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Monday, February 8, 2021

The thrill of Jogging

 


It was dark and windy and the sky was overcast. I was all set out for the morning jog, as I quietly stepped out of my house on the second floor in Goa. This was a daily routine for a couple of months as our work timings had changed from the usual ones to 5.30 AM-12.45 PM. Sounds unusual, but so did everyone feel initially as the runway extension work had commenced and the airfield was handed over to the construction agency who were executing the work. This is more than three decades ago but the memory is still crisp in my mind as if it was yesterday. I had adjusted my morning routine to be awake by 3 AM and get ready for the jog along the periphery of the Dabolim airport at a wee hour. There was no traffic except for a stray car or a truck at that time. 

I had just covered about two km when suddenly a ferocious dog sprang out from a bush by the kerb and growled fiercely! My heart missed a beat, at the thought of a dog bite at this odd hour. I mustered some courage and stopped in my track suddenly and looked back. It was now the turn of the dog to be taken aback. To my horror, there was not even a blade of grass forget about a stone nearby. I suddenly pretended as if I picked a stone ready to hurl, stopping my self halfway. The dog continued to growl and retreated a bit. I stepped in its direction a couple of paces but to my good luck, the dog changed its mind to attack me. I then gathered a bit more courage and commenced my jog slowly once again, with the dog following me for a little distance before giving up. I completed the lap and almost half an hour later reached home to recount the close shave I had in the morning. The daylight was breaking and after a quick shower, I left home for work around 5 AM on my scooter to the airbase. 

My wife tried to dissuade me from this morning ritual but I managed to convince her and left the next morning with a stick in my hand, a little better prepared for any eventuality. Around the same spot, I noticed that there were more dogs as if waiting to pounce on me. I valiantly waved the stick and the pack changed its mind. They howled but did not come anywhere close to me. I then decided to change my route so as not to disturb the tranquillity of the canine friends.

The routine of morning jogs continued for many more years adding more thrills as the time rolled on. After a few months, I moved into a new house, in Goa which was within the airbase. The jogging route was now on more serene and natural surroundings. I would witness the trickling sunlight beyond the Arabian sea on Dabolim beach every day. One morning it was drizzling and I saw a flash of light just a few yards away from me. It was a huge silver-coloured snake that crossed the road ahead of me at a lightning pace! I later learnt that due to dense vegetation the snakes were often sighted in the vicinity.

I would need several blog posts to recount such episodes including one of getting lost in a snowy field in Stockholm and discovering the old port town Jaffa near TelAviv. I explored several cities wherever I travelled in subsequent years on such jogs 

PS- Pic kind courtesy Google


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