~ Reflections of my inner self ~

Archive for July, 2007

An early morning walk in Chennai

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Thirty minute moderate exercise every morning at least five days a week is getting to be a well accepted mantra everywhere for our well being and healthy living. Walking is the top recommendation! The benefits come free and plenty and one feels on top of the world. There is also an equally relaxing aspect to this, which you will know and appreciate only if you read this article. Let me tell you all about it, being a walker myself.

If you carefully notice you will find very amusing scenes and scenery as you walk. Let me start with the regular group of oldies, they are usually five to six, and all differently costumed (for that is least of their priority). They will almost block the width of the road, and you know they are coming from the loud and high pitched discussions and criticism about everything on earth except themselves. They all read many papers, see TV programmes, for that is one of their main occupations in retirement other than eating, sleeping and of course morning walks. Topics range from politics, drama, cinema, music, TV soaps, sports, Sensex (an Indian stock exchange), price spirals, economy, travel and weather! Their walking speed is fairly good and so is the distance walked; the secret is that both go unnoticed as they are deep in their discussions.

Then there are the ones who bring their dogs for walks. The dogs being home fed are generally healthy and well and will keep a fast pace pulling the owner, who will be forced to follow and many times it becomes a mild running for them! The walks for these dogs are a great outing for they are kept tied up most of the time at home. Therefore they are bouncing with energy and enthusiasm. You will notice that these dogs will have a “don’t care” attitude to the local street dogs seen on the road and they will quietly move to the other side of the road, scared so much that they sometimes forget to wag tails. Poor stray dogs! A comic scene will also emerge many a times, as some walkers who are scared of dogs will also quickly cross over to other side of foot path seeing the dog coming, only to find some stray dog hiding there. So they invariably have to demonstrate their kung fu styles with the walking sticks they carry in their hand.

Now the scene will shift to teenage girls (we have to pay close attention to find out if it is a boy or girl, for these days they look alike!). With a tight pony tail, which will swing from left to right as they walk, a tight t-shirt, a cell phone in their belt, an iPod attached to ears and a trouser of varying length from thigh, to knee, to ankle with some patches and holes. They walk with a care free attitude and a serious face, perhaps the mind is too occupied evolving solutions to problems like what to wear today, which food joint to go, what excuse to give for coming late, how to get more pocket money from parents or deciding which class to bunk today! They have their own problems and walking time is the best time to find solutions, generally solitary time.

We also find some elderly couples, who still care for each other (walking together is a proof enough), in a very relaxed walk, simple clean white dress, the man with Vibudi and the lady with Kum kum and fresh flowers indicating they have already completed their home prayers. It is a very pleasant sight to see such people. Truth, tolerance and fellow feeling still go strong in the world today because of such people. They have time to wish and greet known people, and exchange a word or two. The Blessed.

Leaving these people behind, as we move closer to the sea front, a new scene emerges. Runners on the beach front, people practicing free hand exercises, people doing Surya (Sun God) namaskar worship, people in various yoga postures, some in deep meditation, and some quietly sitting observing the sun rise, fishermen coming back from their trips and daily catches. In some quite spots you will find people practicing musical instruments like violin, guitar and some even ventilating their vocal chords to a full pitch. A free for all situation.

Many a thought will come to your mind, let them come and go. When you learn to ignore them they stop coming and a sense of bliss comes to you, a scene in which creative and purposeful ideas emerges which will have a bearing to your activity of the day.

On a morning like this, I was sitting on a bench near the sea front, when a well built Sardar-ji came and sat in the same bench. I smiled and asked about his well being, but he refused to answer saying he won’t answer to unknown people. I smiled and kept quiet. The next day the same Sardar came and sat in the same bench and I repeated my enquiry. “Have I not told you my answer yesterday sir” said the Sardar! I said we have already met yesterday so you can speak to me! Even the Sardar had to laugh at that and said yes sir we are friends from today and shall meet every morning at this bench.

Written by Raghuraman

July 28th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Posted in General