Some people pray daily,most folks lie daily,Arnab Goswami shouts daily and I run daily.I run to clear my thoughts and bring my core back to equilibrium.I run to observe,sense,feel and stay connected with nature.I run to detoxify my mind,body and soul.I run because it is sets me free,keeps me sane and makes me happy.
On a certain humid evening in April,I was simply walking past innocent laughs of children,intense conversations of adults and exotic poses by athletes, yet for some strange reason, couldn`t inspire myself to run that day.Resigned to my fate,I was heading back home,when I felt a gentle breeze around my shoulder.Looking sideways to the left,I was amazed, amused and inspired by the sight.A girl probably in her teens, in elegant red salwar suit, was running with sneakers on.I admired the courage she had, to pursure her freedom.That Salwar suit told a million stories,she was wearing it as an armour,a symbol of revolt against patriarchy,a respite from her suffocating life.I went back to my hobby of overthinking.What is her story?
Her family won`t allow her to wear sports outfits or even pursue anything close to sports or probably wont even allow her to step outside.Here she was,defying all odds,running at an awesome pace.She indeed was an amazing runner with impeccable stamina.She ran without breaks.She ran to clear every bit of frustration, restriction or tension that was killing her from within.She felt free as she ran thinking about times, when her brothers were allowed to play and she was kept imprisoned.But now she was filled with joy and explored her freedom after dark,indeed a courageous feat.I wanted to salute her,but I just smiled and felt good.
This girl in her Red Salwar Suit was my new role model.Here she was,defying all odds to break free from societal shackles.Curiosity, stupidity and innocence has remarkable effect on a person.I simply couldn’t resist, “Everything fine?” I asked. Reply I got was an awkard silence and she left immediately after.I felt bad and disappointed.I shouldn’t have intruded in her space of freedom.I went back home disappointed that day.Entire night,I kept thinking of her struggles,her challenges and my stupid question.
Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies-Stephen King.In that hope,I ventured out again next evening.I was hoping to see that girl again and I wanted her to run again.My question impeded her new found courage as she was nowhere to be seen.I left home in shame disappointment and dejection.I couldn`t sleep that night.
Every evening,I went to the same park at the same time,hoping for a miracle.But as Leo Tolstoy says-Patience and time are two of the greatest warriors.I was losing my patience with time,but still I lingered a faint hope that someday she will return to this park.You don’t have to pay anything to be optimistic,yet it pays you well in the end.
Another humid evening in April.Today,I was simply strolling in the park and contemplating on my rather uneventful day.Everything changed in a moment when I sensed a light breeze brush my shoulder.There she was, miracle indeed happened.And I was more stunned as she wasn`t in her Salwar Suit rather, was sporting T shirt and shorts.I was happy,surprised and confused at the same time.I wonder,how she came back and that too with even more fierce approach.Oh,she was fighting patriarchy with fire in her belly and heart on her sleeve.It was a spectacle,a celebration and indeed a victory for her.I felt relieved,satisfied and inspired again.She ran with same intensity without break.This time,I didn’t bother her with a question.I smiled and she smiled back.I went back home with renewed hope and zeal.That girl in Red Salwar Suit had an enigmatic appeal. I wondered on how she fought back to run again.Then I thought, the battle had just begun for her.