A flurry of calls was recorded across all the North Indian centres of reputed fitness and health institutes including the likes of VLCC, Talwarkars, Body Care, Health Zone and Gold’s Gym. Frantic women, from homemakers and college students to businesswomen and socialites, wanted to know how Anna had done it. The existing members were also enraged at the thought of the rigorous exercise and diet regimes that they had been subjected to when the frail, old man had seemingly lost three kilos while only sitting in a corner of Tihar Jail.
A receptionist at VLCC GK-I, on condition of anonymity, shared her anxiety with this NTMN correspondent. “I had to attend nearly four hundred calls in just an hour. Angry members threatening to revoke their ‘attractive packages’ , new members expecting us to create magic with their out-of-shape and obese bodies, branch managers dangling monthly targets like lucrative bones. It is just too much. We are mere humans. This Anna guy has wrecked havoc with our professional lives.”
The same pain was reflected in the telephonic interview conducted with a personal trainer, Asim, at Talwarkars, a reputed fitness chain. “I am tired of these ladies coming up to me and expecting me to assure them that they would lose three kilos in three days. And that too without even stepping on the treadmill or doing pilates. I don’t know where they are getting these insane ideas from. I think I may need to apply for a job as a magician in Gemini Circus. Do you know when they are coming into town?”
When Arvind Kejriwal was inquired about this downturn in Anna’s health, he brushed it aside with a shrug and told NTMN that he was not worried about it at all. “Anna is fighting fit and those three kilos are nothing but a sacrifice that he has made for the nation. He does not care for food or water, he just wants to maintain his trim physique and guide the nation into a corruption-free and obesity-free era. The youth are in full support of this initiative of Anna. The evidence can be seen in front of Tihar Jail, in Ramlila Maidan, in Chatrasal Stadium and in the streets of Delhi and across all the cities of India. They are walking and fasting with Anna.”
Even Kiran Bedi was in full agreement with Kejriwal. “This is like killing two birds with one stone. It is greed that is at the root of both corruption and gluttony. Annaji is aiming to eradicate this sin of greed from Indian society. I am with Annaji. Annaji tum aage badho, hum tumhare saath hain,” she began cheering in sudden excitement, forcing this correspondent to clap her hands over her ears at the sharp high tones of the slogan.
While people across the country are celebrating Anna’s fight against corruption, its ill-effects have begun to emerge already. Three days into the fast and the fitness industry is the first to feel the pinch of Anna’s austerity. Through this medium of NTMN a lot of proprietors of health and fitness institutes have pleaded with Anna to put a stop to his fast as soon as possible. They have also appealed to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, appealing to their ‘slim’ side to accept Anna’s demands without much delay.
Here’s hoping that their appeals do not fall on deaf ears. And on this note, the correspondent would only like to cheer, “Desh ka beta kaisa ho, Anna tere jaisa ho.“