Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A shirt on every Indian’s back

The days are getting warmer and the dogs have shifted to the open air from under the parked cars. Biscuit continues to opt for the later walking slot. He however has deigned to give me company, even if in a doze, during my spinning session.
A dog decided to give me company early in my run the day before. Except for taking a hydration break in a cesspool where sewage water seeps out of the newly laid road on Uttamar Gandhi saalai, it kept up with my gentle pace effortlessly. It came closer to me for protection when threatened from the local mafia of strays when it strayed beyond its constituency. We must have made an interesting sight to the guards outside Hotel Taj which made them greet me smilingly. The dog got bored by the time I reached near the Gemini flyover, or, it must have remembered its mother warning him about the dreaded traffic at the Mount road crossing! I hope he must have made it back safely.
A heard a scooter slow down near me and I braced for a juvenile hooting from a youngster. I was pleasantly surprised to see a young man extending a plastic pouch containing cold water. I thanked him profusely while refusing the drink. I asked him if I looked tired/thirsty! I told him I have another three hours of run to go and more water now would mean hunting for place to take a bio-break! I was reminded of the Autowallah in Kakinada in an AAP cap who used to meet me daily with a water sachet. For every abusive two wheeler rider or a lorry driver you have such simple souls who make your day!
The bulk of activity on the RK Salai and Cathedral road at my time of run is hordes of workers putting up posters of smiling Amma. Some of them have become my regular friends. Yesterday, a small boy asked me, much to the amusement and loud guffaws of his fellow workers, ‘Gandhi Thata, why are you not wearing a shirt?’ Normally this question has become routine for me and I give varied response from showing them the top tied around my waist or just a smile. Today I decided to remind him of Gandhi’s pledge of not wearing a top cloth till all his brothers and sisters are fully clothed! Unfortunately, having asked his profound question, he moved on with the truck to boost the sagging fortunes of the Amma! I kept thinking about his question and talked about it to a few workers who were working with cutouts on the route. Gandhi was smiling serenely from his vantage position enjoying my discomfiture in having to explain why we have not been able to put a shirt on his back nearly seven decades of our tryst with destiny!
The Abhimaan couple was walking hand in hand probably making sure that differences do not grow between them due to their differences in athletic prowess. They were running in sync, the lady sacrificing speed for harmony. I remembered Jaya Bachchan vowing to sing only duets!
I have been contemplating going in for an e-reader and remember having exchanged notes with my sister on the subject as she has recently rekindled her reading habit. I was pleasantly surprised to be visited by my brother-in-law the day before and being presented a reader! I am now thinking to donate my committed amount to some charity. I think Goonj, the NGO working in clothing people an apt choice considering that are helping the nation clothe Gandhi at the earliest.
My vow to not run in any organized run is seriously threatened with my good friend Ajit organizing a 50K Ultra in Mysore. A visit to see my retirement home, his farm and get some compost for getting my composting going seems too tempting! The icing on the cake is that the run is advertised as Free! Free! Free! So Mysore it shall be on the 12th of March!

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