pulitzer prize-luminary commended author
Silky Aunty looked directly at her nephew Vinay, her eyes squinting.
“I have bought a workout outfit just for you. I got it as soon as I found out you would be coming here.”
She pulled out something from a dresser by the mat. “Try this on!”
It was a tiny, low-cut black spandex singlet. Vinay was mortified by this supposed ‘workout outfit.’ Was this woman mad?
He had no intention of being the Indian male version of Catwoman.
“No thanks, I’m fine the way I’m dressed,” Vinu murmured, quite comfy in his drenched t-shirt and baggy shorts.
Vinay didn’t even let her finish, successfully changing the subject swiftly.
“In fact, Silky Aunty, I’m not exercising today. I just want to observe, if that’s ok with you. I promise I’ll start exercising with you tomorrow.”
“Fine. Just watch then!” She sounded irritated.
Janaki, her pudgy pig-tailed personal trainer, spoke. “Let’s begin. Ommmmmmm. Ommmmmm.” Vinay was getting excited. Although he had never done yoga, he had watched it on TV, and all of the contortions and squats and movements astounded him. But perhaps it wasn’t yoga, he thought. Maybe it was pilates, or best yet, tae-bo. Whatever it would be, he was happy. He liked seeing how flexible the human body could be, considering he barely liked moving to pick up the remote control.
However, he didn’t see his vision of yoga, or anything close to pilates. What he saw was something different.
“Give me thirty, Silky!” Janaki yelled.
Vinay was on his toes; he couldn’t wait to see Silky Aunty do thirty of anything. But Janaki wasn’t referring to fifty thirty poses. Or even thirty push-ups.
She was ordering Silky Aunty to do thirty jumping jacks. Jumping jacks.
After she had finished just ten, Silky Aunty was too tired to go on.
“Janaki, why must you make me work so hard!”
“We want you to be beautiful, no?”
Both women then broke into, oddly enough, authentic laughter.
“Now back to work!”
“Ayoooo! Ayooooo!” Silky Aunty moaned intensely. Vinay wondered, inappropriately, if these were the noises she made during orgasms.
After the thirty were completed, Janaki spoke. “Time for the next round!”
Oh, please, not the second round. I am so exhausted.”
“This is what exercise is, Silky. As the Westerners say, no pain, no gain!”
"OK, lets do this. C’mon!”
After all the build-up Vinay expected a mammoth ‘second round.’ Especially since the first one consisted of simple jumping jacks. Instead, he saw Silky Aunty and Janaki doing something even less vigorous than round one. Walking in place. That’s all, walking in place.
“Silky, let’s shoot for five minutes of this.”
As the minutes passed, Vinay felt relieved. Now this is the type of exercise I can do, he smiled to himself.
When the walking was done, the thirty minute workout had finished. Janaki washed her face, then grabbed her big brown bag and strolled out of the house.
“What a workout!” Silky Aunty cried out.
“Vinu, see what I must do to keep this figure?”