That’s one of my favourite hashtags to describe life in India, and especially running in India.
There is, literally, no such thing as a dull run in India.
There must be places where, one imagines, not a whole lot goes on at 6am and where pounding the streets is borderline dull. I can think of many such places, but I won’t be rude and name them 😜.
But one thing is for sure, that’s not the case in Delhi.
Take this morning, for example.
I went running in Lutyens Delhi, this hot and humid morning, and clocked up a v-e-r-y slow 12km, but all due to happy things.
Like chatting with my resident mate who appears to live on Raj Path, and being filmed by students out doing a college project on health and fitness. Oh, yes, and watching the ceremony at 7am at India Gate.
As I said, no such thing as a dull run in India.
At the top of Raj Path, where the incline of Raisina Hill starts, there were some youngsters out filming and photographing, concentrating on loads of soldiers in mufti who were (it has to be said) ambling along. No route march for those guys this hot, sticky morning.
I ended up running alongside the soldiers and probably messed up the image the photographers were aiming for, but they were all polite and smiled at me.
On the way back down from Raisina Hill I noticed one of the students running ahead of me and crouching down to take a photo as I approached. I asked how it was, he said it was blurred, so I ran back and we did a retake, and chatted for a bit.
Just as I was about to set off, a voice said “Aunty, hello!” and there was the sweet vagabond-y man whom I regularly meet on Rajpath.
He was stretched out on one of the ornamental steps, looking quite relaxed.
Our conversation this morning was shorter than usual and more laconic:
“Hello Aunty, how are you?”
“I’m fine, how are you?”
“I am very fine. You are fine and I am very fine (huge grin). Aunty is running? India Gate as usual?”
“Yes, India Gate and back.”
I suggested we take a selfie, and since I never take selfies, the camera angle was useless.
“Aunty, just give me the phone” and he corrected the angle, took 2 selfies, & returned the phone with a smile.
He really is an amazing bloke. Clearly living on the streets, always smiling, has never once tapped me for money, and always brightens up my runs.
Finally, after all this chit-chatting, off I trotted towards India Gate, where a wreath laying ceremony was taking place. Pretty special hearing the “Last Post” played at 7am, and then I was on my way.
Met my young film crew on the return leg, “Hey, what’s up!” they called out as they zoomed past on their scooters.
Saw loads of monkeys and, super fun, 2 pairs of grey hornbills flew overhead as I ran down Raj Path.
So, yes, no prizes for guessing why my timing is so slow.
Heat + humidity + India = great run 😀
Oh yes, and this was day 40 of #100daysofrunning
And Day 88 of our defunct #99daysofrunning