Someone once suggested to me that if I took up ‘morning walk’ for three weeks, I would be hooked to it for a lifetime. I took it up as a challenge and I find myself tying up my shoelaces every morning since then.
Apart from the fresh air, I look forward to the sights that my walk offers. There are some serious walkers who look straight ahead and usually walk alone. They appear to be entirely engrossed in themselves and rarely look around. Then there are some who are out walking for the fun of it. These are usually men who can be found walking leisurely in groups of twos or threes or even more, loudly discussing office gossip, politics or cricket. For them the camaraderie is most important, the physical aspect of walking secondary. Then there are some overweight ladies trying to make up for years of blissful neglect of body contours. At the other extreme are athletic and anorexic young girls who are obviously not used to early morning sounds of nature and as if in an attempt to block these out, either have headphones blaring music into their ears or are ceaselessly talking to someone on their mobile phones. Streaked hair, multiple contraptions and latest sport gear, can identify them. Morning walk also affords easy opportunity of gaining access into informal groups. While one group is engaged in yoga, the other group is raising their arms and laughing their ailments away.
As I return home from my daily walk, I silently greet the NDMC staffer with the big broom blowing away a cloud of dust as she sweeps the road, the boy at the panshop who sleepily pulls open the shutters for yet another day, the pandit at the corner temple who plays filmy bhajans and enterprising ladies rushing to the nearest vegetable vendor clutching their jholas and about to clinch the best deal of the day. I can barely suppress a smile as I trudge back home remembering the lines of Robert Browning: “...Morning’s at seven… God’s in His heaven, All’s right with the world”.