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My morning routine June 28, 2009

Posted by globejam in This is not bad. It's worse!, Uncategorized.
8 comments
My morning routine
It’s another crisp bright day on the eastern seaboard of peninsular India.  I wake up with the first rays of the sun with a definite spring in my step. I wash up quickly, don my exercise clothes and am away for my morning walk-jog-run-swim routine.
I step out into the street and take a lung full of the fresh air that is injected with the fragrance of a thousand blooms. The overnight dew is yet to evaporate and the slight breeze through the moisture-laden air makes it feel like I am walking through the finest mist of nature’s best.
I take the backstreets that have the newly laid jogging tracks maintained by the city corporation. I am among the first few to hit the track, but every minute more people are joining in.  Some of the older folks are using the well laid out even pavements between the road and the jogging track while most people are on the jogging track.  The track is wide enough for one to overtake another without slowing down either and since we are all moving in the same direction, things are as smooth as can be.  It’s mostly the same people I come across every day and we acknowledge each other with eye contact, a smile, a slight nod, but no talking.  Nobody wants to disturb the silence.
The ipods, of course, are out in full force, but I am not one of them.  I have my ears peeled for the bird calls.  On a good day, I can spot a couple of dozen species of birds and I don’t want to miss the exhilarating experience of being close to nature.  I start with a brisk walk and soon I pass by my favourite tree – the yellow labarnum.  It’s in full bloom and completely yellow this time of the year.  As usual, it has shed some of its flowers on  the road in an arc overnight  and it looks like an aerial view of a stadium with gallery seats painted the brightest of yellow.  At the next corner, a glorious peepal tree stands majestically.  I crane my neck and scan the tree for the Golden Oriole.  I see it and hear its melodious song every day, but yet it’s still a pleasure each time.  The tranquil morning is suddenly shattered by the strident kuwo-kuwo-kuwo-Koovooo call of the asian koel.  The babblers join in immediately, as though this was the signal they had been waiting for.  Soon, the bird calls are in full flow.
I am now sufficiently warmed up and so I up the pace to a 9 km/hour jog.  Life is good.  I take my usual path that leads to the pristine beach at Elliots’.  I keep a steady pace and in 20 minutes I reach the beach.  The sun has risen over the bay of Bengal and the blue sea is glistening with golden spangles.  I do two laps on the jogging track by the shore and then go to the recreation centre.  It’s a wonderful two-tier building with a full gym and lockers and showers on the ground floor and an all organic food court on the first floor.  The entire sea facing side is tinted glass giving you an uninterruped view all the way to the horizon.
I go to my locker, change into my trunks and hit the beach on the run.  The pristine fine white sand is already warm and the slightly cooler waters are beckoning. I skirt around a mixed group of noisy youngsters playing volleyball. Another group of girls, in the tiniest of bikinis, and boys are splashing around in the shallows. I don’t mind the ruckus they are making, their laughter and good natured banter puts a smile on my face.  What I am most happy about is that this beach is a no-scooter zone which means there are no motorized jet-skis and fast boats destroying the peace.
I wade into the water and go some distance down the gentle slope until the water is about waist deep.  The water is cool and clear.  I can see the sand under my feet clearly.  I know that soon the slope will become steeper as I hit the shelf.  I start a slow crawl parallel to the beach for a couple of kilometers.  The noise and shouting all gradually fade away and it’s now just me and the sea.  It’s an exhilarating experience and even though I have been doing this every day for over a decade now, it’s like the first time every day!
I come back out and head for the showers.  I have a quick shower, change into a fresh set of clothes and head to my favourite juice joint on the top tier.  I have my usual vegeMix juice-of-the-day waiting for me (with ice, no sugar).  I sit down on one of the bar stools facing the sea, savour my drink and take a breather for about 10 minutes.
Then, I jog back home. By now the vehicular traffic has increased a bit and the sun is a little hotter too.  I reach home, have a refreshing shower and I am ready to face another exciting new day.
