My Jog tales, After 40 long years of protected living and complacency, Life has taken such a turn that I’m often left wondering about this rollercoaster I’m riding right now.
All of a sudden, there are so many things to do that I feel I’ll run out of time before the list is exhausted. In fact, I think I actually know how the proverbial bull in the China shop feels. The Husband has a big role to play in this transformation. I can’t help blaming him. That’s a Fundamental Right, marriage has conferred upon me. And he can’t help but suffer me. That’s the Sentence passed upon him by the same Institution.
I remember the initial dark winter mornings and those runs, walks, cycling after fighting more against his persistence than sleep. I still believe I sleep-walked through all those morning sessions. And I never realised when I fully woke up to this beautiful world of fitness and health.
Fortunately the Husband persisted against my adamancy and I conquered- my lethargy, my distaste for physical exercise, my inability to believe in myself. A completely new world now lies in front of me and I’m stupefied by the possibilities in it. I’m moving towards a new body and more importantly, a new mind. The former, fitter and the latter, stress free, more confident and assured.
Besides, I have also discovered that these morning activities have actually brought the ‘zing’ back into my life in more ways than one. Our busy lives often take us away from the people who matter the most in it. But the morning sun now sprinkles exuberant rays of joy on me. They allow me and the Husband to indulge in some insignificant chit chats, some harmless banter, some exchange of gossip and some laughter - innocent pleasures while I rough it out with the arrogant flab.
There is this small hillock, a stone’s throw from our dwelling. It is our daily Pilgrimage Centre. It houses the Gandhi Mandap, built in 1969. The site acquired enhanced significance as the country’s 9600 square feet, third tallest flag at approximately 320 feet was unfurled on October 2, 2018.
This uphill trek is a great observing ground for me. I love all these people I see almost every day, at least whenever I manage to tread the same path at the same time as theirs. I’ve often wondered about the stories each life would unravel after an hour of conversation with each.
There are these middle aged ladies. Well excuse me if I refuse to be clubbed as one and will hold steadfast to this refusal till another 40 years maybe. Anyway, they are on their way back as I huff and puff on way above. I often wonder if it is an untidy home they are hurrying back to. Perhaps a Husband who will need to be woken up with a cup of Tea or Kids who might need to be woken up and readied before the school van honks at the gate.
Or, hopefully not, to empty homes with kids working in some foreign shores, Husband too busy with his own life. Or Wait! Who knows, they might even be hurrying to the waiting cup of hot Tea and the Husband who had taken the pain to get its consistency right. Happiness is, after all, just a thought away for us dreamers.
There is this smart lady who looks quite fit and who always manages to evoke in me respect for her efforts as she runs or jogs. Another lady whose husband is not even aware that she not only runs up and down that hill but does so in a good time and that too, more than once. She is an acquaintance and I keep suggesting to her that she should participate in these running events that keep getting organised in the city. For me, these Runs are actually a great motivation to keep up with rigours of practice.
Then there are these couples who fascinate me a lot. The suffering husband, of course, with the occasional ‘Hunh’ and the ‘talking nineteen to the dozen’ wife. Poor guy! He must be reaching home every day with two aching legs and one aching head. Some are of course, mismatched ones. The sleepy grumpy face along with the flab in one giving away the secret as to who pulled whom out that morning.
I’ve always found exuberance and youth so assuring. Some are a joy to watch with their slim and trim selves conquering the inclines with graceful ease. But some need serious work and I can vouch they are at it.
Then there is this vigorous walker, an old man with a serious face. He carries a stick always. It must be for the dogs or the monkeys for his steps are sure, steady, strong and confident. I can vouch even if I jog, he’d outpace me easily with his long quick strides. Every time I see him, I secretly pray that old age, whenever it comes, be as gracious to me as well.
My sympathies are evoked for this serious man mostly at his mobile. Perhaps he’s setting the day’s work in order, perhaps instructing the sub ordinates about pending tasks and deadlines as he tries to synchronise his fitness regimen into all the madness in his life. I silently salute his efforts though.
But there is this one old man whom I really adore. A very friendly smart man. He rides up to a distance in his scooty and then walks up the rest. Sometimes he brings his wife along. Both of them always have a loving smile and a Hearty ‘Good Morning’.
Then there are the young kids including a few of my students who perhaps might have taken the cue from their aging and struggling teacher that it is better to start young. I always feel so happy to see them during my morning sojourns, happy that they are connecting with Nature in whatever small way possible. The Hillock, after all, rewards every one with a beautiful sight on reaching atop it and that is often a ‘Pull’ factor, at least for me.
The morning jogs, for me, are thus more of a study of human behaviour and a wild shot of a curious guess at the reality of their lives. But someday if I actually sit for that imagined hour with any of them, I promise, you will have an interesting story related to each. You see, every life is one!
These days as I jog to the hilltop, I can’t help but muse about the dying year and rush of time towards eternity, arrogant moments refusing to give way to a bit of relaxing ease. Just then the rising sun on my left winks through the canopy of green leaves with an assuring radiance. ‘No matter what, I shall always come with a new day. You can write the story of your choice and immortalise the gifts of moments.’ And I feel ready to greet a new morn, get a step ahead each day, be a witness to its glorious radiance and its assurance of immense possibilities.
Written bySangeeta Bhattacharjee
Sangeeta Bhattacharjee is an Educator, Media Professional, Sports & Adventure Enthusiast. Travelling is her Passion along with Writing. She is also associated with her Husband’s adventure tourism-based company Natventure,Guwahati. With a perpetual positivism towards life, Sangeeta believes in discovering something new at every unexpected twist that Life has to offer.