Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sultry Mornings

Those of you who know me know that I try to be regular about my morning walks.
For new friends, here's the link to Random Mornings, which I wrote some years ago: http://dipalitaneja.blogspot.com/2008/05/from-morning-walker-who-is-temporarily.html

And now,
Even the early mornings are hot and humid,
the city reeling with the heat
and power failures
and a monsoon turned Godot,
eternally waited for.

And yet,
Something drives me,
to do this for me
just for me
and indirectly, of course,
for those I love.
But mostly for me-
the hour I spend on the road
each morning
Sweat springing from every pore
within the first ten minutes
Each dab and pat
with the little towel I carry
a futile gesture.

It is still a sacred time, and a special time, and a precious time
When my body revels in motion
even in the aches and pains
which are frequent companions
And I try and push and keep pushing the limits
of what I can endure.

I also have now
my wonderful virtual companions,
The sisterhood of the sweatpants,
(see comment no.11)
egging me on-
and the tired and aching muscles respond.
Another five minutes, another round,
And then, when you think that
dragging your carcass back home
is the only sane option,
there's enough of a breeze
to charge you up
for yet another round.....

It's amazing how relative things are:
In winter, leaving the snug warmth
of my bed is difficult,
and in summer it's leaving
the coolness of the bedroom.
Same body, same bed!

The morning still remains
magical, with Mr and Mrs Kite
nesting on the gulmohar tree
their mellifluous cries
belying their predatory nature.

The white bougainvillea
pours over a high wall
a frothy bridal bouquet
And I remember
the neem in Noida
with a bridal veil
of magenta bougainvillea
caressing it.


The walkers seem to display
their sweat stained clothes with pride,
a testimony to their endurance.
Many regulars are missing,
citing the heat.
But once it rains,
perforce, we have to stay home
umbrellas less than useless in a storm,
waterlogged roads drenching our shoes
regular walks postponed indefinitely

So I'll push on each morning,
pushing/punishing my body,
hoping that it'll rain, yet glad that it doesn't.
The fruit seller at the end of our lane
where I stop on the final leg and pick up,
mostly, two bananas, some sweet limes
the occasional papaya,
(We have a 'running' account)
He's usually there by a quarter past five,
part of the morning territory,
a witness to the exertions
with which I start my day.

From there home is just a stone's throw away
an achievable goal
with fresh dry clothes
and a glass of water with a lemon
squeezed into it
and the blessed fan.
Such great relief
needs to be earned!

15 comments:

Mampi said...

Wow,
You inspire me. I have been skipping my morning walks. Hurt my knee, and now I promise to be regular especially after reading the line "even in the aches and pains"

2 B's mommy said...

Just when I was feeling low about my weight and wanted to do nothing but snuggle up in my bed with a plate full of muffins and coffee to eat untill I get tired of eating, your post inspires me again. Its 11am but I am going for my walk NOW! Thanks for posting it.

asaaan said...

Wah Wah..
What beautiful lines.

Your line abt the Same bed, same body is so very true.

Keep on walking..:)

Era said...

There is something special about that "just for me" endurance and struggle. It's an achievement, an accomplishment and you deserve it!!!

starry-eyed said...

From your sister in sweatpants...keep going! I can't do without my evening walk, more for my mental, than my physical fitness:)

Oh, and yes, the fan is truly a reward at the end!

dipali said...

@mampi: Don't take knee pain lightly, especially if you've injured it. Check out with your doctor before getting too enthusiastic, okay?
@2 B's mommy: I love walking in cold weather- enjoy your winter walks, while I sweat it out here:)
@asaan: Thanks. You are a great inspiration to many of us!
@era: Thank you so much. Yes, 'just for me' is necessary too!
@starry-eyed: Welcome to my blog, sister! Yes- walking is as addictive as blogging, if not more:)

Rimi said...

Brilliant! I am merely a on-again-off-again member of the sweatpant sisterhood, but more power to all of you!

I particularly liked the comparison of of the monsoons to Godot. Truer word? Never spoken.

D said...

I could have written that, except for my evening walks!

Banno said...

Walk, yes. Early morning walk, wow. And you actually have a fruit-wala who's set up by 5 am. What world is this? Must wake up early one day to find out.

This sister in sweatpants is also doing Iyengar Yoga twice a week, these days. :-)

BeachBum said...

Beautiful lines...i miss morning walks..it is horribly cold in the mornings where I live and so mostly resort to the gym...sigh....

Neera said...

vivid and enjoyable as ever ..keep at it dear Dipali :)

dipali said...

@ Rimi: Once you are a fully paid up member of the sisterhood, you'll stick with it:)The walks become addictive, despite the sweat. And thanks:)
@D: Somehow I find that mornings have a different flavour entirely,
though I have done really long evening walks when we lived in the Tamil Nadu countryside. (Do look at the poem in the link.)
@Banno: The fruit seller comes with his goods around five or a quarter past, takes some time to set up shop. He lines his baskets with banana leaves- they look lovely. And Yayyy for the yoga, sister:)
@BeachBum:Lovely to see you here. Enjoy a walk whenever the weather is comfortable enough:)
@Neera: Thank you, dear:)

Mystic Margarita said...

Loved it, Dips. And it inspired me to start walking too. Much power to the sisterhood of the sweatpants! :)

dipali said...

@mystic margarita: Thanks! I can see you and Sir Popol enjoying your forays into the world of walks:)

wordjunkie said...

Wonderful!