What’s cooking?


I am heading home from my evening walk. The sky is turning a deep blue. I see the silhouettes of birds flying back to their nests. Many birds are already home. There is a lot of chirping; the birds are obviously catching up with each other, after a long, tiring day.

As I enter our condominium, the street lights switch on. The lights in many homes are coming on too!

My muscles are tired from all that walking, and there is no more ‘brisk’ in my walk.

Picture courtesy – http://www.clipart-library.com

And as I cross from one building to another, the smells of dinner being cooked are everywhere! My stomach growls, my tongue waters.

Warm paranthas are being tossed on the tawa….yumm! Now, I smell cheese; now, mustard sputtering in oil. I can hear a pressure cooker letting off steam.

I make it home, both tired and famished. I only have one thought in my head – FOOD! I take a shower, and rush into the kitchen to warm my dinner.

The first mouthful is divine, and I savour it with eyes closed. I wolf down the rest. I am full. I stretch in contentment. Bliss!

Another Day Begins


I am on my morning walk.  I enjoy the cool air as it envelopes my face.  The Sun is still an orange tinge on the horizon.

I see other joggers and walkers.  Some are techie-joggers, they have devices strapped to their arms and their wrists, measuring various parameters.  They are on a mission, say their serious faces, burn, calorie, burn.

Cute little dogs are on their morning walks too, pausing here, sniffing there, enjoying the smells of dawn.  Their owners stretch themselves, sometimes walking, sometimes trotting with their pets.

The drone of vehicles has started on the main road, as I leave our building. Early morning office-goers, trim and proper, in their formal attire, well groomed and ready to take on the day, with their laptops and papers and smartphones.

School-going children waiting at the bus stops for their buses. Teens listening to music, the younger ones chattering away, some other ones still half-asleep, clinging to their moms.

The last-minute breakfast-munchers, quickly biting into a sandwich, as they get ready to take on their day.

One set of people going into the tube station, one set coming out, both sets in a hurry, smoking, eating, talking into their phones, but hurrying.

The newspaper vendor, doing brisk business, as everybody wants to know what’s happened in the world, while they slept on.

The caffeine-lovers, who sip large-size take-away coffees, as they walk.  I want my coffee too, but I have to finish my morning beat.

When I reach the stadium, all these thoughts vanish, as I watch people whizzing past, walking at alarming speeds, jogging and some even sprinting.  A few stretch, a few curl, a few twist, a few climb, a few hang….on the exercise bars.

I join the ‘serious‘ now. Meeting my fitness goals for the day. The Sun is up and about.  I finish. I guzzle water.

I head back home.  The frantic office-goers are now replaced by older folk, who are on their morning walk; men and women walk back, swinging their tennis or badminton rackets, after energetic games.

The vehicles are noisier, the Sun is warmer, the trees are greener, the wind is warm.  I reach home. I measure, I note.

I turn my attention to the rest of my day.

Walk Woof Woof


I am working out on the treadmill. The gym trainer is instructing somebody on breathing techniques to adopt during cardio sessions.

I almost laugh out aloud as I remember a funny incident that happened about five years ago.

My two friends and I were filled with a sense of purpose that New Year. We decided to focus on getting fit by taking a brisk walk at 5 a.m., on all weekdays, in a sports stadium close to where we lived.

I am not a brisk walker, strolling is more my style, but peer pressure had me showing up and walking with resolve.

I was also taking aerobics classes at that time, and my trainer had taught us to keep breathing out in short puffy bursts during any cardio activity.

About a couple of days into our 5 am walk program, I decided to put this breathing technique into practice.

My friends had gone on ahead, as I struggled to choose the right song on my iPod to help me keep up a brisk pace.

That done, I started walking- walk -huffpuff, walk huffpuff…breathing out as instructed. I quite liked this…. I hastened my pace to catch up, but my friends seemed to walk even faster.

I broke into a jog…jog huffpuff, jog huffpuff. For some reason, my friends had also broken into a jog.

Finally, I stopped and called out. They turned, saw me and stopped. I huffpuffed as I jogged towards them and asked them why they were walking so fast.

They doubled up with laughter. One of them said, “I thought it was a dog behind us, and as I have been bitten by a dog once, we didn’t want to take any chances.”

They broke into peals of laughter. I joined in, as I imagined the scene. Two women walking in the stadium, darkness all around except for the stadium lights and an imaginary huffpuffing dog chasing them….!

These last five years I have polished my breathing technique. No one has mistaken me for a dog since then.