Sunday, February 5, 2012

An evening walk...

I walk slowly.   The road surface is undulating - ups, downs, potholes and patches.   I watch each step carefully - I grimace at the state of Mumbai roads.   Patch work.  No engineering.   The half-mindedness of the contractor in completing the job is very evident. Pathetic.  

As I negotiate the uneven patches of bitumen, I remember the days when I used to run around in my village, down south in Kerala.   We used to run endlessly - before the morning sun rose and long after the lights died in our houses.

We used to run behind elephants and the Ambassador ( old sedans) that appeared at the end of our street.  We used to run in the paddy fields chasing the football.  We all loved soccer those days.   My two elder brothers and I kicked the heck out of those two balls.

Time passed, in the fight for the daily bread, I moved into a daily routine that consumed all gaiety.  I could only watch sports very occasionally.  My job literally consumed me - in the dust bowls of Coimbatore and then Madurai.   Sports was a forgotten aspect of my life.

Post retirement, I moved to Chennai to settle down with my two sons.   During the past three-four years, my sons, in their prime of life, fighting for their place under the sun - have started to run.  Running, to them is an identity, a bond and I am happy that they run.  The younger has run couple of marathons and the elder will run his full soon.

My father, and I
They struggle to get their weekly run in.  I know, like me, their work and family pressures consume them.   In their 30's, it is a daily fight between finance, family and fitness.

I see me in them.   I see despair, hope and fight in their eyes.   The thirst to succeed and make their progeny successful.   I see the sparkle of love in them. 

Like the undulating roads of Mumbai, I see life before me, the ups and downs - as I ride in my memory lane from Kerala to Kandivili.  

My eyes move from the potholes to the person next to me.  I smile at my son, the elder one.  As we walk towards his car together, I know he has skipped his evening run - just to walk along side me.   He does not talk, just smiles back.  We both know it.

( This blog is dedicated to the MAN who is the author's mentor and the best friend he has, his father - and the evening walk together)

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