This morning, I was the boat club. Now, the boat club is not some hep thing. At least not in this context, it is not. Its a bunch of roads that we run on. A full complete circumnavigation of these roads gives you a distance of 2.5 kilometers. I am not too fond of this route for running because it makes my head spin - too many turns in and out and back and forth. But I go there occasionally, when I have less time on my hands (no, i dont stop at 2.5 kms, I run at least 5 k) and am just plain bored of the other places. I cycle over to a specific road there, park, and run.
In the mornings, these roads are FILLED with walkers. I suffer a pang of sorts when I see couples. Maybe in an alternate universe, the husband and I could have been such walkers. Invariably, he would have climbed into battle gear (complete with cuff links) and headed off to destinations unknown on smelly old airplanes half an hour before I even wake up. Not that even otherwise we are (yet) the sort to go out for morning walks. Then I remember that we have our basketball. I have redefined my Sat morning long run of late, so that I have some amount of legs to play Sat evening basketball with the husband. We don't hold hands or anything when we play Sat evening basketball, of course, but this is Chennai, I don't think its legal to hold hands. In fact, it might be illegal to wear shorts.....
If its a good morning, I see some people running. I do agree with some of my brethren and sistren that a serious runner ought not to wear music-devices-invented-by-apple-inc. in their ears while running. I would LIKE to not wear it. But sometimes it helps distract me and if there is no one to talk to while running, it helps me deal with the weird looks that people invariably give me, with equanimity. Equanimity, in my book, being to start singing loudly or doing the air-guitar mid-stride.
There is a finite possibility that one will encounter a bunch of fit-looking guys. Like army or navy type dudes. I like them. They run in formation, which is kind of fun. I don't feel too tempted to ask to join them in the formation, though. There are two reasons for this:
1. They are not fast enough, in fact, I am sorry to say that they are quite pansy. But they are young. They probably save themselves for other physical activities through the day. They look like they can kick my ass and do a thousand push-ups. I don't want to hold it against them or anything, but whatever, it won't work for me.
2. Last time, at the beach, I was watching with avid interest a boxing class. The guys were fit. It was like boot-campish amount of activity, not just standing around punching air. Dropping down and doing push-ups. Skipping. Boxing exercises. etc. I asked the instructor if I could join. "Women? Bleeaaah (Vomit Sounds)" he said. Again, I am sure he took one look at me and his brain said 'Pansy' I dont' want to blame him. I look like that, for sure.
Nevertheless, I like encountering the fit-looking guys, even though looking at them running in pants makes me sweat more (although, if I sweat any more, I swear I will end up drowning Satyanarayana Avenue, or at least the Petrol Bunk there, or maybe Park Sheraton).
Very rarely, I see some women running. They look away when I try to smile at them. Why? I look that crazy, is it? Whatever, I don't care. On some days, I just focus on my run. On others, I enjoy the music, whatever it is. On rare occasions, I look at every single person I meet on the way and wonder about them. I cannot stop wondering how people wear things like:
Fab India Kurtas
Pants of any form
for walking. I mean, in Chennai. In Mumbai, there are certain parts of the year when its genuinely cold in the mornings. I would need a sweatshirt at least in the initial few minutes of my run. In Chennai, at 6:30, it is already so hot and so sweaty. Yes, I am jealous of you if you don't sweat so much. I sweat like buckets, really. My dryfit running tee is soaked when I get home, I swear. Its downright annoying.
This segues nicely into my final paragraph. Which is about clothes. Colourful clothes. I don't shy away from colour too much any more. I used to dress fairly monochromatically. Now, not so much. I even have a lime yellow tshirt!! Not to mention some crazy purple stuff. And this week, I have done the unthinkable (for me, that is). To whit:
Monday: Cotton Sari (Traditional Border)
Tuesday: Churidar-Suit with Zari border and light embroidery work
Wednesday: Voil Sari
Thursday: Cotton Sari with some sort of work on it
Yes, all of these things had a common theme of maroon in them. But considering that I did NOT buy any of this, I cannot blame myself. And tomorrow I am planning to make up for it by sporting either a:
Cream and Green Cotton/ZariWork Sari -or- Mum's Old Grey and Black Silk Sari.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have nearly survived a week in colourful (fairly), traditional clothes. I have sported my usual black dot of a bindi. I have worn my traditional wedding diamond studs. My old old wedding bangles on my right hand. And I am not even cribbing about it! It has been fun.
(What was the occasion, you say? I was organising a special programme, so it was not my usual haunts, the halls were all air-conditioned, mum gave me an earful about how I should stop cribbing that people think I am a student its my own fault for wearing clothes like that and carrying myself like that, etc. I did not carry myself any better, I ran behind a colleague to chase him down and pay him his 200 bucks. I sat up on the desk next to my computer as I was making my presentation. But hey! I wore the sari! I survived in it the ENTIRE long day!)