Picture this –
It’s been a week since you started working out again.
The last time you were working out regularly was so long ago that you’re tempted to make a dinosaur era joke in reference to it. You want your belly to stay in its limits and not assert its presence when it isn’t required.
So you can only imagine the elation you feel when you’re up early again on the seventh consecutive day tying your shoelaces. You feel the happy illusion of being much lighter already. You let yourself think that the waist has learned to let the curves go the teensiest bit more concave than convex. The younger boys you were struggling to overtake on your first day are miles behind now. The regular aunties have started giving in and smiling back at you.
You feel confident enough now to move past the tiny pond of your colony. In fact, you’re confident enough to take on that creme de la creme of walking lanes in your vicinity – the one that has the fair and snooty walkers, who come armed with latest working out gear, branded black and fluorescent sneakers and even napkins and trendy water bottles. Many of them also have the quintessential exotic dog running by their side and flapping its ears in slow motion like in those sentimental suiting ads.
Today, as your feet pace towards that lane in an invincible rhythm, you feel more confident and sexy than the archetypal golden retriever who has her head out of a car window with the classic winds brushing past her face. I mean, a foul morning stoner, one of the better looking ones, just stared at you. Hah! In your face, golden retriever! In your wind-brushed, elegant, perfectly pretty little face!
As you approach the beginning of the lane, you spot the first of the snooty confidence predators. Unfortunately, the lane decided to start you off with a bang. It’s one of those muscular guys with Bose headphones and water bottles running by in their fitted t-shirts and tracks. Too hot to ignore and too intimidating to look at directly!
Suddenly, you don’t feel all that confident and sexy. Maybe it’s better if the guy who’s running like a hero doesn’t see you brisk-walking like the heroine’s mother. Did he really pass by you without looking at all? Gone in a flash? Bet he would have slowed down to look at that golden retriever! You get the stoned and she gets the toned? Golden retriever – 1, you – 0.
You shrivel a bit but you walk right on. You’ve had a gulp of breath, the music blaring in your ears has cooled you off and it’s slipped past you, not as quickly as the guy did, but it has. You start getting lost in the sights around. The feeling of breathing in the fresh air reserved for these cooler, more expensive areas. The towers with dreamy balconies soaring above the lavish parking spaces and steely security. The pristine white bungalows hidden too well by the steep graffiti walls topped with wires that you fancy climbing over and by the thick green gardens that you wish to escape into.
You’re beginning to simply enjoy the music in your ears and the thoughts of being in that garden. Some day, you’re going to be lazing in the balcony of a bungalow like that, amused by the early morning vying of the well-fed and self-starving people. You’re going to be so above it all.
Just then, one of the bungalow residents, a tall, calorie-counting girl, with her high pony tail bouncing in the air, comes galloping by you with snooty lane headphones. Her black t-back tank top and her capri tracks gloriously showing off her clean creamy arms and legs. Bam! You’re a little too short, a little too pudgy and have a greasy bun hanging tiny and limp at the back of your head. You just redefined the self of you that was striding past the winds twenty minutes back.
What’s more? The aunty who hadn’t yet given in to your most winning smiles for all the times you had been there? Remember how you were determined today to get, at the very least, a polite one-sided upturn from her in response? She has a glowing face and a high-spirited ‘good morning!’ Not for you, though. Comparing yourself to golden retrievers, you clearly forgot the stallions on this track.
Now, even uncles, with paunches and helmets, panting on cycles past you make you gulp hard and wonder if you couldn’t reach home any faster after all?
Would you ever feel like going on that wretched morning walk again? I mean, what’s the point, right? The next day you stubbornly stay in bed. You scowl at the inviting sunrise, shut your eyes tight and grab your pillow.
The guilt of pending flab keeps nagging you while you slowly fall off to sleep again. You wake up in a few short minutes, unable to sleep anymore. But you refuse to look in the direction of your beseeching earphones. You’re going to roll around on that unmade bed. Okay, you have got to make your bed, it’s too late in the morning. Fine! After you’re done, you’re going to roll around on that bean bag. You can get your morning’s share of fresh air even by sitting on the bean bag and staring out the window.
Soon, you hear the early birds chirping. You swear they sang a word, although you’re not sure whether it’s ‘loser’ or ‘fatty’. You know you’re not either. It’s just you being hard on yourself. Dammit! Your feet are just too resilient and your spirit is just too invincible. See? You knew you had something over the hot guy, the pretty girl and that hypothetical golden retriever! Of course, you’re sure they don’t have it. They might have a million other things but these are not qualities the rich possess. You’ve seen it in all the movies. Snooty people – 1, you – 2.
Moreover, you just saw the flower-thief aunty in your colony scampering sneakily towards your favorite flowers. Now, the thought of that familiar fragrance is enticing you. How dare she think she’s going to escape with all the frangipani blossoms fallen on the ground? That’s it! You needed purpose in life to get up and you got it. You’ll conquer the lane snobs another day. Today, it’s time to take down the flower rogue! Frangipani-stealing aunty watch out! I’m coming for you!
World, that’s a snippet from my morning walk observation chronicles for you. Hope you enjoyed it. Pray that I can confront the snooty lane throwing care to the winds some day (not because of my resilient feet and invincible spirit, but because of my concave waist of course).
PS – It’s times like this when you reward yourself with grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate in your coffee!