Pune and fitness go a long way, though looking at most Punekars would make you think otherwise. Morning is not just the time when the paperwalas and doodhwalas do their rounds, you’ll see Punekars jogging on the streets, some cycling and others climbing a nearby tekadi. There are also those who laugh out loud, really loud, and this hysterical laughter shuts up most of the morning birds from chirping. But, with the huge number of laughter clubs, Pune has now played host to various gym franchises. Every vicinity in Pune has to have a few gyms, some mithai-walas (Chitale and Kaka Halwai in particular), schools and colleges, a CCD/Barista and numerous Restaurants/Family Restaurants & Bars.
I’m a different type of a typical Punekar, who hates waking up early in the morning (this is my compensation for the loss of duparchi zop. Office madhye zopla tar phatke bastil na!). But, something unusual happened, aaj surya ugavla konikade? I woke up early, exercised a bit and got ready and reached office well before time (not the normal late mark lagaichya 4-5 mins adhi!). This made me think, maybe it’s time. Just a few days ago, I got a call from the local gym that I have a membership of (kaa ghetlie dev jane!). Their questions was, “Sir, tumhi khup divas nahi alat. Khup mhanje khuupach.. Freeze-beeze nahi ka karaichi membership?”. I replied with a customary no and promised the caller to come to gym regularly henceforth. While in my mind, I kept thinking, “Tuzya bapacha kay jata, mi paise dilet na purna!”. However, he also informed me that my annual membership expires in three months, so paise almost vayach gelet. To make up for the vaya gelele paise and get somewhat fit, I hit the gym.
Doing my exercises, I did my customary Puneri-cum-writer regime. Looked around and observed things for no particular reason. After the Sheldon Cooper article (notice how due to some technical changes, the article has lost its hard earned 2.5k likes and about a 100 tweets), my boss had mentioned I hadn’t written anything worthwhile and had to submit an article this week. I looked at the people around, had a eureka moment and thus, this lengthy (hah, lengthy mhane! Ajun introductionach chalue!) article on types of Punekars at a gym.
[divider ]The slacker[/divider]
These are Punekars who are not regular at gyms and hate any kind of physical activity. Araam is their life. Their main reason for coming to a gym is maybe because the Ganpati+Diwali weight has made its mark (pot masta sutlay!). They must have also had enough of, “Aree, kasla godulya gubbu zalaes!”. It is not something a person ever wants to hear. Thus, the gym.
Look into their eyes and you will see confusion mixed with a little panic. Panic because they are so uptight and focused on trying to look normal while exercising, the concentration on fitness goes tup lavaila (because the term ‘gaya tel lene’ does not suit Punekars!). They will never make eye contact and have a ‘can’t wait to get out of here’ look. Their body must be equally in shock and trembles like it did when ajoba took us to climb Parvati. However, there is no sweet ajoba to pick us (kadevar ghyayla) when we are completely exhausted. How they do it even at an age thrice as ours is beyond me (assuming you are not too old. 😛 ). Also, I fit this particular category, for now.
[divider ]The muscular marvels[/divider]
Some Punekars take gym memberships seriously, very (raised to the number of repetitions these guys normally do for any given exercise) seriously. They are the ones who are so comfortable in the gym it makes us feel like we just entered their room by mistake. They do every exercise like a bai does her daily chores, halfheartedly but with so much confidence and ease it makes us wonder if that is all they do. They are so regular with their workout, it makes one wonder if they even have a life.
Their food consists of eggs, equivalent to the number of repetitions they can perform for an exercise. 20-30 andi khaun kay kartat kay mahit? They refrain from eating anything that is tasty and prefer some protein induced ‘yuck’ stuff. Punekar jasa sajuk tupavar jagto tase hi protein creatin var jagtat. The guys in this category look like a WWF wrestler or a wannabe Salman Khan, and wear clothes so tight, it makes you feel suffocated even looking at them. If you find a gymming-freak girl, she’ll look about normal but her arms will have more cuts and muscles than any guy. Just looking at her will tell you she can beat the crap out of you. ‘Deva, hichya navryala/bf la surakshit thev’ is what you are most likely to think looking at her.
[divider ]The serious ones[/divider]
Now before you put these into the aforementioned category, let me tell you the difference. The category above includes people who practically live at the gym. The ones in this category come, workout and LEAVE. They actually leave, unlike the above. They are never seen loitering around and don’t run towards that girl who seems to be doing fine working out by herself. They don’t give you snide looks when you take a pair of small-sized dumbbells.
The serious ones have no interest in what goes around; all they care about is their workout. They can range from uncles to aunties to senior citizens. Some are exceptional and leave you wide-eyed. I have seen aunties wearing salwaar kameez with sport shoes doing squats and lunges with unimaginable weights, though they look nothing different than your neighborhood kaku. They should be the ones you can look up to for inspiration, or maybe not. This was example enough to make me avoid going to the gym for weeks, itkaa lajirvana watla swatabaddal.
[divider ]The hot ones[/divider]
Very rarely do you see a hot girl at gym – the one you see in movies or English series, wearing just sports bras and shorts. If it is not rare, you are definitely going to a gym in Koregaon Park or Kalyani Nagar. The hot ones can fit into any of the above categories, but the mind seems to place them separately. They are the ones who have 3-4 trainers loitering around the minute they just say, “ooh!” or “aah!”. And if it’s a hot guy, he is most probably surrounded by a sugary energy drink and lots of weights. The cute guys don’t fit into this category; they come under one of the above. For those living in other areas of Pune, this is a rare sight, for even finding a decent looking girl to take your attention off the TV in the gym is difficult.
[divider ]The badbole[/divider]
Punekars are known to exercise their tongues more than any other muscle. But doing it at the gym is something only these guys can do. They are talkative, very talkative. Their sounds can be heard despite the loud music in the gym and they just do not stop. Pune is a small city and you often meet people you know anywhere you go, especially if you’re in Vaishali. For these kind of Punekars, the whole city is a Vaishali. Their patent line is, “Arreee, tu ithe kay kartoes/karties?”. They can talk for hours before realising they actually have to exercise.
Such people can make friends faster than a Punekar downs a Chitale bakarwadi and they can make conversation with uptight Punekars like me too. Even while you’re on a treadmill! While their treadmill’s speed is at a below-average level, their taking speed is an impressive 150-200 words per minute. They can just chat regarding the most futile of stuff and remember names and faces like your Maths teacher remembered formulaes. Talking to them, you’ll realise you have a lot in common, even something as meagre as being in the same school, in the same house, age gap be damned! Kamaal memory aste hyanchi! They might be the only friends you make at a gym and so, it’s best to be nice. Also, they know all trainers by names, so the friendship helps!
There can be more types of folks you can meet at the gym. For that though, I should maybe start going to the gym regularly, asa 2-3 mahinyat 5-6 vela gym la jaun chalnar nahi! Here’s hoping Punekars like me make gymming a regular routine, just to have a laugh observing the particular traits of the people there.