Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Walking

I remember so much better places that I've walked through. Obviously, because you move slower and commit to memory so many more things than you would notice otherwise.

I've always wanted to share the joy of a good walk, and I've been lucky to have been able to do so many times. A love for walking has often been the common ground from where some very precious friendships have begun.

Over six years in Delhi have been great, walking-wise. My first long walks were in Purani Dilli, where i lived before I moved to Hindu College. 

It was hard to avoid the shared association of the walled city with other beacons of the medieval  East that I'd read about, cities like Samarkand, Bukhara, Esfahan, Damascus; a clump of crowded residential areas alongside lanes radiating from a huge monument in the centre.

I'd read somewhere that the difference between an empire and a kingdom is often discernible from their monuments. Assuming the Mughals as my plane of reference, I can say I agree.

But the monuments are just where the charm of the old city begins. There is only so much that you can find walking around a mosque or a (once) riverside fort. The fun begins in the bylanes. There is a lot to say about that, and I will procrastinate.

Then there was North Campus. I still know of few places more suited to walking in the city, offering such variance across seasons. My undergrad days were my best days in Delhi, and walking was one major reason why they were that way.

I curse the inertia that his hitherto prevented me from sharing what I've always wanted to in the only way I can: writing. Fresh out of school in 2005, I'd thought life would be one long association with the written word, a good portion of it written by me.

Which is how it stayed for say, three years. Then of course, inertia took over.

I suppose it's never too late to begin again. Avast, Sloth! Let others curse thee.

I write most happily the things I think of when I walk, so there is a lot I owe to the business of walking.

To all those who read this, I crave the indulgence of your feedback. 

I'll try keeping inertia at bay, because there's lots of places walked through, lots of people met, lots of things thought about, and an unfortunate sense of humour all thrown into the bag.

Walk with me, then.

11 comments:

  1. At the onset, kudos for coming up with a blog of your own. You are right, you mustn't allow the inertia to seep in. It often proves disastrous. I really enjoyed reading your first post and couldn't agree more.
    Keep walking. I promise to walk with you.

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  2. As always sal...your writing is lucid and evocative...tinged with a quintessential capacity to involve and indulge your readers and transform them into your fellow travellers,in a journey which could well have been your personal quest for the grail otherwise....keep walking...keep writing...and as someone who has seen you from close quarters i believe you won't disappoint on either count...:)

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement Dasa :)

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  3. Interesting write-up, the likes of which need to be told and retold, time and again.

    Walking, interestingly, always brings about a sense of exploration, the possibility of discovery of the undiscovered, revelation of the unrevealed, knowledge of the unknown. It is a foray into a never-ending circle of ideas, thoughts and secrets that go one to make memories. The choice of theme is certainly a pleasant surprise; not many would have begun by writing on a subject that is by nature so abstract.

    Many congrats for your truly entertaining, mesmerising and spectacular foray into the world of blogging. Your writing, Salman, is quite imaginative and layered—a hallmark of a good writer. Keep writing, only for your own pleasure, and aim to reach a level where the world seems too small for your ideas and expression.

    My only advice, is that when you pen down your thoughts, always remember what Gibran said—“Words are timeless. Therefore, you must write or say words with a knowledge of their timelessness.” Whatever you write, is going to part of history someday, a record of how we lived in 2012. Be aware of this, and you would know the responsibility of a writer.

    I wish the best to you.

    --Samarth.

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    1. thanks very much indeed. having created a little expectation, I hope my subsequent writing lives up to it :)

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  4. It is relaxing and slow paced; just like a leisurely walk! Your writing is passionate and not influenced by the many vices that writers today tend to fall for (money, fame, etc). I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only advice to you: Write! Write to express yourslef and more importantly please yourself!

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    1. I'm gonna post another one quicker than i thought :) thanks guys!

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  5. Made me miss walks with you Salman, though there were only a few, and those too very short indeed.
    As for your writing, as the critic Linguini said in Ratatouille (in another sense though but the words apply here anyway! :P) - "I will be back... hungry for MORE!!!! :)

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