Monday, April 13, 2015

What I Talk About When I Talk About Walking

The virtual world now knows that I walked 5K at a marathon yesterday. My virtual friends sent me ponnaadais, poochendus, and bro-hugs online. A couple of close friends couldn't stop raving about my 'feat'. "Proud of you, Deepika! Way to go!" all of them said. A good friend went a bit overboard. "I am not surprised at all. You can do more!" he observed. (He didn't know that I might not have returned home if I had walked 21K. Because of ambulance, Apollo and all that.) Anyway, I accepted all the compliments. Perhaps, sheepishly.

I was a bit more glad, as Milind Soman flagged off the marathon. M i l i n d S o m a n. Milind Soman. Okay, I should stop before Boo drowns in my sea of slobber. Also, Milind Soman had two advices for the runners. (I was a walker. But, who wouldn't listen to Milind Soman, man. Please.)

His advices:
"First timers, take it easy!" - Whatever that meant!
"Make exercise a part of your life..." - Point. 

I reminded myself again: Exercise will be a part of my life henceforth. Not just because Milind Soman advised, but also because a friend warned of severing everything between us, if I fail to look after myself anymore. For some reason, she thinks I might kick the bucket at 35, and she might have to prepare herself to deal with the loss. Sigh! But, point.

Above all, I had that moment. That moment when I sat straight, looked around, thought of everybody who loves me, launched a heavy slap on my face, and yelled at myself, "Why the fuck won't you care for yourself, moron!"

So, I reckoned that the marathon was like an unofficial beginning. 

But, after I went to bed last night, my memories assaulted me. 

I saw images of me doing floor exercises at Slimline Gym nine years ago.
Just when I was beginning to feel sad about not being allowed to use a fancy elliptical trainer because I was too heavy, Dr Jalaja told me I should stop gymming. Asthma attack. Dr Jalaja said I could resume in a couple of months. But, I ignored that part of her advice. (I liked using that name. Jalaja.)

I saw images of me panting on a manual treadmill at an all-male gym seven years ago.
I quit because I dropped the gym-ball on my trainer's head. Of course, accidentally. I couldn't apologise because I had a fit of laughter. And, I never went again. I saw that man once after the disaster. So, he had survived.

I saw images of me trying to row faster at Pink three years ago.
Since the elite-women discussed their bra-sizes too many times everyday, I quit. (Thus, I always could blame others. Conveniently!)

The mishmash of images formed a face. A face with knitted eyebrows, and clenching teeth. That nameless thing shot an accusatory glance. Then, the misty face broke into a sardonic smile. It stifled a yawn and asked me, "So, you have started again? But, this stunt is not going to last long, is it?" 

Fine. I exaggerated. But, it was that kind of a cynical, discouraging thought. One of those times when one chooses to not believe oneself because of the ghosts from the past. Then, I recalled that moment, when a friend told me about preparing herself to deal with my death. That moment, when I chose to not ruin my loved ones's happiness. That moment, when I thought I should do it for myself. After all! 

Later, I vowed to myself that I shouldn't let my shoes be covered by cobwebs. When I swore, I heard the ghost say, "A stunt again?

I told the ghost something in a polite manner. "You would never know! You might be exorcised."

There are also those times, when one surprises oneself by doing the very things one once detested. Because...

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