My Long Run

A rare picture of Kashmir Highway under-construction.
A rare picture of Kashmir Highway under-construction.

I have just begun. The road outside the campus gate is so steep, I can imagine it still running through those ancient mountains now been flattened to make room for the city skyline. Though it’s not prudent to do a long run against the clock, that’s the only option I’m left with when in a rush to get somewhere before it’s dark. Once I get past those initial steep miles, the run is predominantly steady-state. So you don’t have to do much except glide along on the windy highway. While gliding past the honking cars, traffic jams, slums and naked children with running noses, my mind slowly drifts off to a semiconscious neutral state and some of the most amazing things happen in there: weird ideas and secret jokes once shared between my old school-fellows which never got old enough through the ebb and flow of life descend my numbing mind in a strange harmony in an almost mystic fashion. A subtle smile creeps across my face. I look at the bewildered faces of the pedestrians passing by who see me running almost daily and yet can’t resist their impulse to find some furious, man-eating abomination chasing me every time I rush past them: they will never be able to make themselves comfortable with a lone guy running madly on the highway, I think, amused.

The white fluffs of clouds dance playfully as the sky puts up a lovely show of colors. What a perfect adieu, I think while running placidly through the dusty orange glow of the setting sun. Soon the dusk will fall and the darkness will gradually envelop me. And I have always loved that for it always conceals my agony so comfortingly that I no longer need to pull up a nice face for anyone. The darkness is burgeoning swiftly. It’s late, I think and pick up the pace, and a sudden feeling of utter loneliness presses at my heart like an abandoned child waking up to realize that he may not make it back home ever. Racing the crawling cars and rickshaws and dodging the cyclists, off I kick through the final miles until the destination arrives. I look down at my watch. The sticky thing wrapped around my wrist, now dripping with sweat, tells me I have been all my myself for more than an hour.

The suffering is immense but then that’s what being human is all about, I recall her saying and smile wearily. I might never run out of reasons to run.

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4 thoughts on “My Long Run

  1. This is perfect. The type of running narrative I appreciate, as opposed to the same old splits (blah,) repeats (blah,) carb loading (blah.) This is real running, mindful, intuitive. Love it, Thanks!

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