Those who know The Man from Madras Musings personally will vouch for the fact that while he is not exactly slim, trim and athletic, he does give fat a good fight and tries his best to ensure that he does not become one of those men who open doors with their stomachs. Of this latter variety, MMM notes, our city abounds – most people overwork, overeat, overindulge and generally go over the top. And, as a consequence, they have all become people that Julius Caesar would have loved, for was it not he who once famously wanted to have men about him that were fat?
MMM realises that obesity is an issue and not many may actually be in a position to control their embonpoints and their avoirdupois for there can be many reasons for these. Towards such people MMM has nothing but sympathy. But he cannot understand why men in the prime of their lives in our city let themselves go in all ­lateral directions. In Chennai, as MMM often notes, shortly after marriage, the male of the species develops a distended abdomen irrespective of whe­ther the female does owing to pregnancy. If MMM ever came to be in a position of power, he would demand that men in Chennai give up their surplus fat just as the present incumbent wants people to give up gas subsidies.
Now why did MMM begin this train of thought he has quite forgotten… Ah, yes! He has it. It has to do with the fact that most of these people when they go to sleep tend to make noises like an electric mixer or grinder that is at that point of time pulverising some particularly hard substance. As to what they do in the privacy of their homes is none of MMM’s business though their wives (or, in these politically correct times, their significant others) have his sympathy. But when they board trains and, more importantly, come to share MMM’s cubicle, he strongly objects to their snoring.
Nowadays MMM has to travel by night train quite a bit. In fact, if the railways had any scheme like the airlines, MMM would qualify as a frequent traveller. And he does enjoy going around in trains. But the joy is significantly reduced each time he sees an obese co-passenger wheezing in, who, after a heavy meal replete with fatty junk foods and aerated drinks, goes to sleep immediately with his mouth hanging open. It is this orifice that is a dead giveaway. If it remains open even as the eyes close, you know you are in the presence of a snorer.
There are, of course, various varieties among these. There is the concrete mixer blender that MMM already has referred to. We also have the reclining Wagner in which case the bass, the tenor and the soprano all take turns to appear, each time rising to great crescendos. There is also the motorcycle with starting trouble and the cats out on a prowl in a rubbish tip. MMM’s favourite is the Q&A – where the snore is in two cadences – the rising one ending on a questioning note and the subsequent one that culminates in a subsiding note as though a question was asked and an answer given. In case you are unable to identify any, give MMM a call and he will be glad to give you a demonstration.
These are days of freebies and it is time the Government considers a hardship allowance for non-snorers when they are faced with fellow travellers who are of the other kind.