The walk machine..!

I drooled as I stared at the advertisement this morning: A walk machine! All I had to do was place my still lazy feet on the machine without getting off the bed and the apparatus simulated walking movement while I went back to sleep! This was what I had been dreaming about for years; to exercise without effort. No more fighting sleep, as daylight forced its way into another day. No more searching for walking shoes in the dark. No stretching! No warming up! No trying to keep up with young legs who made mockery of my aged pair!
No ankle ache after the first round! No thigh pain after the second! No sweaty T shirt, sweaty beard, followed by unwanted cold water bath! Ah! This was ze life! Why had it taken so long for such machine, I thought dreamily. The phone rang, “Bob, you okay?” “Of course I am!” I said, surprised. “You looked a little tired this morning!” “Thanks,” I said, “Thanks, but I’m okay!”
That was Dr Gwalia who sometimes walked with me. I hadn’t noticed he had noticed me. And then I thought of this morning. The walking down the stairs, the talking to the strays who waited outside with demonstrative greeting, “How was the night you little fellow?” “It was good Bob, there was this fly that bothered me, but then I shifted away from the garbage bin, and things were fine!” “There you go!” I said and patted him and his other two friends as they scampered away.
I looked up and noticed the clouds; from around them the sun made silver the edges, “Ah God!” I whispered, “its a beautiful day!” “Enjoy it Bob!” the Lord whispered, “I made it!”
I walked to the park with a smile, “First round slow!” I told myself sternly, and looked with surprise at tiny new blue flowers that had come up overnight, a koel cried out from a tree, sparrows chirped pretending they were all early birds, “Stop that noise!” I told them sternly, “you’re disturbing the worms!” They chirped louder: Who said birds didn’t have a sense of humour? I felt a wave building up behind, it was the arrival of my dear friend Ramesh; he came like an express and I knew my passenger train walk was over; he just took me along with him. I quickened my pace, my muscles cried out, my legs murmured in mutiny but I pushed and two rounds later, I felt a calm in those same weary legs as they kept pace with those of my speeding companion. We talked as we did everyday. He a staunch RSS man, but whose views I respected: We argued, debated and were soon joined by the good doctor, a dermatologist; conversation shifted to skin.
I passed friends on the way, Mr Mada, the man who owned a travel agency and who was getting my passport renewed, “Call me today!” he shouted, I nodded and nearly bumped into plump Lucy who trudged day after day but showed nothing for all the effort, except a broader smile on her happy face.
I walked back home later flushed not just with the toil of walk, but with the joys of friendship, and fellowship with nature and God! I look at machine and turn away: No contraption can bless me with what I receive with my morning walk, even if I have to look for shoelace in the dark, or fight leg pain and a sweaty beard, it is well worth it all..!

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