That evening, I was walking in the park. On the walkers’ circuitous path, a middle-aged man was walking just ahead of me. A red-colored cell phone was in his swinging left hand that blared film songs probably from an FM app. In the next round when I passed by him, I said my impromptu thanks to him for reminding me of those parks in my childhood days when loudspeakers used to be fixed to a central pole to relay radio programs. The man smiled weakly at my unsolicited praise.
But I did not hear his cell phone emit the sound again. Now as we walked together I gleaned from him that he hailed from my maternal grandfather’s place and came to the city to be present during his daughter’s delivery. We chitchatted during a few more rounds and talked about the things about his town and its politics. My guess came true about where he came from which ought to be a semi-urban place and his current status as a tourist. So, I felt his innocent attempt to add music to the already annoying city noise was quite excusable.
Well, on the day before, I encountered another walker, this time, it was a regular one. He was also a few feet ahead when I found him. Off and on, he let his swinging left hand playfully brush against the shrubs on the flanks of the walkers’ track. I synchronized my steps with him to give my unsolicited advice as usual. I told him that he was disturbing the plants with his hand, and in the process, he raised a lot of pollen and insects which could be the reason why he also wheezed constantly. I told him about the allergic reaction such fine city dust and tiny creatures settled on leaves would cause to the humans when they got disturbed due to his antics in the name of giving a ‘golden touch’ to the plant kind. He was taken aback for a moment and yet recovered soon and asked after me, whereupon we realized we had worked for the same bank at different places way back. After this, I realized that ‘walk in the park’ as an idiom didn’t convey the real sense in our city anymore: something easy to do.
I don’t believe exclusively in walking to reduce my weight. The feel-good endorphins released in the brain during the walk make me feel relaxed. To shed weight really, a combination of diet and exercise is always advised. Besides, my father, who was a doctor during the time of our Independence, used to say this axiom: eat your breakfast as a king, lunch as a prince and dinner as a beggar. He would also advise his patients to watch where their calories came from, viz. carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Next to isometric exercises, walking is a gentle form of exercise and hence my preference to this form. In fact, walking used to be the main occupation of our ancestors and that was to hunt for food. Now, food is a call/ mouse click away, or one can raise a hand in restaurants to place an order, or else open one's fridge if the food was inside at home. Slowly we forget that we have our limbs. Eventually, voice commands, sensors, and electronic eyes have come to stay as though to replace our motor functions. Already robots of the world are robbing the jobs of domestic helpers.
To clear my exercise backlog, that is on the days when it rains, I keep aside the TV remote and would change the channels myself at every commercial break, besides using stairs and doing some odd jobs that have been put off for weeks. Again, coming to my walk in the park, the feel-good endorphins in my brain would make me euphoric except for an unpleasant thing, that is about the abundant supply of methane gas making circles above the circuitous path, thanks to my fellow walkers’ flatulence. I wondered, would these walkers come to the park on purpose. However, I have no complaint against the niche brands of perfumes that some younger walkers wear. I hope against hope that the latter would offset or camouflage the obnoxious smells. Next, there are benches in the center of the park where young lovers park themselves in their various postures and attires. These sights might affect the neck muscles of some of our senior walkers in the perimeter of the park. It will be when we tilt our heads sideways to avoid watching the scenes, or when some curious ones, if any, tend to watch better and more by craning their necks forward in the twilight evening.
For now, the bottom line for motivating my walking is the endorphins in my brain that made me an unwilling addict, even though wife thinks otherwise— that I am enamored by the sights of young lovers in the park. Unfazed, I walk on.