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Walks at night

13 May '24
5 min read


I've been taking walks at night for a while now, maybe a few months. And everyday the sights are both familiar and unique, all at once. The sensation of walking despite the regularity varies with the way the rest of the day's gone. I used to walk in the morning, but that was almost always the same - the quality of sleep being similar on  a daily basis. Night time walking is totally dependant on what the day's been like. Some days are fairly lower in strain, especially if I've worked from home. But if I've gone into the office to work or been riding for a long time in the city, those days can get really strenuous. So the net result is that the walk quality differs. 

Sometimes it's like a hot knife slicing through butter, you know? The walks feel easy and even brisk walking feels like the tempo is just right. Couple that with a good music playlist or a podcast with some stuff that makes you think, and you have a perfect recipe for an invigorating walk. 

Contrast that with a stressful day and you have  thoughts running through your mind like - "His legs felt like butter. He kept walking anyway. It was like wading through marsh or quicksand.". Sometimes I like to narrate my thoughts in the third person as they're occurring. Heh.

Yesterday was a mixture of both tiring, yet relaxing. My mind was abuzz with thoughts about the different people and sights I passed. I think the reason that was was because I'd forgotten to take my airpods with me and that left me with no real alternative for a distraction but to let my eyes wander and take in the sights around me. 

Street vendors were wrapping up for the day, literally. I overheard two of them, as they put blue sheets over their push carts, talking about how it had been a good day for sales because it was a Sunday. A few buildings were under construction. The progress wasn't all that much from last month when I'd gone on a similar non-Airpod-carrying-sight-seeing walk. Some boys were riding helmetless, laughing and shouting incomprehensibly to each other. I hastily moved to the side to avoid being run over. On most days, there's a certain track I take to walk along. It's not Strava specified or anything. It's just a track along which, according to my wife, the Airtel signal strength is the strongest. Good reason. Yesterday I took a different track, just because. I was listening to a podcast on Data Engineering where yesterday he was talking about a new software library. 

After the podcast episode got over, I started thinking about which book I want to read next. That got me thinking about Murakami. 

There's a book by Murakami called “What I talk about when I talk about running”. I have a copy but I haven't read it yet. That's almost always the case isn't it. You have a copy of the books you intend to read but you actually get to them months or years later. Also when you pick up a book with a good understandable title for which you haven't read the blurb you imagine something about the contents. You might be proven right or wrong when you actually read the book but the thoughts/assumptions do arise. Anyway, I assume (and you can correct me if I'm wrong) that Murakami makes a few points about running in the book, that it's probably a habit for him by now. Maybe it's something that he finds himself at a lot of peace while he's doing it. Maybe he inculcated this habit at a young age and it's one of those things he can't live without doing on a regular basis now. He's also a world-acclaimed author, so maybe he comes up with thoughts about his plots while he's indulging in the activity. These are my assumptions about the book without having read it yet. I will revisit this article after I have. Anyway, the reason I mentioned it is because I have now come to indulge in walking as a habit in a very similar way. And that is especially better for me at night, since I get to do two things - one, think about what I've done over the day and 2) think about what I plan to do the next day. It's a great intermediate point at which to retrospect on a day to day basis.

Granted, I haven't been doing it ever since childhood, but now's as good a time to start!  I also get to listen to a lot of podcasts or audio books for which I don't get time during the day. Like the episode on Data Engineering I mentioned earlier. 

Anyway, as I was thinking all this, I'd decided to do two things - pick up that unread Murakami book next,  and write this article. 

Category : Personal Experience


Written by Abhiram R