Lazily, I stretched across the bed, willing my eyes to remain shut for a little bit longer. It was another glorious Saturday morning, which meant I could sleep in as long as I wanted. I flipped over, then flopped back. Nope, the wings of slumber had lifted off and I was indisputably awake.
It had been a long week. Tremors of fatigue pulsed out from various muscles, invoking a general sense of soreness. Mentally, too, I felt sapped. Inert, I stared blankly out the window. The mango tree was peeping in. A bird, nestled within, whistled. Drops of morning sun fell into my room. Against this friendly canvas, a pall of grayness threatened to dim the sunniness of the day. Why was I feeling melancholic?
No, this would not do. I shook myself out of bed and decided to go for a walk. It was still early, so there would not be too many people out and about. The air would be fresh and untouched. From experience, I knew a walk would chase away the heavy clouds gathering over me.
I slipped on my chappals and stepped out. The air was crisp and cool, a perfect winter morning for Mumbai. I started walking, aimlessly. I didn’t have a goal or a destination. I let my feet decide where to turn, which street to dive into.
A man on a bicycle rolled by, relaxedly. He looked like a night watchman, recently off his duty, homebound. He pedaled casually, as if, like me, he was in no hurry to reach anywhere. A milk truck parked itself down the street. Morning walk enthusiasts, on their way back, stopped and picked up milk pouches. A young woman strode by. She looked like she was on her way to work.
I felt the heaviness lift. Passing under old, large trees, I felt a sense of revival. There they were, steady and calm, thick trunks supporting numerous branches and a heavy scattering of leaves. I reached up to some low-hanging green shoots. They danced at my touch. I took a deep breath.
The sun broke through my clouds. I saw, with clear eyes, the beauty of a new day. I felt the tension in my shoulders melt. My skin was tickled by a playful, gentle breeze. I caught the eye of an old man selling newspapers. We looked at each other and spontaneously broke into smiles.
Walking is a wonderful thing. It injects you into the world and allows you the space and the pace to observe what’s around you. Passing under trees and by the flower shrubs, making small, spontaneous connections with strangers, walking reminds you that you are part of a larger story.
I turned into my building, a different me.