Sunday, October 27, 2013

Us and Them

The mornings are turning cool now, and this is probably the last time I'll swim in the Bhatti lakes this year.

About a kilometer in to the approach road, a pile of rocks signals that the quarries have been closed for business. It also serves as the marker for runners from Anangpur that their morning run is done. Many of their faces are familiar, and we exchange pleasantries as they stretch and bend before walking back to their homes.

"Lots of your friends are running around these parts."
"My friends?"
"Yes, the English-speaking kind."
"I heard there is some kind of race going on."
"A hundred - hundred and fifty of them. Up and down, through the night, little torches attached to their foreheads."

I know, of course, that running enthusiasts from Gurgaon have staged a Bhatti ultra-marathon this weekend, and it wouldn't be too much of stretch to say several of them are friends. I ask, though,

"Why don't you join them?"
"We don't have that kind of time. It's OK for these kind of people, who have lots of time. We have work to do, families to feed; it's OK to come out for an hour or two in the morning, but then we have to get back to reality."
"They work through the week. But, yes, they have the weekends off."
"Yeah, they punch things into the computer. But we have work, real work. And tension."
"True, that. Anyway, I'm off for my weekend swim..."

Us, and Them.
Clearly, I'm part of the 'Them'... the computer-punching, English speaking types.

No comments:

Post a Comment