogis in the group commented that it must belong to a famous yoga teacher Ramdev who is a source for much humour in the circle. When that comment appeared, I posted another cartoon of a dog wrapped in a shawl and asked in that case, this must belong to another character much lampooned by most of us bar one great supporter Shekhar.
AK dog

My friend Mukund promptly came up with this comment – “I am sure Ramana you had both pictures ready and were waiting for the Ramdev comment. Amal bit the bait faster than Shekhar”

Shekhar responded – “Ramana posted a shawl pic which means …. ha ha!” The reference being to Ramdev who once escaped from a rather embarrassing situation by wearing a burkha instead of his normal attire.

I responded – “Shekhar, clever, very clever. Actually, I could not lay my hands on one in a burkha! I now have.”

This entire exchange took me back to 1969 when I was stationed for a couple of weeks in my then employer’s head office to complete a project. I had just been confirmed in my employment in the Management cadre after completing my Management Training and one particularly unpopular senior manager decided to teach me some fine aspects of management before I left the head office on my posting. This manager was very affectionately called the prawn and that should give my readers a general idea of his personality.

On the first day that I was there, I had to liaise with him to complete my own work and he asked about some letters that I had written before I had reached the office personally. On discussion, he decided that he should teach me how to write letters and demonstrated to me how corporate communication should be entered into. He pulled out a letter that he had received from a branch office, to which he had responded and the response was going out that day. He asked me to read both and I duly did. He then proceeded to dictate another letter to his secretary in my presence while asking me to listen carefully. After that dictation was complete, he said that the dictated letter was in response to the reply that he would get to the letter that was going out that day. When I asked him how he knew what that would be like, he said that was what management was. Anticipating responses to responses and being ready with further responses. I was quite amused though I could not show that to him. I told him that I was very impressed and went off to handle my own project. Two days later, he came to the room where I was working on my project to show me the response that he had received and triumphantly announced how accurate he was! Frankly while I was quite impressed with the entire story, I just could not understand why he could not have finished the matter off by eliminating the last two letters through being proactive in the first instance. I was then enlightened by some other knowledgeable colleagues that had he done that, he would be left with that much less work! Typical bureaucratic approach to problem solving!

I wish that I had been senior enough then to tell him, like I told Shekhar, “Prawn, clever, very clever!”


As most of my readers know, me left hip joint has been replaced three times and the right one twice. The right one will sooner than later need a revision as it has already lasted twelve years.

I need to keep my weight down and at the same time ensure that whatever exercise or activity that I undertake is either no or low impact on the hip joints so that the left one does not need to be revised again due to wear and tear and the right one too lasts till I pop off, after the third revision.

My body naturally tends to put on weight, particularly when I am not smoking, and I am not now. I have eliminated all medical possibilities like defective thyroid etc to ensure that all that I need to do is to judiciously manage what I eat and combine it with some exercise that will not put pressure on the hip joints. Walking as an exercise that I was indulging in will only speed up the process of the wear and tear of the right hip prosthesis and so, I have been advised to find an alternative.

After much research, and in consultation with experienced physiotherapists I follow a set of yoga exercises to stay fit and nimble but this is not enough to take off the excess weight that I carry and keep it away. Again in consultation with physiotherapists, one exercising machine was identified and I got my surgeon’s approval to use the machine. On investigation I found that I could use the machine in any gymnasium close to home but could also buy the machine at a cost that would be just equal to two months charges for the use of the gymnasium.

This is the machine.

It offers the following features:
Heavy duty Bike.

· Pedal, Step, Run & Rowing
· 5 Function display computer showing time, speed, Distance & Calories.
· Gives full body work out in just 20 minutes.
· Micro tension Controller.
· Adjustable seat.

I bought the machine and it has been installed in my bedroom in a safe place where I won’t accidentally bump into it and I started to use it on Tuesday evening.

I have not been able to get any where near twenty minutes which is the goal, but in the six sessions that I have had on it, I have been able to reach ten minute work outs with a break after five minutes of fairly vigorous working out.

What however has happened is that in the process, I have discovered some muscles in my body that I did not know existed earlier. I am told that the soreness that I now experience will go away with regular exercising and that I just have to keep at it.

Before I am asked, I weighed myself before I started using the exerciser. I weighed 100 Kgs. The goal is to reach and stay at 80 Kgs. I shall keep my readers posted on the progress I make.


When I go shopping, one action that never fails to amuse me is the way counter sales persons and cashiers use calculators to do their sums, even for the smallest of calculations.

Even standing across counters and with the documents being written or read upside down to me, I usually finish the calculations before they do, using just mental arithmetic skills. Skills that I was forced to learn in school and by a tiger father at home. The basic skill of course was learning multiplication tables right side up and upside down and with random questions being thrown at unexpected times, for which if answers were not immediately forthcoming, punishment was immediate and harsh.

One of the punishments that I used to suffer has now become a Yoga technique, and Padmum in her post Exercise For Memory. Please read my comment on that post to understand what I mean in this post.

I now wonder whether it was really punishment or just an excuse to improve our memory skills!