In an act that certainly felt more normal than it would have four weeks ago, I went for my first run in Chennai today. I initially woke up to my 6am alarm with the intent to attend a 6:30am martial arts class. But five minutes into my bike ride towards the beach, I realized that it was actually “cool” enough outside to go for a run. *Note to reader: Up until this morning, I have been unable to drag my sorry ass out of bed before 8:30am. Neither construction workers nor honking traffic nor humid, stale air could force me from my cot until the last possible minute. So today’s exception was quite notable!
Besant Nagar (our neighborhood) is an entirely different universe before 7am. My only fellow exercisers were all over 40 years of age: power-walking brahman men with bright white tennis shoes who swarmed about the seaside boardwalk. Cardiac health is practically a new fad here in
Back to my run: I took about forty-five minutes to run to the beach and back. I passed a temple clanging its bells and applying tikka paste to the horns and foreheads of some local cows. I breathed in air pungent with fresh fish, dog feces, cow feces, human feces, and mystery feces. Dressed in sneakers and work-out clothes, the auto rickshaw drivers knew to leave me be. An elderly foreign man who was walking in the opposite direction gave me a stern glare, as if he had hoped to be the only pale-faced outsider that morning. I saw a motorcycle carrying three men and their tennis rackets, dogs sleeping in piles on the beach, and games of frisbee, volley ball, and soccer along the
Today we’re working a half-day at
Happy Early Birthday, Gandhi-Ji!