Funnily enough, I did (and also, paradoxically, did not) beware the Ides a year ago today, when I went to run in Delhi’s Lodhi Gardens.
I had arranged to meet one of my good running mates, Ripu Daman, for a run – something we had done dozens of times before, and always without a care in the world.
Ripu and I are very mismatched runners.
He’s young. And fit. And a fast runner.
I’m not. And not. And not.
But we had got into a comfortable routine of running together, each at our own pace, usually combining it with some sightseeing, exploring a different area of the city.
We’d run, chat, stop to visit a new temple/mosque/church/park, run some more, chat some more. And then usually eat.
But a year ago today, everything changed.
Covid was already making its dreadful presence felt.
Despite both of us having stayed home pretty much, we agreed afterwards that it had perhaps been a little foolish to meet and run.
And so that was that.
Today marks a whole year since I met another runner.
Now I run alone, day after day, in my local park.
Today marks a year since I left my ‘hood for a run.
Now I stick close to home, avoiding travel and all unnecessary contact.
I am fully aware that on a scale of the epic awfulness that the past year has thrown at us all, solo running doesn’t even count.
Does. Not. Count.
I am also aware that I am lucky enough to be able to head out and run (please God that freedom continues here in India).
I’m also super lucky to have a small biodiversity park in my colony, so yes – I’m lucky.
But…a whole year…
Back to those Ides.
I did heed their warning this day last year, in deciding not to run with other people any more.
But I don’t think I fully heeded their warning…I didn’t for a moment expect, a year later, that this virus would still be around and potentially re-gathering strength.
Increasingly, I see pictures on social media of running friends meeting and running together and I do worry.
I worry about their safety.
I worry whether I am worrying too much.
Those damned Ides!
Stay safe, friends.