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The Walks

I have never figured out my life. I think I will never will.  But I still like to take a shot at it. Writing is my way.  And of course, walking.

I was running till last December. Running was a stress buster and catharsis. For all the lows during the days of my life, my shoes would have ground the dust to dust, and eked out the grit in me, particle by particle. That was what I was, fighting the lows by putting one foot before another, at my own pace.

My last running shoe, a blue-and-orange Puma is now lying on my shoe stand, waiting for its last run. It had done more than 700 km, well past its prime and average mileage. I have two new pairs – Nike and Sketchers, and I had done like 100 km when I felt niggle in my left knee. The orthopedist said that it was a slight inflammation and it could be fine with some physiotherapy. As things turned out, I was regular for a week and neglected.

The result: The pain persisted and I am yet to turn up for a checkup again. So, I walk till I figure things out. I hate walking because it does not really test me – my stamina, my breath and it does not yank the stress off me.

Walking was a slower version of running, but I could perform the function with lesser concentration. My mind space was suddenly vacant and I could do things that I normally I could not do when I was running – observing, brooding, and listening to music. Sometimes, even long phone calls.

My effort to get back to running will still be on. But I have started loving the walks. I walk with my wife, often in silence. The walks have resulted in us getting closer. Our walks are often in silence, both in our worlds, yet walking together. The occasional question or remark. I had written a poem about this.

THE EVENING WALK

The evening walk
With my beloved
On the walking track
Amid the greens
 
Words never spoken
An occasional glance
Broody silence
As if in a trance
 
We walk together
Our hands holding
Our hearts close by
But our thoughts elsewhere
In our own worlds
The different path we take
Even when we walk together
On the same track
 
An occasional question
A monosyllabic response
Back to our own world
Filled with thoughts
 
Broody silence again
The rustle of leaves
The caress of the wind
And the track ahead
Of endless distance
With no finish line
As we walk in circles
The walk shall never end
Unless we give up
 
So, we walk together
But in our own worlds
In broody silence
Till one of us gives up.

(Verses of the Universe, Poetarrati Volume 3, Published May 2022)

Walking essentially meant slowing down, yet moving forward. It brought out another part of me – a mellowed, slower, broody human.

What begins as a random walk often ends up taking you somewhere, somewhere that you later realize was exactly where you wanted to go.

― David Byrne, How Music Works

Maybe it was the part I evolved to be, Maybe it was the pace that suited me. Maybe the walks would lead me to the place I really want to go. For now, I shall walk. Alone and with my beloved. One step at a time.

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Ashok Subramanian
Ashok Subramanian
Ashok Subramanian is a Poet and Fiction Author based in Chennai, India. Ashok has been writing blogs and content since 2011. From technology and management articles, and to website content, Ashok has written articles on businesses, finance, funding, capital markets, management, strategy, and sustainability over the years. His poems and articles, which were published in blogs got a publishing turn when he had time in hand to put together his poetry and short story collections. He publishes short stories and poetry reviews regularly in his medium.com blog. His published works so far: a) Maritime Heritage of India - Contributing Writer - b) Poetarrati Volume 1 &2: Self-published on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback; Ranked #8 in Amazon Hot Releases in May 2020. c) A City Full of Stories: A Short fiction Collection based on people and events of Mumbai: Self-published in Amazon in Kindle and Paperback. d) Poetarrati Ponder 2020 - A collection of Poem Reviews He is currently working with his creative advisor and publisher on his next poetry collection. His second short story collection about Kolkata, India, and his first novel are in the manuscript stage. He is a graduate in Engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University, India, and a post-graduate in Management from IIM Calcutta, India. He currently runs Strategic Advisory and Investment Banking companies headquartered in Bengaluru. He lives with his wife Gayathri and son Anirudh in Chennai, India.

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