My friends snorted! If you can find roses blooming anywhere in our city! If you discount the disappearing greenery, the stench from the uncleared garbage, the mosquitoes that are turning Draculas, the burgeoning traffic, cars fitted with honks that increase in decibels in proportion to speed or the cows with menacing looking horns that loom up out of nowhere and decide to sprint without a sense of direction or the potholed road that makes you twist and salsa!
I was well ensconced in my comfort zone. I can’t run! That’s that! Little did I know that I’d be eating my words soon!
Last evening I was out for my usual stroll, (Yes! That’s what in retrospect I’d call my pathetic attempts at exercising!). I must have been out for about twenty minutes when out of the blue, a giant Great Dane bolted out of a gate of a house and started galloping towards me. I am normally a dog lover, and I know size should never matter but this one was the size of a horse! And the way it was coming thundering towards me! Embracing its sudden newfound freedom, its fangs flared, tongue lolling out, oozing saliva and menace! The size of this one was a trifle too threatening to love!
To me that one Great Dane was equivalent to a dozen Dobermans that are usually let loose on poor undeserving souls in movies. With a yelp and a gasp, fear propelled me like never before. I backed a few steps and with a sudden spin I started to sprint! In my mind this wild one was going to clasp my carotid artery any minute. I ran for my life!
Life was uncertain they said, but I sure didn’t want to die being mauled by a dog! My life flashed before my eyes! I remembered all the times I had been good to dogs, always sparing a few pats and a couple of biscuits and allowing myself to be licked! Is this what all that kindness was to lead to? I was getting breathless, but I could see the corner of my house looming at a distance. The hair at the back of my neck stood out! I could feel the large one closing in on me. The end was near! But no! I had to take a chance. If I could outrun the big one and get to the gates of my own house I perhaps had a chance? That was too much to hope for at the moment but fright does indeed make you take flight!
The state of my lungs notwithstanding I ran like a woman possessed. I managed to push myself a little more! Yes! I was almost there! A few more yards and I’d be at the gate! I wasn’t going to take a chance opening the gate. Few moments could make a mangling difference! My lungs by now were ready to burst! But no! I couldn’t give in to frivolous thoughts! Yes! I was there! I scrambled over the gate, managed to jump to the other side and lay sprawled on the ground, much to the amusement of my son and his bunch of friends who happened to be playing there.
But I had outrun the beast! Yes! I punched the air in victory continuously!
‘Mom! Are you ok? Why did you jump over the gate?’ asked my son with an incredulous look. His friends looked equally astonished. I was embarrassed but managed to huff, ‘A huge dog was chasing me!’ My son and his friends looked outside the gate at the peaceful road. ‘Where?’ asked my son. I looked behind me for the first time and realised the alleged marauder was nowhere in sight! It was more in my mind than in reality!
It was true that the huge dog came running, but before that I presumed its agenda and ran for my life. The biggest realization came later. I had managed to run! No doubt driven by fear, but I had clocked my life’s best that day, 1.5 kms in ten minutes flat! Defying all my logic that I can’t run or that I don’t have it in me or whatever! I started philosophizing to one and all that they had it in them and that the mind could chart its own course and blah! blah!
Of course I don’t mention the uncomfortable truth that I need a blazing dog to be after me for it!