I never imagined my day would end the way it did. I have put on considerable amount of weight in the last couple of years and it’s been 3 weeks now I have been on an overdrive to lose the flab. I decided I’d get up early and go for a run. I have been thinking about it since the past week but it was too hard to come out of the comfort my blanket gave me in chilly morning. For a change I was wide awake at 4:30 in the morning, I was happy but I must have out the wrong side on the bed. My muscles were still sore from the workout on Saturday, I thought the pain would subsidize at it always did but it had gotten worse. There was no way I was going to be able to run the way I normally do and fear of further aggravating the pain meant I was up early in the morning and had nothing to do.
Since I did get up early I figured I had nothing much to do, I’d get ready earlier than usual and reach work much before time and get an early head start (like I have a ton of work to do), but the cab that usually comes in at 6:00 to pick me up came much after 7. It was no big a deal…stuff happens.
I reached work and it was so dull and quite today, no work for a Monday. I went through my follow up items but I did not seem to have the will or motivation to work, news on the web did seem interesting and browsing the net felt so boring. To top it all I just carried curry for lunch today which meant I’d have to buy parathas from the cafeteria, they are not bad but maybe it was just my luck, it gave me heartburn. It didn’t matter, it was not big deal, it happened before and I am sure it will happen again I thought to myself.
Somehow I tried to get through the rest of the day, time seemed to have frozen. I looked at the watch with heavy eyes and it was just past 3 in the evening. I was so damn tired all I wanted to do was reach home and crash on the bed. Some fun at the expense of a colleague seemed to have lifted some spirit in the otherwise dull and lifeless day and at 4:30 it was time to leave.
I jumped on the Company bus and jumped out as soon as it reached the destination, the road were clear today, if I hurry I might be able to catch the 4:59 local. I raced to reach the station but my shoe laces were untied, 30 secs lost but I can still make it I thought. The stairway was unusually crowded and by the time I reached the platform the train had left. It didn’t bother me after all I had missed the train earlier as well. The next train scheduled at 5:06 arrived past 5:15 PM. I got in and got out reached the bus stop. I had not missed the bus at least and I was quite ahead in the queue so if the bus arrived I was sure of catching a seat. The bus came; people broke the queue and herded in the bus like animals trying to cross a narrow stream. I neither had the energy or eagerness to join the mad rush. I stood waiting for the next bus.
I finally reached home; the heart burn had gotten worse. I sipped some water. It burned when I burped and it pinched when I sipped water. My eyes were really heavy now. My body tired. I did not want to miss hitting the gym, it took a lot of effort to get into the habit and I wasn’t going to break it because I was a little sleepy. I freshed up, changed and put on my gym shoes and started walking towards gym. A ten minute walk and I was at the door starting at the mess inside. For some reason they decided to have it painted over the weekends and assumed it was okay to stretch it till Monday without informing anyone. I started walking back home. The distance just felt longer. My patience gave away and I was so very angry and pissed at the way things have been turning out since I’ve been awake. I reached home so full of anger and negativity. I just wanted to sit in front of the stupid TV because I was so tired of doing anything else.
I took of my t-shirt and saw myself in the mirror. The flab looked so ugly, I looked so out of shape. Why did I have to eat so much, maybe if hadn’t broken up I would have found solace in gluttony. My Mom should have been wiser and told me to cut the junk I was dumping in before it was too late. I was looking for reasons and excuses and someone to put the blame for something I was solely responsible. This is my body, I should have taken care of it.
I turned the fans off and began working out, just because the gym is not available does not mean I could work out. There weren’t any of the fancy equipment but there was a lot of intensity. 30 mins of nonstop cardio workout, my calves & thighs hurt, but the pain felt good. I was no longer angry or pissed or frustrated. I felt calm like undisturbed water in a pond. It felt so nice. I actually felt so much better.
I freshed up and called my friend. My best friend is having hard time at work and he told me he considered quitting and getting a new job. We talked about it for long time. I lectured him to a point I think he might have regretted telling me about it. I bid him goodbye and started walking back home. Suddenly that feeling I had started crawling back in. Life isn’t fair, he has worked so hard and life doesn’t seem to give him a break. He worked hard in school and college. He has always been so dedicated to work, he does his job far better than his colleagues but it didn’t stop at him. What about me? I’ve been stuck in the same dead end job for 6 years. If only my dad left me pursue engineering I wouldn’t have been where I am now. It’s my entire fault, maybe I should have stayed in college instead of taking up a job? Maybe a bachelors in Nursing wasn’t a bad idea, if I’d listened to my dad and worked harder I must have had a teaching position in a couple of years from now.
With these thoughts going on in my head, I turned around the corner and there under the street light again was this old lady. I haven’t seen her around earlier; she must have wandered off this side quite recently. I’d see her when I got down at the bus stop, begging for a cup of tea or at the vada pav stall trying to convince the owner for another free meal. In the evening she would sit under the street light next to an old worn out quilt which seemed to be her only possession. Her dirty clothes and her unkempt hear and the facial twitches gave an impression of someone who is mentally challenged. I’d see here every day for the past couple of weeks and I’d ignore her and walk away. I don’t like to think I have heart made of stone, but honestly I have seen so many like her, it’s wasn’t out of the ordinary.
But it was different today, I paused for a second and glanced at her. Her eyes looked so lifeless; she seemed to have been lost in another dimension. She looked so weak and feeble. Her clothes would barely be able to keep her warm and what about the mosquitoes sucking whatever blood remained in her body. But what could I do to change it, even I could I do anything about her, there were so many. It wasn’t worth the effort, it would hardly matter. With these thoughts in my mind I walked a few steps further, stopped and turned back.
I went to the old lady and handed her the money, she looked at the crisp note and started in my eyes and asked me in disbelief it I meant her to have it. I told her I wanted her to buy something to eat with this money. She immediately grabbed the note from my hand and started adorning it the way a woman would adorn the pearl necklace or a diamond ring. I couldn’t see her like that; the joy that so little money brought to her old wrinkled face was too much for me, she knew the value of something I thought of so little and insignificant. I just walked away not daring to turn back. I am not saying what I did was noble or good. Infact I could have done better, much, much better. I acted instinctively and did what I did without a second thought.
I am not trying to preach that we should help the poor and the needy, though it would be nice if we all chipped in. I am not trying to say I am so much better and I want you to know about it.
I am trying to say that today that I was complaining about losing weight which meant I had more than sufficient to eat. Complaining about a dead end job which meant I have means of livelihood which most don’t. Wanting to go crash on the bed, which meant I had a roof on my head and walls to keep the cold out. I have my health, I have a loving family. I have friends that care…then what was I complaining about. I may not have a big house….own a fancy car or have a dream job. But when I have family that loves and friends that care, when I can take care of the people who love me and be able to help someone who have not been as fortunate as I am, then nothing else matter. I learnt this lesson today, I learnt why today and every other day….is in fact the perfect day.