Ever since our PM posted his fitness video on social media and it went viral there is a buzz in our neighbourhood. ‘Our PM’s video empowered us so much,’ said my friend. I asked him what he meant. ‘He is showing the way,’ said my neighbour. ‘For years we were doing yoga or some western exercise.
But now our PM has shown us that we can do different kinds of exercises also. I always felt ashamed to do some exercises that I developed but thought were not cool enough. Now I can share them with the world. In fact, many of our friends are doing new exercises now. Exercise has become fun. Come to the park.’
I nodded. It looked like back breaking work and I was not sure if this was what we needed in our already congested park.
A few others came to the lawns carrying crowbars and spades. I asked them what they were up to. ‘We need to dig up little squares in the lawns so we can do the Modiji Crisscross exercise.’ They started digging up the lawn into small squares and began walking from one square to another, forwards and backwards. Many people gathered around Crisscross challenge.
A third bunch had gathered around a tree. They had constructed a pathway around it with sand, gravel, wood sections to walk in and a carefully built a narrow ledge around it. ‘For the Modiji Balance exercises,’ they said. ‘By balancing on this narrow ledge with this Modiji ‘danda’ in hand, we will become more balanced.’ Soon the park was teeming with people eagerly wanting to lie down on the boulder and to try these exercises.
The park authorities bought a freshly painted board with new rules and regulations and put it up. It was specified that no one could lie down on the boulder for more than two minutes. Nor could they lie on it, face down. The earlier board stipulating that people should not run on the lawn was now removed and a new board said that people should walk forward and backward in the squares in a prescribed manner.
For example you cannot walk backwards when others were walking forwards. All those who want to walk around the tree were to do it only with a Modi ‘danda’ in hand. Most importantly it was stipulated that no one should smile or laugh while doing these exercises. When asked why, they said the PM did not smile in the video either so that’s the way to do it. Everyone agreed.
Within minutes the entire park was filled with serious-faced people taking selfies of themselves with rocks, ‘dandas’ and posting it online. A bustling market had started outside the park selling accessories – black clothes, scarves, ‘dandas’, etc. I searched for my friend. He was sitting in a corner - making faces. ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I asked.
‘My new exercises,’ he said. ‘I will challenge President Trump to do these exercises. He is the right one for this challenge.’
‘What’s it called?’ I asked.
‘The Face Saving Exercises challenge,’ he said. I nodded.
Hopefully the nodding exercises haven’t been taken.