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The Fit Over Fifty Bhopali Walkers

02 March, 2015

Walking Pathway; an innate setting of a natural world

Bhopal is a city with numerous walking pathways at every corner. In the earliest hours of the morning when the crack of dawn was on its way, I arrived at Vardhman Sunset Point (Managed by Nagar Nigam, Bhopal), located in front of Kamla Park en route to old Bhopal. Following the swarm of morning walkers, I took a turn for the Pathway; a well-constructed trail for walking and other exercises. The moment I stepped on the track, channels of energy opened up inside my mind, body and soul. As I was set in motion to increase my rate of knots, I was magnetized by the beauty of scenery around the follow; lush green grass with plunges of dew, trimmed hedges bordering the way, rocks with gentle water streams on my left and a continual lake flanking all of it. With that reverberation of water waves drumming the edge of the edifice and the stroke of air streams from the heavens, I endured the spirit of meditation. Well, it has to happen in the City of Lakes- Bhopal.

Moving further, I engaged myself in observing the citizens just about and their performances- while few were concerned with their Yoga practice, others were seen walking in groups, few with ear-phones plugged into their ears, some with Bhajans being played at volumes on their cell phones and the remaining strolling with silence. Not only humans, I could also see dogs giving a great company to their owners for a morning walk. Absorbing the atmosphere in the region, I realized nothing at all was a work of fiction. Certainly, an innate setting of a natural world it was. On my stride back towards the way in, I was attracted towards an assemblage of morning walkers. It was a group of six people who tagged themselves as Mandli and each of them above an age of 50 years. Hari Om; they enchanted as a means to greet each other. In good shape, they appeared in casual attires and sport shoes. Meeting the “old in age but youthful in spirits” Bhopali gentlemen, my writing instinct settled on to have a conversation with them over walking.

Why Walking?

My first question to them was, Why Walking? To which, Mr. V.K. Juneja (Retired Archivist, National Archives of India) gave a compounded answer- “The initial idea behind walking is fitness. It also works as a mood regulator by revitalizing our body, mind and soul. Apart from that, it is a means to meet new people and stay socially active on the go. The splendor of Pathway at Vardhman Park at Bhopal attracts us every single sunrise which is why we havesustained the activity of walking.” He is now retired but never will be tired.

What is your walking schedule?

Talking about their walking memo, they launch it at 6:15 a.m. in the morning, empty stomachedand cover a distance of nearly 3 kilometers in 45 minutes at a steady pace. Few prefer music while walking and for others, silence around speaks a lot. Looking for replies over regularity, Mr. Alok Goswami (A Charming Businessman) surprised me by his startling answers- “I am a man of commitment.” (A Salman Khan fan he seems). We all have heard about “Fear ofHeights” but he had a very unusual one which can be termed as “Fear of Widths”. This gentleman had noted down his body dimensions in the year 2004 and pledged to preserve them for a lifetime. No matter what weather condition it is, he uses an umbrella in a drizzle and wears a raincoat to walk during heavy rainfall. He might be getting older every year, but he is growing younger each day.

Has regular walking improved your health at this age?

Next areas under discussion were how walking has played a role regarding medical concerns, health and fitness. Referring to weight issues, Mr. Satish Kumar (Sr. Geologist, Geological Survey of India) stated- “A regular walking exercise helped me fight the evil of obesity and has eventually reduced the extra body fat.” The serene atmosphere around has contributed to their brain fitness and mood improvement. This Mandli of morning walkers is now immune to ill health.

How does walking entertain you?

Gathering views of how walking has changed their lives, associates of this Mandli adjoined motivating dimensions to the answers- “Walking is an opportunity to get away from city’s pollution and find time to fall in love with the beauty of nature around. We feel so young, lively and pleased about our fitness over 50. Each day after walking, this Mandli sits together for about 15 minutes and shares the daily happenings. They entertain each other with jokes and breaking news and provide encouragement and moral support whenever needed. And when these 15 minutes are not enough, they visit each other’s place for a cup of hot tea and toast which they think is the modern age breakfast of Bhopal. Feeling any better? Isn’t that an encouraging tale? Well, we need to think on this. From the instant we get in the morning till we scramble into bed at night, we are on and off our feet. As an exercise, walking costs nothing; no pricey devices; no membership charges. All it does is burn down calories and that too without burdening the body. It is the easiest and safest way to re-energize ourselves and makes us experience a good health with deep relaxation. It is a vibrant progression which creates a sagacity of rhythm. As we listen to our own silent cadence, the pulse of life, our heartbeat, we attain the degree of completeness in Mind, Body and Soul; it definitely is an undemanding scheme to stay hale and hearty.

Nikita Kothari-
Student | Nature Lover,
Bhopal

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