Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Hello World

Sunday morning. First sunny day in ages. Or at least the first one you've managed to see.

Bend, double tie your laces, look left, look right, plug earphones in snug and set off.

Fifty strides in, Anushka Manchanda shuffles in neatly and starts to crank it up inside your head.

Mit Jaaye Gham, the chorus croon around all her spunk.

The delicious perversion of running to a remixed song about rebellion hits you. A smile spreads its warmth thinly across your lips. Smoking it up couldn't have found a more bedevilling evangelist.

You find yourself starting to stretch your hamstrings. The calves begin to tighten. You reach deep into your lungs. Hold it. Stretch it. Let go. Let go. Let go ...

Let go.

Mit Jaaye Gham. Mit Jaaye Gham.

The sun slips behind a cloud, the stride swings sweetly into form and hits the rhythm -- stretch, float, land, let go, stretch, float, land, let go ... You put the girl on loop. Her high-pitched angst screams its way into your soul. You let it flood your insides and pump it clean right out of your lungs.

Dum Maaro Dum.




One more stride.



Let go.

One more stride.


Thirty minutes. Sweat starts stinging your eyes. The lungs start to hurt. The stomach tightens every time your shoe crashes down on the concrete. Every breath burns its way in and out of your chest.

The pain starts to wall up.

You start searching. Probing. Looking desperately inside yourself for something to hang onto, to keep you going.

And then out of nowhere, the voice  cuts through the fog:

Duniya ne humko diya kya. Duniya ne humse liya kya. Hum sab ki parvah kare kyun. Sabne humara kiya kya.

Somewhere something gives. The sky explodes into a thousand pigeons.

Hum sab ki parvah kare kyun...

You clench your fist, start grinding your teeth; the more it hurts, the harder you breathe. You turn a sadist after your own self.

Sabne humara kiya kya...

With every step, you draw more into your self. Diving. Plunging. Snorkelling right down to the depths where you've buried yourself.

Andar ke bandar se ho guftgu si ek baat...

Just when all hope seems lost and you're running out of breath and the pain threatens to drown you, you start to surface, climbing, shrugging aside all that sea-weed, out, into the sunlight where the world's waiting for you, and you alone.

Hum sab ki parvah kare kyun. Sabne humara kiya kya...

And just like that, there's no pain any more. There's no point to it any more.

Mit Jaaye Gham.

Dum Maaro Dum.

Breathe. Run. Breathe. You just got yourself an unlikely anthem.