Wednesday, April 25, 2018

After Exercises…

An impromptu game of pass the ball
There was a time, not so long ago, when the post-exercise session in the Garden was as important as the exercises – if not more. Many, in fact, marked their presence every morning just to be part of the activities after the exercises. Those were days when nobody cared much about things like attendance and punctuality.
Not so, now. And consequently, all the old post-exercise activities have come to a gradual halt. We report for the exercises on time, go through the motions from start-to-finish and after relaxing for a while on the benches, disperse for the day. This has been our routine, of late.
Thus, it came as a major surprise when a few members this morning got into an impromptu game of pass-the-ball after the exercises. It did not last too long. But for the time it lasted, it was exciting to watch Karun Sharma, along with Yusuf Rassiwala, Bhaswati Bose and Kiran Prakash kicking
Banoo Apa treats us all to mango milk shake today 
the hell out of a small yellow ball, just like kids. To be able to do so in the sweltering heat revealed not only their eagerness to return to their childhood, but more importantly, their amazing fitness levels.
This was a marked departure from the post-exercise sessions in the past when narrating stale jokes (usually from the net or read from a slip of paper) was a prime activity.
Once in a while, some kind soul would give a treat/ party and people cropped up from nowhere. Mercifully, this practice was suspended following a ban on eatables and beverages in the Garden.
Then there were those odd occasions when we experimented with some new-fangled workout, or perhaps rehearsed for a stage show, or had a ‘committee meeting’ after the exercises. But by and large, this was the time reserved for shooting the breeze and indulging in some ‘time-pass’ gossip.
Compared to all that, a brief game of football (however small the ball!) is any day welcome after the morning exercises.

Karun Sharma:
* It was refreshing to be playful and energyful. Bhaswati was the first to kick the yellow ball and increase the blood flow in us. Rightly, such small activities must be encouraged to bring back the childlike freshness on our faces. This could work as a good facial too.
* Banoo Apa is like a mother who treats us to a lot of tasty surprises. May God give her lots of happiness and good health.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Solemn Birthday

Bijoy Gupta (c) flanked by well-wishers on his 75th birthday
This was one birthday not celebrated. Let alone a treat/ party to mark the occasion, we did not even raise the perfunctory fourth laugh after our exercises. However, the birthday calendar was presented in keeping with Big Laaf tradition.
Shekhawat (l) presents Gupta the birthday calendar
Banoo Apa (r) comforts the birthday boy
It was Bijoy Gupta’s 75th birthday – a watershed moment in life. By a cruel turn of fate, it had to come up when he was still mourning the passing of his only daughter. Dolly succumbed to a heart attack last month (ref post of March 19). She was only 36.
In a short but emotional homily, Banoo Apa commiserated with Gupta on behalf of the Club and drew upon experience when she had lost her son in equally tragic circumstances. “But we cannot hold on to our past forever,” she reminded Gupta. “We will have to live our life in the assurance that those who have left us are in the good care of the Almighty.”
She reassured Gupta that his daughter is in a better place today and that he had the love and blessings of everyone in the Club as he gets his life together. She also wished him the strength and fortitude to bear his loss as well as good health and everlasting happiness.

Karun Sharma:
Happy Birthday, Bijoy on reaching the 75th. You were born on the date the 'God of Cricket', Sachin Tendulkar was born. We all at Big Laaf wish you wonderful health and happiness. You are the 'God of Comedy' to us.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Little Oasis

Yusuf Rassiwala surveys the new location after the exercises
We have created our own ‘little oasis’ in the shade of a tree where we exercise these days. This is the only patch of green in the whole Garden, baked brown by the scorching sun and a merciless heat wave sweeping across the city.
Today Shekhawat and Qadir Banu went about clearing the patch of dried twigs and sticks which prevent people from walking around bare feet. Earlier, four benches under the tree, which had been in disuse for months, were dusted clean for those who wanted to take a breather any time.
“The place looks more like a picnic spot now,” observed Yusuf Rassiwala, who was feeling the effects of shifting to a new location for the exercises (ref post of April 20) for the first time today. Pressures of work had kept him from the Garden all these days.
The shift of location was initiated on an experimental basis, partly as an alternative to the China Hut. Continuing to exercise at our old spot had become a health hazard due to direct exposure to the sun.
Yet there are some not too happy about exercising under a tree. For one, they feel deprived of Vitamin D from the harsh sun’s rays. Khatoon Baig, for another, is petrified about bird droppings landing on her head. And she does not even want to discuss this!
For these people, there is always the option of positioning themselves beyond the tree shade.

Karun Sharma:
How about a break of five minutes during the exercises? We may continue to exercise for the same duration as before. Otherwise, reverting to that level would become difficult.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

DAY 2539

Pic of the Week
Think of a funny caption to go with this picture
PRESENTING THE NEW BARBIE DOLL! --Bhaswati Bose

REALITY AND ILLUSION: What you see cannot always be true. But obviously she is young at heart and still plays with a Barbie doll. Photography at its best! --Kiran Prakash

VERY NICE PHOTO --Dilip Babani

WOW! SUPERB!!! --Geeta Latte

RUKHSANA HAS DONE IT! AND RAZIA IS HAPPY TOO!!! --Karun Sharma

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Chilled Out

A friendly dog gives us company after the exercises 
Lifting of restrictions for the exercises (ref post of April 19) brought about a relaxed, chilled-out atmosphere after a long, long time. People walked in and out at will – with or without their caps – and nobody made an issue of it. In the beginning we were barely eight to set the ball rolling. At the end of the exercises, we were double the number – the remaining being habitual late-comers. But that was all very fine, today being a weekend.
The weather had cooled down considerably, especially under the tree where we have shifted for the exercises (ref yesterday’s post). With assorted crows and a footloose dog for company, there were many occasions for entertainment – what with Shekhawat determined to egg on a hopping crow towards his bĂȘte noire, Arun Patil… but all in good humour and bonhomie.
Much as this was a perfect way to end the week, there remains a slight cause for worry. All those who had pulled up their socks and were making an effort at being regular and punctual for the exercises have slackened once again. It would be very difficult, particularly for those who are taking a break, to resume their earlier schedule.
Experience proves that we are all creatures of habit and attending the exercises daily, on time, is much like being on auto-pilot. Once this routine gets disrupted, it would be an uphill task to get our bearings back. Let’s hope we are able to tackle this when the time comes.