Sounds too good to be true?  That’s because it is. The real routine goes this way…
The alarm rings at half past five in the morning. My wife wakes up and gives me a nudge.  “Are you going to the gym today or not?”, she asks half-accusingly.  She knows if she does not wake me up fully, I am likely to curl up and go back to sleep.  Despite the air-conditioner running on full power, I know it is another muggy day. I reluctantly pry my eyes open and mumble, “umm… yes” and close my eyes again, hoping she will go away.  “Get up, then”, she admonishes, knowing fully well that the only way to get me up is to get under my skin.  I grumble and get up and go turn the modem on – I need to check what’s happened on our website overnight.  I then go to the next room, turn my notebook on and head for the bathroom.  A quick wash and I am back in time to see the notebook booted up and online. Right on cue, my wife says, “It’s getting late and I am going”.  I reply, “Two minutes”, but she is already out and on her way.
I finish checking my mails, wear my shoes and I am out of the door, about ten minutes later.  I reach the gate and hold my breath.  The garbage accumulated overnight has not been cleared yet and smell of decaying food and the shit of a hundred children and dogs is over-powering.  The dogs have, as usual, attacked the discarded food packets and dragged them and distributed them from one end of the street to the other.
I gingerly step out, careful to avoid the dog shit on the road.  Sometimes, it’s an undisturbed lump that I can skip over easily.  At other times, some vehicle has already run over it, making it that much more difficult to avoid stepping on it.  The first contact with the tyre has resulted in a 6-inch wide slash followed by diminishing residues at every length of turn of the wheel for another few meters.  I try to steer clear of it all while at the same time avoiding the edges of the road where a line of children are defecating.
By now, I cannot hold my breath for much longer.  I run quickly to the end of the road as far away from the stink as possible and take a quick breath through my cupped fingers, in the illogical hope that my fingers will filter away the smell and the germs.
It’s already hot and sweat has started collecting in every fold of my skin.  I take a left and start walking.  There is no jogging track and I hope that the hard tarmac on which I do my walking-jogging does not screw up my knees entirely.  Grumpy milkmen and newspaper delivery boys are already out on the road on their cycles and motorbikes.  They don’t expect anybody else on the road, especially not joggers in this health-blind, fatalistic community and are driving recklessly at breakneck speeds. I hope they don’t run over me.  I walk past the beautiful yellow labarnum tree but between keeping my eyes on the road for shit and the kamikazi two-wheelers, I have very little time to appreciate it. There are still only a few people on the roads, mostly around the teashops which have LR Eashwari and Seergazhi belting out Mariamma songs at full volume.  A koel chased by crows goes Kuwo-kuwo-kuwo and I can see that neither I nor the birds (other than the crows) can hope for any peace or quiet here.
The sweat is streaming down into my eyes and further down all the way to my underwear now and I still have not started jogging.  I coax my reluctant body to up the pace and after several false starts, I start jogging at about 8 kms/hour.  The humidity is already killing and it feels like I am trying to run through molasses. I labour on, telling myself to imagine better surroundings.  Maybe I should continue on to the beach, I think.
But the idea is shot down in double quick time.  First of all, it’s a long way away. Secondly at this time in the morning, the entire fishing village will be squatting by the shore defecating the previous day’s meagre catch.  It’s a sight I happened to inadvertantly catch once – a long row of naked butts squatting close to the where the waves recede, hoping that the next wave will take away the shit and wash their ass – never mind, the less said the better.
I cannot imagine running there, leave alone swimming in those waters.  Just the thought of the shit laden sand squishing between my toes is enough to make me puke.
I veer away from the road to the beach, turn into some of the cleaner inner lanes (cleaner being clearly a comparitive term) and reach the air conditioned comfort of the gym as quickly as possible.  I finish my work out, and needless to say, there is no organic, health food joint out there.  I trudge back home in time to have a quick shower and some breakfast.
Another hot day.  Wish I could just switch on the air conditioner and go back to bed.  I am pooped already!

