It is Valentines season come early for Biscuit’s brethren. They seem to be courting danger in the middle of the road unmindful of the traffic. There is this brown girl who has been stalking Biscuit unabashedly these last few days during our morning walks. Now, though he is a confirmed bachelor, he has sometimes been tempted to make cooing sounds (It is like Maneka tempting Vishwamitra again!). He is made of sterner stuff, but, thanks to this love angle he has become regular in his morning walks again!
I do not wait for the 1st of January to make resolutions, changes have been happening to me gradually without my having to plan for it. This year, however, I did make a few resolutions. First being getting off facebook. I spent a week slowly weaning myself from this latest addiction and took the plunge yesterday. I was overwhelmed by the ‘Tussi Na Jaao’ kind of comments my post regarding quitting facebook got. I am actually jealous of Biscuit as more than my absence my friends seem to be worried about missing Biscuit’s adventures! I shall continue to inflict my writings through my Blog at www.blogger.com titled ‘My experiments on the highway’.
The last week of December has been very productive in terms of runs. I ran the last week of previous year without a break. That made me to resolve to run every day in this year. To keep out statistics and competition, the distance shall not be full marathon except on Sundays. The daily quota has been pegged at 32K. The going is good till the time of going to press.
I have gathered a lot of encounters in these two weeks of running which I shall unleash to the extent my memory serves;
M S Amma has deserted her post and she seems to be sabha hopping in this Music season. Deserting the commoners for serenading the cognoscenti has not gone down well with the morning walkers crowd.
Road relaying work has again picked up pace after the rains undid the previous work. I seem to have worked up a decent following among the workers who are doing these works on my route. Usual introductions are the question if I was going up to the Beach road, other times I just overhear the word ‘Daily’ as I pass by. This is their way of telling me that I am being followed. Yesterday, one young worker ran alongside me on the Beach road. He is from Thiruvannamalai. After enquiring about my routine, he asked me why I run barefoot. I asked him in turn that he himself is barefoot. He made light of his effort by saying that he is used to it. He got my name and when I returned the favour I was surprised to know that his name was Rajiv Gandhi. I jokingly told him that Sonia Madam would shed tears of blood finding her dear departed’s namesake working on hot tar road bare footed! I am aware that such stories should not be made light of. I was imagining with what expectations his parents would have named him ‘Rajiv’. I hope he has a better future in the Shining and Digital India.
Today a lady cyclist who regularly crosses me on R K Salai told me that the Beach road is blocked for road work, I just took a chance to just say Hi to Bapuji. I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a smiling Rajiv Gandhi from across the barricades. He let me in and introduced me to his co-workers, Har Ek friend Jaroori hota hai! I felt like a VIP being taken ahead of Aam Aadmis for the Tirupati Balaji darshan.
I think I have mentioned this distinguished looking person who sits near the Kannagi statue and who had broken my heart by begging. He has come back after tours to Bangalore and Tiruchi. He always greets me with a ‘Jai Sia Ram’ as I cross him. Curiosity got the better of me and one day I stopped to know more about him. So, here goes, He is 81 years young and resides near Mylapore tank with his guruji. He retired from Royal Enfield factory at Ennore more than 30 years back. His name is Val-vil-Ram. Now he chants ‘Gold medal’, First and that his name is .. whenever I cross him. I feel like I have won a fan like Sachin’s painted friend! Will find out more about him and why he has been reduced to begging by and by!
I used to be reporting about the mentally challenged lady who used to stay at the R K Salai bus shelter. Now, I have lost her since the rains. I have tried enquiring with the Sanitation workers who work that beat. I have settled for the reply one of the lady workers gave that the lady may have found a shelter in some better place, hope it is true. Meanwhile, I have been introduced to a young lady who works for an NGO which rescues and shelters mentally challenged women. Had I reported about her earlier, maybe, she would have found a shelter fo sure! I have been seeing a lady with a young child begging on the Beach road. She is disabled at her hip and drags her lower half of the body. Fresh from the tragedy of the R K salai lady, I asked this lady if she would like to move to a home and earn her keep if a NGO offers to take her. She has been enthusiastic and things have been set in motion and I hope she finds a decent life instead of having to beg on the road.
The Parle G lady is regular in her feeding of her canine charges. She has this habit of plucking flowers during the walk and putting them in her hair. Fully adorned she looks like the lady in Lage Raho Munnabhai who teases Lucky with her hair full of flowers. She seems to be always tauting me with ‘Get Well Soon’!
I am taking around 3hour 30 minutes to 3 hour 45 minutes for my quota of daily run and weather permitting would like to make the form count while it lasts to create a record of daily runs without a break!