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I usually don’t get to walk much, unless I specifically set out for the very purpose. Having been gifted with a two wheeler, which is always at my disposal, I don’t have the need to walk unless I feel so. Today, I was placed in a different situation where I wasn't in a position to use my vehicle. But I had an impending meet up which I did not want to miss. So I decided to walk a bit and travel by public transport. I walked up to the nearest bus stand, took a bus, and got down at a point where my friend had agreed to pick me up. Later that day, I asked me friend to drop me at the nearby station, took a train back home and walked the remaining distance.
This might seem odd for someone in Chennai, considering that most of them are equipped with their own mode of transport or are kind-hearted to donate large sums to the auto drivers. Somehow I desist these money hungry auto drivers who charge a fortune just for a 3 km ride. Leave alone being fair, there is a limit to which one can demand from others. So instead of complaining, I choose to avoid them totally and opt for the buses/trains as the last resort.
But, this doesn't seem odd, for someone who lives abroad. They always walk, a lot.Most of the cities that I know are well connected. MRTs and Bus services ply in and out of the city at convenient times and points that people prefer to use public modes of transport. When my sister told me that she used to take 2 buses and one MRT to reach a mall, I was surprised that she had to travel so much for a place which she mentioned was near. But when I traveled the same distance by the same bus and train, I realized that it was after all not that big a deal. Plus, it gave one loads of time, time for the self, during those intermittent walks.
While walking back home, I realized what I’d been missing all these days. It so happened that I was walking during the late evening, when children throng the parks, play to their heart’s content , well aware that they would have to wait for 5 more days to enjoy; the grandpas and grandmas walking along and chatting with their friends , balloon sellers doing wonderful/maximum sales; the crowded chaat corner and the hyperactive chaat-wala mixing everything;the Kulfi waala and the Ice cream waala responding to the quacking demands of the children; the wonderful aroma from the takeaways, preparing for their Sunday night orders; the trees dancing to the tunes of the winds; the cows and the dogs taking a stroll; the policemen a bit relaxed; the new Frankie’s kiosk, which I hadn't noticed till then; another medicinal juices/herbs counter, operating for the benefit of many others and much more.
I would easily pass on the blame to the lack of time. Come on, on a normal day, I would be happy to rush back home to get at least an extra half hour of sleep given the hectic days that most of us are subjected to. But on days like these during the weekends, where I have the luxury of spending time wandering and walking at my own pace, stopping now and then without worrying about time, I wouldn't mind slowing down and enjoying these little pleasures. It feels good, It feels different.
Of everything, I realized that while walking, I had a lot of time to myself, something which I’m very particular about. So, I made a mental note to myself to ensure that I take a walk whenever I can and include walking, not just as an activity, but as a part of my schedule. If only life wasn't this hectic, it would have been feasible. But, it is up to us to make sure we make time for what we feel is important and for what makes us happy, Right?