Normally Biscuit and I enjoy the solitude of the morning walk. Barring his canine friends and a few sleepy policemen who ignore us, there are no other witnesses to this daily ritual of ours. This being the norm, we were surprised when we saw four men fully wrapped up in bed sheets sitting cramped in a bench at the usual spot where Biscuit likes to do his potty. Since they looked like the residents of the nearby workers sheds, I asked them the reason for their early morning watch. Out came their agonized complaint that mosquitoes had made it impossible for them to sleep. The stench Cooum, still air and buzzing hordes of mosquitoes corroborated their version. Was reminded of Nana Patekar's now famous quote and wished I could let loose Rajnikant of Robot fame to their rescue! I hope the Ganga cleaning mission extends to Cooum cleaning also! Biscuit had to walk longer for his spot.
Even at 3:30 AM in the morning, the mannequins at Diva showroom had already changed their attire for the day and were looking ready to entice unsuspecting customers. How they manage to change in glass houses on a busy street which never sleeps amazes me!
I took my time over green tea after Biscuit’s walk and left at 4:34 AM only. Biscuit, his hopes kindled momentarily at the delay in my start, after failing to get me interested in his Pink Piggy toy reluctantly went back to continue his sleep.
It took all my patience to keep my shirt on till the usual strip-tease point. The Regional Metrological Center enroute was standing a mute spectator to the insidiously creeping in summer. It was a relief when the top came off. Pant pocket having given up due to the daily onslaught of banana peel and mobile, the precious cargo goes into the shirt pocket and around the waist, so no split timings!
The prayer halls on the Cathedral road were doing a silent protest on the slur cast on the country’s famous daughter. As I was climbing the TTK flyover, I could see no action in the HSBC bank below even though the lights were on, the guard was sleeping oblivious to the beating the bank has taken in the recent times for its shady deals. The early commuters were already thronging the bus shelters, they had no time for the daily skin show put up by me. The road was partly wet, it must have got a shower earlier. I could do a Cadbury lady jig if only the weather god could spare me some showers! The milk van was waiting as the loot of the exploited Dairy animals was being counted. Banana peels carried by me felt like insignificant recompense for the atrocities the Dairy animals bear to yield us their life-blood.
Stopped for a breather at the Lighthouse and took out the mobile to see the time, 5:18 AM it was, must have missed the Doctor! I took the banana peels in hand and put back the mobile in the shirt pocket and back it went around my waist. I carried the peels in hand hoping to get a cow soon. I had the ignominy of carrying the peels for till the end of the first loop and not finding a receiver. I finally left it on the green patch opposite the Prasar Bharthi office where I have seen a cow and calf brought for milking every day. As if to rub it in, a convoy of mail vans screamed past me on the Mount road. I did not even have the time to make my wish!
The diligent guard outside the Flag staff house was polishing the brass name board, looked like he was trying to keep the top brass of the army blemishless! Today there were two three groups of armymen doing their prescribed run. The exchange of salutation was muted. Completed the second loop of the Island ground and as I was crossing the man near the Labour statue who sits with the weighing machine, I saw that owing to lack of foot falls on his machine, he had shifted his attention to weightier matters reported in the previous day’s papers. I crossed Sundar today while returning on my second loop from Lighthouse.
There is this middle aged lady who has started running in the last few weeks and has been making a steady progress. We exchange glances when we cross and today she got cheers from me for doing a longish stretch much to her amusement. I reached the Gandhi statue when it was past 7:15 AM by the clock. I reached home at 7:52 AM, completing a 3 hour 18 minute 32K for the day. Tomorrow should be a full!