Have spent much of the week working on a fitness-related story – can’t disclose details until it’s published, but it’s supposed to be smart-aleckish (what else would anyone ask me to write?), experiential and in the first person. This has meant doing many unusual things such as meeting a "laughter club" and taking a brief yoga class that ended with yours truly being guffawed at by many people who have supposedly achieved a higher level of tranquility and acceptance.
One may soon also have to visit an Akhara (mud pit where sweaty loincloth-clad men wrestle and twirl batons).
– I’ve gained new respect for film stars, even the ones like Bipasha and John. Posing for professional photographs, often in very odd positions, is freaking difficult! So far I’ve raised one leg daintily in the air like a Ziegfield Follies chorus girl (at a “dancercise” session) and tried to hold complicated “Yogilitis” poses for several seconds at a stretch. (No, I don’t know if any of these pics will eventually be used, but the photographer was asked to get a few shots of me since it goes with the personal angle.)
– Have also – ahem – recorded my first ever nude photo shoot, courtesy an unanticipated intrusion by the photographer during a body massage at a spa. I won’t pretend it wasn’t awkward, but well, after a point one focuses on the texture of the warm oils and forgets about the flashing bulbs and the giggles. Besides, there’s no way the more explicit photos can be used in a family publication. (Of course, mother and girlfriend were horrified at the news and made wailing banshee noises. “But the scene demanded it!” I protested. “What am I supposed to wear in a massage parlour, a burkha?”)
– Gyms are populated by beefy, thick-skinned but strangely charming young trainers who resemble the Deol boys in muscle structure as well as in their shy smiles. Never having had the occasion to reflect on what a terrible, pointless thing this world is, they always look very joyous, even when consuming protein-rich drinks. They call each other “bro” and often slap their hands together. Surprisingly, it’s all quite infectious – during the gym league of this story I found myself grinning stupidly and exchanging meaningless grunts of pleasure with whoever happened to pass by. I’ve never been so unqualifiedly happy at a book launch or discussion. What could this mean?
(Will put up some of the more interesting photos here sometime, though not the naked ones.)