Sunday, 4 October 2009

Take a Hike !!!!

Each one of us, at some point of time or the other, emulate someone famous.
This is the story of me emulating Robert Freaking Frost (excuse the tone)
I for one do not hate the guy, I mean, he was nice. My legs on the other hand, beg to differ.

Thursday 1st October 2009.

I was to go home from office, and I was stone broke. Stoopid bank didnt want to transfer my money, knowing that I'd be waiting for it. Oh well, shit happens right? So what do I do...easy, I have awesome roommates who are like brothers to me, so I can hail a taxi and allow them to pick up the tab and score brownie points with the guy upstairs.

I could choose a "route less traveled by."

Robbie Frost wouldnt have written that poem if he hadn't taken the Other route. And I wouldnt be writing this if I hadn't either.

I chose the latter too. To Walk ! From work to home, or atleast to a point where I could say to myself WOW !!!

For those who do not know, I work within the trade boundaries of the Sharjah Airport International Freezone. Which is in one corner of this meteorological hell, and I live in Dubai, the other corner. From my office to Dubai border, its a distance of roughly 8-9 kms if I choose the highway, which is frequented by cars whose drivers have to take a leak, ergo rushing at atleast a nominal speed of 120kmph. Or take the route into the city and then onwards to Dubai, slightly longer, but a piece of cake (HA !!) And yet again I choose to be Frosty.

I take off from my office at 5.30 pm. And as soon as I step outside the gates, I realize that i've been pretty much on a liquid diet the whole busy day. Wicked !! Here is what the route looks like when you step outside the freezone authority

That horizon is about 2 kms away. And continues onwards to exit onto the Emirates Highway bridge which will take me straight into Dubai. An "Easy Peasy" Grin crosses my face.. The moment I stepped onto the pavement of this road, I was shaken awake from the grin with a car whooshing by at the speed of a dog from a neutering doctor.

The walk to the Bridge exit took abt 30 mins. Good speed I thought. I stopped on the bridge for a bit of a lookie at the sunset. And that is when it dawned on me, what I was doing was for a reason. A lesson by the Boss upstairs. You see, the week was going pretty rough. And I was in for a rough weekend too. The sunset always fills me with a calm (yeah I know everyone says that) and I looked into the dusk thinking of the simple rule which governed time. Sunrise n Sunset. So it had set, no one in the world could do anything about it. But it will rise again, and yet, no smartass in the world can do anything about it.
In that moment I realized, No one can control my bad time into lasting forever. And no one can prevent the good days from dawning even if he is named George Bumbling Bush. Thats simple philosophy, yet, the effect it fills you with, i.e. a HOPE FILLED SMILE. That is pretty powerful.

I took a prayer break and gulped down liters and liters of cool water from the Mosque taps. A weird thought came to my mind, about the bladder being overloaded. A phonecall from my brother distracted that.

The walk continued, pretty much uneventful until I reached a bridge called National Paints Bridge. I stood there and watched the hundreds of labourers and bachelors milling around the shops. Most just sitting by on the pavement in the humid evening (although it was a cool atmosphere, within the industrial region, humidity is always there) For a moment i was shaken by the living conditions which were so crowded. And I saw them laughing and doing their weekend chores with casual carelessness.
A line spoken by someone wise came to mind, everyone is fighting their own battles, in their own ways, in their own worlds.Also a line from the Quran which says that No soul is burdened beyond its capacity to bear, yet no one is free from tests and problems to solve.
Shitty human tendency,that we tend to feel better when we hear that we're not the only ones having Gigantic Crap in our lives. Again, another smile, this time, one placing a reassuring arm around my shoulder saying I wasnt alone.

I continued at the same speed for another hour or so, occasionally stopping by under bridges to watch the cars zoom by. I was probably passed by a few thousand cars every hour. Trust me, heavy rush on weekend evenings. A particular car caught my eye, or rather my ear. A Red Toyota Supra with a specially loud silencer (oxymoronic on purpose)

I crossed the Sharjah-Dubai border and I could choose to stop. Yet somehow, as I kept pondering to stop or not, I passed on and on along the Dubai Highway. I dint feel like stopping. The route was getting a bit tougher as I had to walk across the sloping banks of the highway. Yet a voice inside me kept asking a question, How far would my fitness regimen help me walk. And to get that answer I kept walking and walking, leaving exit after exit into the city.Further along the highway I walked. A particular song played on the mp3 player. Reminding me of a special buddy of mine who always has been encouraging me saying that I had more in me than I knew, that I was stronger than I ever realized. A grin widened, the wet Tshirt gave a cool hug and I kept walking.

Came to a point where I saw this particular view. Some worker's expression of love. And the grin turned into a laugh in the middle of the highway. Have a look

In the middle of an unforgiving desert, this sight is awesome to say the least.

My roommates started calling and screaming at me for my stupidity. feeling guilty that they didnt come 2 pick me up. I told them the straight truth, that I did what I did not to prove anything to them. Or make them feel guilty. But to see if I could do it.

5 Hours after the start of the walk (with an hour or 45 mins of break) and 17 Kms of walking, the feel good factor was at its peak. And then I realized I had done it all with a 6-7 kg Backpack on my shoulders. It was like Mr. Hilary stood on everest and Gave a little jump, just to prove that He had been higher than Mount Everest too.

Oh, btw, the 4 hours of walk (give or take a few mins) did teach me a lot of stuff.

1. Begin with the end in mind. (I had the image of a cool shower and angry roomies pictured in the mind, their faces)
2. Sunsets are ALWAYS followed by Sunrises. Hope never gives up on you, choice is yours if You wish to give up on it or not.
3. Everyone has battles. You arent alone in cursing the elements
4. Some battles are tougher than you could dream of.
5. Always take breaks in life, if you wear urself out, you will cover lesser distance in the longer run. Chill out, live longer.
6. Always have friends who will scream and kick you (Yup, my roommates kicked me right after they saw me, AFTER THE 17 KM WALK, THEY KICKED MY &%*$*"("$ LEGS) --- Shows that they care
7. Marathon runners never stop for loo breaks coz they sweat it out.

And the most important lesson

8. Never take such long walks In a Jeans !!!!!!!!


This has opened a bit of wisdom in my crazy brain.
Whenever in life you feel there are insurmountable obstacles,here's a simple advice

Take a Walk.

The road never ends ;-)


санжог said...

It'll leave you with a sore feet and a clear mind.

Not to mention the mental note " I won't do this again...or may be I will"

Arjun M said...

i would have laughed and whooped and danced around when i saw the I Love My INDIA :D

Sorcerer said...

8. Never take such long walks In a Jeans !!!!!!!!


another awesome post!

farh said...


kitna weight kam hua? :P

Meetz said...

Have I ever told you I'm your Biggest Pankha! :D Another awesomely breath-taking splendid description of the moments!!
Yep I'm a fan of your writing :D