Well, writing a post after a long time. With the C word ruling our lives in the last almost 1.5 years which seems an eternity almost, travelling for me was a full stop. Like for many people, roads were gone and hope was the only solace from the dreading pandemic.
Though the 1st wave to the second and the anticipation of the 3rd wave blocked all forms of movement with any modes of transport , some did venture out in the last few weeks and I am sure some brave souls did some travel in between too. But like a responsible global citizen and a family man, I did not take any chance and mostly stayed in doors putting all forms of travel plans on hold.
However , with the vaccinations gaining ground and general optimism all around , I am mulling a short roadtrip very soon. But till then it was only the morning runs in the locality or inside our complex.
However last week time was on my side. I decided to go for a long walk, Well long from most peoples perspective. I had to give my car for the long due servicing hence I though of dropping the car to the service station and instead of taking a drive / ride or public transport back to home, I decided to walk it out. While it is not a great distance but a good one and half hour long walk. The thought of simply to bask in the morning sunlight , following a slow moving traffic, looking and observing people going about their chores , mindful of the pandemic yet the general apathy of a bygone risk replaced by the bashful optimism of a yearning future, I decided to walk it out.
While the distance was around 6 to 7 kms, walking it out slowly takes time and with no major task for the day to be completed I was looking forward to the experience while clocking my heath miles in the google fit app.
Now, when you walk a certain distance without constantly looking at your watch and need to rush back, a lot of things seem different.
- Sound. We don’t often give importance to the plethora of sounds that surrounds us. Mostly closed in the windows of our cars we pass miles after miles without give a good listen to the surrounding sounds of nature and life around us. The sound of the winds, the birds, the bark of the dogs, the roar of the engines, workers, the screams of the children, cooks in the way side restaurants, the makeshift fruit sellers all make sound which can feel so refreshing, so natural and so full of life. Take time out and do listen to these sounds and appreciate the life surrounding us
- Buildings. We hardly marvel at the walls and the pillars that construct the human life. Without shelter we will not be able to provide for any thing sustainable. How surprising was it to find a modern house in the middle of a bustling IT city but inside it was a large cowshed with cows and buffaloes probably supplying milk to the neighboring families. The beautiful church which was now surrounded with greenery, the busy marathahalli bridge which in the days before used to be jammed with bumper to bumper traffic now was a lazy road with intermittent BMTC buses. How the houses and the walls give meaning to a city. The walls sometimes sheltered a busy shop while some sheltered a spanking mall. Some walls provide homes to human and some to animals and street dogs. It’s such a marvel to look and imagine the beautiful buildings and walls all which exist to give meaning to someones life. Explore it during your next casual walk.
- Roads – Roads are a funny creature. It gives direction to everything. Have you wondered if there were no roads there would be no purpose in life. Roads give meaning to destinations. We take roads to sometimes seek love from a loved one, sometimes to grief and bid good bye to a dear one. We take some roads to achieve a victory in sport or study and some roads to fulfill our routine living. some roads lead us to fascinating people and experiences and some roads to faith, power or deception. Sometimes the same road takes us to different motives and intentions. Without roads we would be clueless in terms of direction. We would wander aimlesslessly and feel a sense of incompletion and gloom. Roads gives meaning and purpose to our existence.
Such was my thoughts as I passed by walking from one street to another when all of a sudden three eunuchs came towards me. They confronted me head-on and started asking me for money. As no one was on the road walking, I seemed to be the inevitable victim. For a moment I curses myself for not catching the bus or the ride back home. Then I clamed down and started talking to these folks giving the same lame excuse of I don’t have anything. They started laughing and touching me what seemed to them as blessing points . I pulled out my front pocket contents which was my car keys, my mobile phone and a hanky and showed them that was all I had and smiled. They smiled back and walked away saying “ok” “ok” – Bhagwan tera bhala kare. ( God Bless you). I am still not sure why they could not imagine that my back pocket had my purse and obviously some money for them but somehow the moved on and I went back to my maze of sightseeing and imaginations.
After 45 minutes of walk, I started sweating and realised ki “Dilli abhi door hai” ( home was still far away).The initial romanticism of a lazy walk gave way to a more realistic thinking of should I take a bus back for the remaining miles? but I could not see any in my horizon though lot of traffic was moving up and down the roads. I moved on and realized I could save some distance by cutting through the beautiful kundanhalli lake to reach my home. With renewed hope I trudged along as I approached the lake entrance. The lake was very refreshing and calm. Often hidden from population this beautiful piece of nature I had discovered few months back. I soaked in the serene and calm waters of the lake as I slowly headed home.
As I reached the entrance of our apartment, my legs were turning sore and I really felt the pinch. But the sense of completion and a small achievement literally motivated me to take the final steps towards home, . I met our maid who was returning back from her morning shift and she enquired if everything was all right , quite surprised seeing me walking in a pair of jeans and a bag over my shoulder and literally sweating through my mask. I smiled and said yes all is well.
I reached home and slumped in the sofa. Happy to have made the walk from my car service center to home in nearly an hour and a half. I had time on my side so I could do this. Part of my Active Travel diaries and new mantra of life – To Simplify. Of course trying new roads and new trips. Every Trip has a purpose, Find yours.