Updated: Sep 30, 2020
The sun doesn't wake up yet. The wind is chill. The long road with destination pushes me to increase my pace. I am expecting the sun to bloom to pat me. My shoes are my sole companions. I run alone, hardly I see runners before and behind me. I am exhausted. My t shirt gets soaked in sweat. My lungs are asking to breath more. I feel pity for my legs. I am at the edge of my strength.
Everyday I run...
To tell myself that I can select my path and to say loudly to myself that I can break my limits every day with extra one step. This is the trail of the effort of my everyday. The 21 km marathon demands much of my perseverance. My maiden track, my first escapade with shoes. It's harder than I practised and prepared. But breaking my limit is my hobby as falling down and bouncing back are my routine.
More than winning, reaching the destination is my priority. I dont want to abandon myself here. I wish to puke my pain out. As the spirit in me is no longer reaching my throat, I swallow oxygen through mouth. The sign boards keep me updated with my achievements that how many kilometers I have crossed.
I let my legs take over the race. I am silent. Reaching the marathon starting point itself was heavy and journey of solitude. Every memory and moment of past suppresses me on road. May be this the beauty of running. Every step will teach you how to smile for the struggle.
Pain is not cruel when it is from the wish you dreamt. The fear of unable to do what you want is terrible than the scalding burns of pain.
Suddenly the east showers tiny rays. I smile. Before I notice, a troop of men have crossed me. I identify them by seeing their hair cut and the way they run together. Faujis, like a pride of sheras, their legs have no sign of tiredness, their face lit with spark, their josh is bucket flow. But my mood gets little scratches as they have pushed me behind and moving forward. I have energy left only to finish the run not to compete with them although I wish to shout and run as fast as the storm without care of surrounding.
I envy their unity, how they hold each other to reach the destination together. Brotherhood is priceless, sharing blood and sweat is like a meal to them. But I am determined than I know earlier. I run with the same pace with stable mind.
When my legs are devastated, they come. Two men, I know they didnt come from back, 'then why they are beside me' the question is feeble to munch as I am not having the ember. Every next moment emasculate my stamina. Then it HAPPENS..
He says ' young lady, you are the only one in the front, so run.' I didnt look at his face though I am over the moon as someone is motivating me. I respect even an expression of encouragement as I know the value of it. But still I am jealous on the troop which runs before me. The sign board shows ' 2 km' yet I doubt whether I have even an ounce of energy to take a step.
Then it HAPPENS....
He holds my hand. I feel an arora, the most beautiful emotion of the universe is when you feel you have someone beside, for whom you dont want to give up even every cell of your body provokes you to do so. He utters ' there is one more girl approaching, increase your pace.' The excruciating pinch in me melts. All I need is a word of motivation, but I am affording more than that now. I dont know who they are and why they are beside me.
I shout 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' as I want to wet my tongue with vitality. His articulation shows he is perplexed. He utters 'shhhhh, already you dont have energy.' I use my will to run not my legs now. But somewhere inside my brain, I think about their purpose of running beside me. The pure form of dedication to carry someone along reflects from their gesture.
All the time I have thought they are fellow runners on the same track, but when I happen to see two Jawan salute, my eyes follow the route the salute travels which reach the men beside me, my backlash is nothing but mere shock. I dont know what to do. Mixed with respect, kind of fear, everything spins around me.
I pronounce 'Jaihind'. But their reaction is formal and perfect. Actually they didn't react. Uniform is my fascination as it is my dream to don the stars one day. Life has different plans as it is another story to say.
I feel fortunate, I wonder how they can be this much gentle, this is why they are in Forces. Even if it is not their duty, they run beside me to support me. An Unknown Hold. They can read my mind as I have been expecting pairs of legs to run beside me.
Its six hundred meters before the finishing line. He says' young lady, run with your full energy, 200 m before the finishing line.' But I let his hands off before 600 m itself. Yes, he has been holding me along with my confidence and hope. I run like a wind emerges from Valley. I drink air from around. my face skin beats fast. My heart pumps with hardness. All my pain turns into pleasure. I have reached my destination, twenty one kms. There is none to hug me to congratulate me. There is none to say 'wow.' I have won myself.
I am lying down on the grass, staring at the sky. Still I couldn't solve the puzzle, why they were runing beside me. All I know is they are gentle men who never let a lady cross them without respectful greetings and simple smile. Also I know for sure, they admire the talent irrespective of gender. I get up to look for them. I have found the pride. Straigntly I walk towers them, say 'Thank you for the motivation. JAI HIND'. I sense that I am a part of the pride too. He says 'get ready to go to the stage'
I dont know his name. He didnt ask mine. But I know he would come to know my name when they announce. Everytime I run, I feel there is a motivation running beside me. Unknown gentle men who have heart to let a girl run with them and even push her before them.
A simple gesture, which comes as a guiding light every path I run till now. I walk from there with victory and a lesson that dont expect someone should ask for help or support, when you feel a person needs your presence, be there.
Not only best in hunting, in caring too, they have their special touch.
Feeling grateful to pen down the story of gentle kindness of the men in uniform. Thank you for letting me feel through your eyes #P_S
The one who witnesses this marvelous gentleness of Forces is my friend who swims in the same ocean with me.