Have you recently driven down the major arterial road named after a former President of India? The Man from Madras Musings refers to what was once named after a 19th century police chief of the city, who eloped with a friend’s wife and caused quite a scandal in his time. He had the initials EE and MMM has much to his amusement seen several Raj apologists still refer to that thoroughfare by its old name without much of an idea as to how ignoble that man whom they commemorate was. Anyway, now all is well, for if it is referred to as EE Road even now, the letters can only stand for Extreme Endurance.
MMM can see several of his readers (and he assumes there are several) raise their eyebrows and wonder as to what he is getting at. Has MMM finally become non compos mentis they ask themselves. To rebut such slurs, let MMM explain himself more clearly. Extreme Endurance is after all one of those tough physical regimens that demands a high degree of fitness to be able to get through with it. In MMM’s view there can be no more difficult terrain than EE Road.
Let us begin with the legs. The pavements are all of such heights that merely climbing up and down these would train your calves, knees, thighs and ankles to great levels of fitness. Then comes the back. This is made highly flexible and supple by having to duck under the casuarina supports that hold up political banners. We now come to the abdomen, of which most in our city have six bags while what are needed is packs of the same number. These, MMM understands, are achieved by crunching in the stomach muscles even while tucking your chin in so that your back is not strained. The circular banners are heaven sent for this purpose. Each time you need to get through these, you need to lower your head and crouch thereby tautening your stomach muscles. By doing this, you get those six packs that you always wanted to have but did not know how to.
Let us now progress to biceps and triceps. As also chest. All you need to do is to volunteer with the tireless team that is forever putting up banners on this road. These men can do with some help in erecting the poles, nailing the struts and tying the ropes. All of these will give you the Hercules-like torso that you had so far only dreamt about. We now come to the jaw muscles. After all, these need to be steely to give you the macho look. For that, you only need to read the syrupy slogans that are printed on the banners. These will set your teeth on edge and get your jaws working. Presto! You are all set now to enter those body-building contests.
But these are days when flexibility is also a necessary measure of fitness. For that too, our EE Road has the answer. Walk on the pavements with the openness of mind to step off it onto the road each time you encounter a banner. That means you will be immediately nudged by the passing vehicles back on to the footpath. This hop on, hop off routine will loosen all the muscles made tight by the exercises prescribed in earlier paragraphs. For best results, do the former routine alternate days, thrice a week. The flexibility regimen is to be followed on the three intervening days. On Sunday you need to rest. These are simple remedies offered by our political establishment and can be interpreted as yet another freeby that it so specialises in. Think of the gymnasium fee you have saved!