Sunday, September 18, 2005

Dheeraj goes for a jog - I

“My belt has loosened by one hole” mused Dheeraj. As he slipped the belt, he realized that it was not one hole, but two.

“Is there any way I can return to my normal size, that is two inches lesser on the waist?” he asked his office peon, the all knowing Rama.

“Very difficult sir, it takes tremendous willpower. You should try jogging”

Over the next twelve and a half minutes, Rama had covered all the points of fitness etiquette from tracksuits to shoes to be taken note of in the fine art of a morning jog across the streets of Bangalore. Dheeraj instantly lost two inches, but not on his waist, on his wallet.

Its worth a mention here, Dheerajs’ previous experience with jogging or running. He had run to dodge the rain, dodge a few vehicles, catch a bus but those sprints were never more than 50 metres. The one time he had to run more than 50 metres was when a particularly peeved member of the canine family chased him and he chose the nearest tree.

Since then trees had become fewer, Dheeraj, heavier and the canine in question had resigned to a bark at every new visitor to its kingdom having given up its vocation of training young ambitious canines in new foreign car tyre chases (he specialised in identifying new brands of tyres).

Dheeraj stepped out in full uniform. At about the same time a canine stirred at the scent of the joggers that whiffed through the morning air; he knew he had some time left to call it a night. The scent of the joggers suits brought back memories of his childhood when he was a sprightly, enthusiastic dog in 3rd Cross. It was his daily routine and he loved it.

He was a proud dog. "Neither bark nor chase without reason" (Bow wow, wowwwow, wow in their lingo) was the dictum he lived by. He had chased the young Dheeraj too, because the then young Dheeraj had attempted to ride on his back like a horse inspired by some mythological serials ( and a lack of horses on 3rd Cross).

As Dheeraj stepped out and started his canter, he spotted a banana peel strategically placed such that his fifth step would be on it. So at his fourth step, he jumped over the peel, and landed on the canines tail.

At this point, Dheerajs presence of mind must be commended because in the split second that he took off and was about to land, he saw a large furry mass below his feet. It was his sheer presence of mind that he missed the stomach and the hindlegs, but he just missed the ending of the dog and stepped on the fag end inch or two of the most furious furball.To sports lovers, this is the equivalent of a perfect gymnastics routine of two full minutes, but a small tumble on landing.

The canine rose to bite at the interruption of its sleeping time that had landed on two inches of its precious tail. The legs conveyed a message to the brain and in the time that I take to write this sentence, there was a man and there was a furious dog behind him. As furious dog chased petrified man on the 3rd cross (with the record for the fastest run between 5th and 3rd cross broken by man and dog), the canine realized that he had reached the end of 5th cross and that’s where the law abiding creature waited guarding its own territory incase Dheeraj decided to return. He sat down, tongue hanging out, waiting for Dheeraj.

It could be argued that he beat a hasty retreat, but as the saying goes, Dheeraj lived to fight (or perhaps run) another day.

“Sir, Why are you in a track suit in office today?”