On a calm sunday evening with nothing in plan for the day I reluctantly put on my nike running shoes for their actual purpose. Tired of my daily gym routine I wanted to try something new. So, I went on for a run around my college campus. Just to encourage myself I started off from the main building side which faces the LBS (Lal Bahadur Shastri) ground where the Inter IIT athletes practice. I was just aiming to complete one full round of the 450 acre campus and be back to my hostel. I kept a steady pace and ran across Cautley Bhawan (my old hostel), then climbed the slope towards the main building maintaining my breath. Running through the dramatics and music section I kept going on towards the downhill route to Sarojini Bhawan (girls hostel) hoping to see some pretty faces in the male dominated estrogen starved campus. And I was bewildered to see a couple kissing right infront of the watchman near the hostel gate !! Trying to erase that sight from my head I started running faster towards the backside of sports complex. Passing by the new Kasturba Bhawan I saw some fellow students running with the motive to catch a glimpse of the beautiful weather. Crossing by the Saraswati temple I closed my eyes for a bit and paced up to steer past the crowd there. Again climbing the uphill part, I realized I had run 2 kms with total ease.
Donning a smug face I went for another round. This time I felt really free with all the muscles loosened up from the gym routine. Talking to myself throughout the run I enjoyed each and every view of the clean and green campus. With little stamina left to climb the slope again, I decided to take a longer but straighter route. Crossing the convocation hall I patted myself for surviving half a decade in such a small town away from home. Passing by Azad, Ravindra and Govind Bhawan I kept going at a slow pace until I started sweating thoroughly.
Ultimately my under-trained abs gave up and I walked my way to the LBS ground for some cooling down exercises. It was dark now but still many students were training under the flood lights owing to the upcoming athletic meet. In order to relax I took off my shoes only to see a blister on my left foot. I suddenly felt the pain and all the sense of accomplishment vanished right away. Paradise lost. Having no clue how to deal with it I stepped barefoot into the lush green ground. Paradise regained. The dew of the dusk took away all the discomfort instantly.
I sat in the field after some stretching. Observing the local athletes running barefoot I got up to join them for a 400 meter dash. Sprinting the inner circle of the ground barefooted with them gave me a sudden adrenaline rush. With every step on the wet grass my soul was meditating. Running was never so liberating. The Herculean feeling was back but this time I chose to lie down and not push myself anymore. The night sky never seemed so brilliant. With hardly a dozen of stars visible I gazed upon each of them like a toddler. I think I ran more than I ever did in my entire life, not to escape anything but to find myself.
Staring at the brightest star among the lot I vowed to kill the lackadaisical self and start afresh. The tiny twinkling dots from the infinitude of space instilled a new energy in me. I was once again ALIVE.