By Vivek Atray

In the all time classic, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, the two kinds of people identified so eloquently by Eli Wallach’s character, Tuco, were ‘those that come through the door, and those that come through the window!’

For the purposes of this particular piece let us say that the two kinds who make up this world are those who attempt fitness binges and those who do not.

These days our society is dotted with paunchy fellows, especially in urban settings, but determined load-shedders are a growing breed.

Hence we are witness to the sight every morning of sundry ladies and gents turning overnight into early risers and pacing the tiled pathways of city parks. Such worthies often peer down at their considerable bellies in the midst of their walk to check whether any headway has been made or not. It is unlikely that visible progress can be made with every step that they take, but then what is life without hope?

They make their way in hordes to the numerous greens and huff and puff every morning in order to look slimmer and sleeker. It is another matter that they may end up gorging on their favourite ice cream later in the day, while feeling less guilty because of their morning walks. It is still another matter that some fellows turn up only to ogle at the lovelies!

Be that as it may, the battle of the bulge has been fought by brave human beings down by the ages, often with disheartening results. The bulge does not easily budge, you see.

To top that, shapely damsels are hell-bent upon becoming less shapely these days, by going on crash diets and gymming sprees, thereby tending towards reed-like thinness for reasons best known to them!

Those who play games are on the ball too. Thus wannabe tennis players, golfers, swimmers and of course cricketers turn up to try their luck at sport, a laudable habit indeed. Some like to show off their gizmos, their wrist bands and their designer goggles but others are actually serious at honing their skills and shaping up at the same time. Playing Candy Crush Saga does not qualify as a fitness initiative though. Neither do gossip-gossip or poker!

The majority are still sleeping though. They wake up after pressing the snooze button on the alarm clock about fourteen times, gulp down their breakfast and scamper to office just in time. They then use the lift all day, never the stairs. They use a cab to travel two blocks down the road. They have pizzas for lunch and butter naans for dinner. They do not like being roly-poly but do not have the urge to inject some discipline into their lives. At times they do actually resolve to go on a fitness binge, but keep putting it off to ‘next year’!

Be that as it may, the try-hard sort has our unstinted support. At least he or she has the gumption to embark on the uphill fitness trail. The result is then left to someone up there.