Sunday, August 29, 2010


pic courtesy MamaMandolin

An alarming sign has popped up at the entrance of my local gym. At first read, I broke into cold sweat. People - from boxers, rowers to weight lifters - are refused entry if they don't carry a sweat towel. Heh. So it is no longer appropriate to leave sweat in a place where you go to, well, raise a sweat. I would've shared my piece of mind with the burly receptionist if I hadn't been mopping my sweaty face with a kerchief for the fear of being marched out of the gym. Be gone, you sweaty man!
This isn't to say I am a gym junkie. I am not. This was my first visit in the last 3 weeks. I usually visit the gym to do a few laps in the swimming pool or if it's not very humid, maybe a few kms on the treadmill. I usually prefer to hit the pool. You can't dog paddle on the running machine, you see :)

Coming back to the towel issue, I feel slighted on behalf of my fellow blokes. We are fast becoming extinct, allowing the actions of over-zealous sanitary types to erode our natural environment. If we don't act soon, real men will be wiped off the planet by 2030, replaced by gormless, porcelain-like Robin Pattinson-types. Is that the kind of a 'man' the world wants? Some chicks may scream Yessss. But you see, less is not always more. I agree, sweat can be disgusting. No one would wants to see Miranda Kerr walking down the catwalk with a wet underarm patch. No one wants to have their bowl of soup dripped on or have their sandwich sogged up by a sweaty waiter. No one wants to be leaked on by a overheated commuter. On a hot humid day, our Kashkam can pose lots of kashtam for us.

But people and perspiration can live together. In harmony. In some case, it's a privilege. Try telling a ball kid that they are not to hold Rafeal Nadal's towel during a particularly tight 5-setter. I am sure they don't wanna be rushed off to be disinfected in a chemical bath. They wouldn't want to be washed for a week! I've always dreamed of being an Australian Open ball boy.

Take cinema. Sweat is an icon. Who else would pan slowly and purposefully on a worried actor's furrowed brow in a tense scene. Ask Ethan Hunt - sweat contributed to the suspense in that scene in Mission Impossible-1 where he dangled from the ceiling. Rocky, John McLain, why even our own Padayappa owes part of his good fortune to sweat. Thamizh makkal have paid him oru poun thanga kaasu for every thuli of his vervai. So why ban it from gyms? A wise man once said, If you cant handle the heat, you should get out of the kitchen. That may explain why there are many women-only gyms. Hm. Fair enough.

But now, the situation is dire. A species is at risk. Sweaty blokes belong to the gym. It's their jungle. If you don't like it, head to the swimming pool. One request: Make sure you take a leak before you take the plunge. Thank you :)


  1. YOu have indeed broken into some sweat ! writing this piece out !


  2. Haha, I feel you bro but I am sure no gym does it to wipe off the real men off the planet. There is certainly a hygiene factor in their call for a sweat towel to be carried at all times. Personally, I wouldn’t want to use equipment that has been overhauled in sweat! So, from a hygiene perspective, I think it is fair and square!

    And I second your plea for people to take a pee before they plunge in the pool! :D

  3. HA a sweaty post!!
    verthu kottudhu edha padichu :)

    wat sriram you wanted to be a ball boy in australian open,i thgt u wished to be one in Chidamaram Stadium in Chepauk :)

    Jus kidding!!!

  4. Kavi: thanks :)

    Gans: hehe, ya bro. i fully support the rule as there is nothing more annoying than cleaning up other person's mess. this post is my attempt to take the mickey out of the rule. it's all for fun :)

    nirmal: yes, ball boy at oz open. tennis is more attractive than cricket, if you know wat i mean :D

  5. A few ppm of uric acid in a few thousand gallons of water in a pool, shouldnt really matter. But I'd kill people who spit saliva & nasal excretions onto the water. I prefer my tamirabarani river anyday..running water is the best (even with pasu maatu moothram)

  6. Being a Madarasi, i can understand this issue very well:-)!

    Cheers, Viji

  7. Sri..that was side-splitting.. nice one...never thought so much about sweating hehe

  8. Sriram,
    I would prefer to be a ball boy for a match between Ana ivanosivic and Wozniacki :)

    I would watch a Nadal or Federer match from stands to enjoy the tennis :P

  9. by chance got into your blog. Usually i do not read blogs of unknown people.
    but your unknown mind, i liked.
    bye bye and please go on.

  10. Your citation from the scene in Mission Impossible-1 was highly indebted. This one unique practice will engage the readers of the blog to book mark your blog website

  11. Is this in Sydney or elsewhere? The same sign has popped up at my gym at macquarie university...haha

  12. ashwin, lol. i cant stand spit/shali ..ouaa. the pasu maatu moothram reference reminded me of a gomiyam joke in crazy mohan's Sattelite samiyaar drama.

    viji, :)

    parades, piece?

    pearl, thanks :)

    nirmal, hahah. i'd swap Woz with Sharapova ;)

    juno rosebud, thanks. welcome here!

    callezee, thanks! :)

    illusorynirvana, this is in Brisbane. looks like other gyms in aus are following suit.