It’s another crisp bright day on the eastern seaboard of peninsular India.  I wake up with the first rays of the sun with a definite spring in my step. I wash up quickly, don my exercise clothes and am away for my morning walk-jog-run-swim routine.

I step out into the street and take a lung full of the fresh air that is injected with the fragrance of a thousand blooms. The overnight dew is yet to evaporate and the slight breeze through the moisture-laden air makes it feel like I am walking through the finest mist of nature’s best.

I take the backstreets that have the newly laid jogging tracks maintained by the city corporation. I am among the first few to hit the track, but every minute more people are joining in.  Some of the older folks are using the well laid out even pavements between the road and the jogging track while most people are on the jogging track.  The track is wide enough for one to overtake another without slowing down either and since we are all moving in the same direction, things are as smooth as can be.  It’s mostly the same people I come across every day and we acknowledge each other with eye contact, a smile, a slight nod, but no talking.  Nobody wants to disturb the silence.

The ipods, of course, are out in full force, but I am not one of them.  I have my ears peeled for the bird calls.  On a good day, I can spot a couple of dozen species of birds and I don’t want to miss the exhilarating experience of being close to nature.  I start with a brisk walk and soon I pass by my favourite tree – the yellow laburnum.  It’s in full bloom and completely yellow this time of the year.  As usual, it has shed some of its flowers on  the road in an arc overnight  and it looks like an aerial view of a stadium with gallery seats painted the brightest of yellow.  At the next corner, a glorious peepal tree stands majestically.  I crane my neck and scan the tree for the Golden Oriole.  I see it and hear its melodious song every day, but yet it’s still a pleasure each time.  The tranquil morning is suddenly shattered by the strident kuwo-kuwo-kuwo-Koovooo call of the Asian koel.  The babblers join in immediately, as though this was the signal they had been waiting for.  Soon, the bird calls are in full flow.

I am now sufficiently warmed up and so I up the pace to a 9 km/hour jog.  Life is good.  I take my usual path that leads to the pristine beach at Elliots’.  I keep a steady pace and in 20 minutes I reach the beach.  The sun has risen over the bay of Bengal and the blue sea is glistening with golden spangles.  I do two laps on the jogging track by the shore and then go to the recreation centre.  It’s a wonderful two-tier building with a full gym and lockers and showers on the ground floor and an all organic food court on the first floor.  The entire sea facing side is tinted glass giving you an uninterrupted view all the way to the horizon.

I go to my locker, change into my trunks and hit the beach on the run.  The pristine fine white sand is already warm and the slightly cooler waters are beckoning. I skirt around a mixed group of noisy youngsters playing volleyball. Another group of girls, in the tiniest of bikinis, and boys are splashing around in the shallows. I don’t mind the ruckus they are making, their laughter and good natured banter puts a smile on my face.  What I am most happy about is that this beach is a no-scooter zone which means there are no motorized jet-skis and fast boats destroying the peace.

I wade into the water and go some distance down the gentle slope until the water is about waist deep.  The water is cool and clear.  I can see the sand under my feet clearly.  I know that soon the slope will become steeper as I hit the shelf.  I start a slow crawl parallel to the beach for a couple of kilometers.  The noise and shouting all gradually fade away and it’s now just me and the sea.  It’s an exhilarating experience and even though I have been doing this every day for over a decade now, it’s like the first time every day!

I come back out and head for the showers.  I have a quick shower, change into a fresh set of clothes and head to my favourite juice joint on the top tier.  I have my usual vegeMix juice-of-the-day waiting for me (with ice, no sugar).  I sit down on one of the bar stools facing the sea, savour my drink and take a breather for about 10 minutes.

Then, I jog back home. By now the vehicular traffic has increased a bit and the sun is a little hotter too.  I reach home, have a refreshing shower and I am ready to face another exciting new day.

