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  • Writer's pictureAnupam Gupta

Running down the memory lane(s).. literally

Driving down 40 kms (80 total) at 5 am in the chill, to run 15 kms when it's just a training run and mostly solo - may not be considered the wisest of things to do and well it wasn't.. as it wasn't the mind thinking but the heart wanting to..

There are few parts of Delhi that bring back memories and today's run was intended to do just that. Two decades or more worth of memories - flashed past in the 90 minutes. Starting the run with NDRR folks at Amrita Shergill Marg, I took off solo after maybe 20 minutes.. The urge was to run through few intersections and across a flyover - in the lanes and streets of Laxmi Bai Nagar - the area where I remember spending most of my teenage and some prior years too maybe.

It immediately felt home as I ran down the flyover through the clover into the lanes of nostalgia.. realized the library I used to visit and somehow hated the smell of (the books stinked back then) was no longer there, the market where I used to play my favorite arcade game 'Contra' was still there, though nothing looked familiar.. Running past a roundabout I realized I'm on a road that had a temple at the end and felt happy seeing it still there, the way I remembered it.

Saw a party dog looking lost and then looking hopeful with a gleam in his eyes when he saw someone of his specie in the wee hours running towards him - he asked directions to the nearest subway station - I was surprised with myself - I knew where it was! I knew how many lefts or rights it was after n all.. and felt a little pride realizing I hadn't forgotten things over so many years! Even though there was no subway station back then.. LOL

Kept running and now was on the road to my home 2 decades ago - immediately realized it was the same road that was dreaded back then as it was that long one I took to catch a bus at times.. surprisingly it didn't feel long at all today - even if it was the same length :-). Passed through the playfield where as kids I used to ride my bicycle in the mud with futile attempts (till date!) to fishtail. I suddenly remembered the guy I was so jealous of back then because he was a pro at it and always was the cool one.

In the block where my home was, I began remembering the faces - of the then neighbors, those kids I used to play cricket with, that irritating boy who never used to play straight, that girl who finally learnt how to ride a bicycle with me pushing her bike from behind most times, the back lane that was our favorite spot to hide when playing hide & seek... gosh seemed yesterday.

Ran 4-5 rounds of the block and thought of heading back.. but well how can I not go inside the 'Lake Park' - the park with a beautiful lake and some ducks that was there since eternity and the one that wasn't frequented much by me as a kid - was too lazy back then. Well the ducks were there today (maybe the next generation of them since 2 decades ago), the flora was beautiful and unlike before humans were sparse.

A glance at my watch made me realize I am just 20 minutes away from my training duration of 90 minutes for the day and headed back to the start point - across the flyover and through the few intersections cheering folks as they ran along... Meeting Bagga over tea was icing on the cake :-)

Something about this part of Delhi, just can't get enough... I need to run down to my school and college next time I'm here..



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