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Walk one must for health, did you say?

Do I look like a drunk or a robber? Of a morning walker’s unsavoury experiences

Of late I have been under tremendous pressure to take a morning walk for exercise. Family members, friends and the regular consulting doctor have joined the chorus: walk you must.

Okay, okay, I’m going to walk every morning. The doctor insisted I take a brisk walk, but I was not taken in by the word “brisk”, because I knew it would be a risk not worth taking.

The first thing I did was to prepare for the events. I got a dark-coloured track suit with white canvas shoes and white socks.

One secret I have to share with you. While walking, I am not very steady in my steps because of age-related disabilities. When I told the doctor about this, he assured me walking would take care of the problem. The doctor added as a parting shot: “Take a brisk walk and you’ll be okay.”

On the appointed day, which I believed to be an auspicious day, I ventured out at 5.30 a.m. and started walking. There were some others on the road, presumably walkers too. I had covered about 100 metres when two men came from behind and overtook me on foot. I had no grouse over their doing so, but a remark one of them made while passing me, albeit at a safe distance, was: “The old guy seems to have swallowed a couple of pegs before starting the walk; there seems to be a swing in his steps.” I smiled to myself and did not take it seriously.

But then there was another episode. There was a temple nearby and devotees, men and women, were going to and returning from the temple. A father and daughter were returning and the father was heard prompting his daughter to cover her neck fully with the end of the sari, remarking a little loudly that there were chain-snatchers around, casting a dark look at me. I froze in my steps and stood still till they passed me. But it had the opposite effect. The father, taking hold of his daughter’s hand, quickly crossed the road to avoid me, remarking softly, “Let’s be on the safe side. I don’t like the look of him.”

They moved on, but not without the careful father throwing a glance back at me. All my energy evaporated and I was not in a mood to walk any further. I slowly turned back and reached home, crestfallen. Do I look like a chain-snatcher or a tipsy guy?

I feel it may take some time before I try to obey my doctor and my other benefactors. Till then, please bear with me!

ramankuttym@gmail.com

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 10:58:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/walk-one-must-for-health-did-you-say/article8381926.ece

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