Sounds too good to be true?  That’s because it is. The real routine goes this way…

The alarm rings at half past five in the morning. My wife wakes up and gives me a nudge.  “Are you going to the gym today or not?” she asks half-accusingly.  She knows if she does not wake me up fully, I am likely to curl up and go back to sleep.  Despite the air-conditioner running on full power, I know it is another muggy day. I reluctantly pry my eyes open and mumble, “umm… yes” and close my eyes again, hoping she will go away.  “Get up, then”, she admonishes, knowing full well that the only way to get me up is to get under my skin.  I grumble and get up and go turn the modem on – I need to check what’s happened on our website overnight.  I then go to the next room, turn my notebook on and head for the bathroom.  A quick wash and I am back in time to see the notebook booted up and online. Right on cue, my wife says, “It’s getting late and I am going”.  I reply, “Two minutes”, but she is already out and on her way.

I finish checking my mails, wear my shoes and I am out of the door, about ten minutes later.  I reach the gate and hold my breath.  The garbage accumulated overnight has not been cleared yet and smell of decaying food and the shit of a hundred children and dogs is over-powering.  The dogs have, as usual, attacked the discarded food packets and dragged them and distributed them from one end of the street to the other.

I gingerly step out, careful to avoid the dog shit on the road.  Sometimes, it’s an undisturbed lump that I can skip over easily.  At other times, some vehicle has already run over it, making it that much more difficult to avoid stepping on it.  The first contact with the tyre has resulted in a 6-inch wide slash followed by diminishing residues at every length of turn of the wheel for another few meters.  I try to steer clear of it all while at the same time avoiding the edges of the road where a line of children are defecating.

By now, I cannot hold my breath for much longer.  I run quickly to the end of the road as far away from the stink as possible and take a quick breath through my cupped fingers, in the illogical hope that my fingers will filter away the smell and the germs.

It’s already hot and sweat has started collecting in every fold of my skin.  I take a left and start walking.  There is no jogging track and I hope that the hard tarmac on which I do my walking-jogging does not screw up my knees entirely.  Grumpy milkmen and newspaper delivery boys are already out on the road on their cycles and motorbikes.  They don’t expect anybody else on the road, especially not joggers in this health-blind, fatalistic community and are driving recklessly at breakneck speeds. I hope they don’t run over me.  I walk past the beautiful yellow laburnum tree but between keeping my eyes on the road for shit and the kamikazi two-wheelers, I have very little time to appreciate it. There are still only a few people on the roads, mostly around the teashops which have LR Eashwari and Seergazhi belting out Mariamma songs at full volume.  A koel chased by crows goes Kuwo-kuwo-kuwo and I can see that neither I nor the birds (other than the crows) can hope for any peace or quiet here.

The sweat is streaming down into my eyes and further down all the way to my underwear now and I still have not started jogging.  I coax my reluctant body to up the pace and after several false starts, I start jogging at about 8 kms/hour.  The humidity is already killing and it feels like I am trying to run through molasses. I labour on, telling myself to imagine better surroundings.  Maybe I should continue on to the beach, I think.

But the idea is shot down in double quick time.  First of all, it’s a long way away. Secondly at this time in the morning, the entire fishing village will be squatting by the shore defecating the previous day’s meagre catch.  It’s a sight I happened to inadvertently catch once – a long row of naked butts squatting close to the where the waves recede, hoping that the next wave will take away the shit and wash their ass – never mind, the less said the better.

I cannot imagine running there, leave alone swimming in those waters.  Just the thought of the shit laden sand squishing between my toes is enough to make me puke.

I veer away from the road to the beach, turn into some of the cleaner inner lanes (cleaner being clearly a comparative term) and reach the air conditioned comfort of the gym as quickly as possible.  I finish my workout, and needless to say, there is no organic, health food joint out there.  I trudge back home in time to have a quick shower and some breakfast.

Another hot day.  Wish I could just switch on the air conditioner and go back to bed.  I am pooped already!