Whilst still in school, I fell in love with jogging and would infrequently indulge in the sport! Then came the college, and I continued with this indulgence, besides playing a bit of lawn tennis, and cricket! It used to be fun to take to the street early in the morning and enjoy the crisp and clear
air which was much less polluted and much lesser traffic to worry about! There were not many enthusiasts except for some fair skinned whom I would encounter near the Diplomatic Enclave, my favorite haunt! It was green most of the time in the year and was adorned with flowers of different hues and even had a lovely Rose Garden! This would elevate the spirits besides cleanse the body of the toxic wastes through huge amount of perspiration! Of course I never understood those benefits at that time! Delhi
Slowly, the time went by and I landed in the Navy! The very first day we were taken for a jog for six kilometers followed with heavy outdoors! On Sundays, there would be a compulsory 15 km cross country race and those who were caught taking short cuts would have to redo it!
It then became a habit and wherever I went, this is one thing I never forgot. Get up early and go out for a jog! In the process I was rewarded with rare sights like watch migrating birds visiting the secluded salt pans in Jamnagar, seeing the old actor David( Yes the one of ‘Chupke , Chupke ‘fame) taking a walk every day near Churchgate in Mumbai in mornings, meeting Khushwant Singh at the Bogmolo beach in Goa! These were all the places I had been posted while serving in the Navy! I also saw some rare snakes in
Goa during the rains and I was almost bitten by stray dogs at various places who mistook me to be a tramp running away with booty!
After quitting the Navy, I stepped into the corporate world and would sometimes exercise in the gymnasiums of the hotels and watch either too young or too old ones running on the tread mill besides me! Rarely would I be rewarded with a beauty running besides me to keep company! The only time one came to my rescue was, when I tripped in the dark hours in a park near Colaba in Mumbai and landed with a thud on the walk way! She came to assist and check if I had bruised myself! In the
in Kolkata, it was fun to see scores of people indulge in group yoga sessions, women chanting hymns and dog lovers attending to their canine needs! Victoria
During my several visits to different overseas destinations I kept my date with this hobby. I saw some interesting sights like a couple engaged in intense love making at the secluded part of the Tel Aviv beach, a prostitute engaging me in Krabi in Thailand and insisting to walk with me, watching the lovely meadows in Zurich, running along side a group of cyclists in Hong Kong, getting lost in the woods in Stockholm where I stayed at a lonely part in the winter! In fact I could go on with the interesting episodes which would appear like a concocted story!
This is one activity I do not regret having got addicted to early in life! I had once fallen sick and was unable to walk for about ten days and that was the most miserable time I had. I would tell my wife, see how lucky those guys are who can walk and I am confined to this damn bed! I can vouch that this is the best form of fitness and every day one is rewarded with melody of birds, fragrance of flowers and the sight of rising sun to elevate the spirits no matter where we are.
PS: Image Kind courtesy Google