I’ve started running off and on – the off ration outweighs the on significantly – in the mornings after my gym membership expired in August. I can’t do this gym thing; I much prefer the outdoors.
It’s been good because there actually is a place to run near my apartment in Bangalore and there are lots of joggers and walkers so I’m not the only person exercising at that hour. As expected when a white guy puts on a t-shirt and shorts and straps an iPod Nano to his arm in these parts, there are a lot of curious onlookers.
By now a few of them - the regulars like the bicycle tire repair dude, the newspaper stand owner, the barber who opens his shop at 7 as I’m returning, and the army guards at the gates of the officers’ mess – don’t even bat an eyelid as I bustle past.
A few people have struck up conversations whenever I stop to walk a little ways to cross the road or where the dirt path around the lake is dug up. There was the sardarji who crossed me in his Hyundai Accent – he’s also a regular walker – and asked me if I wanted a lift to the lake; the elderly American lady walks with her trio of friends; the college kid walking his dog who asked me why obesity was so bad in the US. A few others have just stood gaping. There are invariably young kids – most regularly the street urchins and the boy scouts – who giggle. There was even the trio on a motorbike who catcalled as they sped past (I know, three dudes squashed together on a Hero Honda and I look strange?).
Today was funny though. So there I was this, busting a gut to The Doves’ ’Kingdom of Rust’, when an auto rickshaw slowly pulls up and put-puts alongside. Says the driver: “Hello, boss, you want auto?”