Time to introduce another of Biscuit’s friend(?). He is of the same breed as Snowy of Tintin fame and as white and cute as him, but, the trouble is he swears (read barks!) as badly as a drunk Captain Haddock. He gets aggravated by Biscuit’s total nonchalance at his hard hitting performance. It is as if the silence on the neighbour’s at our surgical effort! There is a new addition to the canine club with a Rottweiler pup (same colour as Biscuit’s bête-noire Tiggy!) who is tied to his master’s car while the master goes for his clubbing in the Railway club. He is very adorable and Biscuit is warming up to him and their symphony of tail wagging a treat to watch. As they say everybody is adorable when young, the difference between a donkey and horse is known when they grow up. No offence to Rottweilers (I am partial to Labradors!).
Some improvement on the charkha spinning front. I have been able to source cotton locally from Srivilliputtur within the jurisdiction of Southern Railway reducing the carbon footprints of my spinning activity. All was not as smooth as it sounds, there was a real scare that I could have been out of cotton on the Gandhi jayanti day. Thanks to my friend who chipped in with her grandfather’s stock to avoid a major embarrassment! Time now to locate a local weaver!
The humid and muggy weather has been testing the runners’ patience and die-hardiness. While there is a temptation to bunk the run, but, the thought of guilt for the rest of the day for a few sweat soaked hours in the bed gets me to the door at the appointed hour. I have had two bunks during the period since I went to press last. While one was a party which could not be avoided the other was my mobile alarm malfunction!
I have been trying to analyse what gets people on the road to engage with me. If our favourite anchor was to get over the overkill on the surgical strikes and really ask what the ‘Nation wants to know’, it should be, Why does Hubli passenger run daily? The permanent resident of the bus shelter outside the church opposite Isaphani center has taken to showing his anger as I pass him. Since he is vocally challenged, it is difficult to guess his cause for anger. I am getting a feeling that he thinks I am mocking his attire by running past him bare-chested! There is definitely a fine line between empathy and mockery!
My left knee has been giving a little trouble, but, it gets better by the time I reach the Gemini flyover (about 2 Km into the run). I am reminded of the joke Rajesh Khanna made in the movie Anand about Asit Sen’s complaint of shifting pain. My Piriformis syndrome (pain in the bu$# to put it bluntly!) seems to be moving downward. The old man who crosses me on his cycle near Mylapore with knee caps on both his knees seems to be warning me too!
The crowd waiting for the bus near the shelter opposite City-center was having an audience poll on my itinerary with each person speaking from the point where they have seen me. I was tempted to stop and give a self declaration and clinch the issue. Their shyness in talking to me does not stop them from pulling each other’s leg asking them to catch me if they can!
I have had occasion to mention earlier about the boy (his name is Michael!) who skates with a smile on his face. I finally gave in to the temptation and stopped and shook his hand and told him to continue enjoying his game and congratulated his mother for letting him enjoy it. I also stopped another mother who pushes her daughter (could not have been more than 10 years old!) too much with the result that the poor girl skates with a sad face. Now the result is the girl skates with a smile on her face and the mother has a glum face when she crosses me.
I got a pleasant surprise when the shop owner of the apparel shop (one of the rare occasions when I accompanied my wife for her shopping) commented that he has seen me somewhere. I told him ‘I run’. He immediately flashed a smile of recognition and said he could not recognize me with my shirt on! Coming from him it was not so much an embarrassment as similar comments by the fairer sex have caused me when I am with my wife/daughter! No, I did not ask for a discount!
Today a gentleman standing near his parked car stopped me and after effusive praise for my regularity and dedication told that he comes to drop his kid to the school and sees me every day. He is a citizen warden and for one understood why I run opposite to the flow of traffic. He is an optician and wanted to present me a cooling glass at least! So do not be surprised if you find the Hubli passenger running with coolers on!