My mother should be writing this piece, but she’s busy making a hygienic Maggi double-pack for me (just kidding). A health-is-wealth believer, mom has been practising yoga for the past 25 years. For an equally long period, she has been urging me, in vain, to follow in her footsteps. She has failed to explain why shavasana (corpse pose) should be performed while one is still alive and kicking. And surya namaskar means nothing to graveyard-shift workers like me, who leave for office after sunset and are barely half-way through their turbulent sleep when the great ball of fire rises in the east. Despite being an AAP supporter, mom has even invoked the saffron-clad Ramdev, but I have at best been tempted by his ‘pachak’ pills, not by his eyeball-grabbing antics.
It’s not that I haven’t made any effort to become a yoga convert. Last year, I ordered the popular DVD in which Shilpa Shetty tells you how to do it. I’ve repeatedly tried to copy her flexi moves, only to be distracted every time by her bare midriff and wow curves. With superhuman self-restraint, I’ve forced myself to focus on her nose, but that redone thing only reminds me how funny a job her plastic surgeon has done.
However, with International Yoga Day fast approaching, winds of change are sweeping my unfit system. I might have let my mother down, but I won’t do the same to my motherland. Actually, it takes nothing less than a centrally sponsored movement to rouse me from apathy. Thanks to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, I’ve started washing my smelly socks, which had earlier made me pinch my nose. Now, I’ll again hold my breath, this time for the sake of Swasth Bharat.
The great news is that our travelstarved foreign affairs minister will preside over the Y-Day celebrations at the United Nations in New York. Agreed, the only thing Sushma Swaraj has in common with Shilpa Shetty are her initials, but it’s a welcome sign that she, not PM Modi, will be enjoying an overseas trip. That itself is a good reason for the entire nation and the diaspora to go gaga over yoga.
Such is my new-found yogic fervour that I’ve come up with a few asanas to take the ancient Indian art to the next level.
Singhasana: This one is for those who wield power, be it the PM or your boss. The practitioner takes a deep breath, makes his chest swell to 56 inches and flares his nostrils before roaring like a Singh (lion). What matters is the decibel level, not the sensible level. The fact that singhasana means a throne lends greater weight to this imperial posture.
Chamchasana: Tailor-made for toadies, you need an elastic back to pull it off. The follower bends at an angle of 90 degrees before his guru and stays in that position till the latter says “stand at ease”. In extreme cases, he prostrates himself and polishes the guru’s shoes with his drooling tongue. The exercise also involves constant nodding of the head in the yessir/yesmam mode.
Chandra namaskar: In a country scorched by the sun for the better part of the year, it’s the moon that provides much-needed relief. Here the subject pays obeisance to the lunar god, the source of all our loony energy. With apologies to BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, those who think that Chanda mama is communal should drown in the nearest sea or stay out in the merciless sun all day long. In either case, these spoilsports don’t deserve to see the dawn of 21-6-15, when the world will say in one voice: Yo India! And my mother will personally thank the NDA sarkar for teaching her paunchy son how to spell, if not perform, P-r-a-n-a-y-a-m-a.