Sunday, April 6, 2014

Madurai Talks - Learning on the Road

Today is the second day of my one week long vacation of going back to my roots. Gowri & I went for a 9KM run covering Teppakulam and Sundaram Park in Madurai. These are well known public places for fitness enthusiast in Madurai. The word Teppakulam would make most Madurai guys  remember their old Cricket days.

When I was about to finish, by around 7.15am, I saw an elderly man standing near the road. He had a walking stick in his hand. Dirty clothes. He was walking and then he stopped. He stood still for about a minute.

I observed him from the other side and then I walked across. I thought, he needs help. I was not sure if I can, but wanted to see what he wants. Usual thoughts in my mind... He would need food, water, an auto fare to reach back home or may be he wants  a Home.

When I reached him, he started walking again. I opened the conversation..

"Are you fine Thatha(grandfather)"

"Yes..Just walking"


"I will walk around the Teppakulam and then come back to this spot. Later I will take an auto and go back home"

I was confused and amazed. Teppakulam is a one Kilometer walking loop. In commercial terms, you can burn around 40 calories by walking around the Teppakulam. I asked him "Do you do it regularly?"

He replied, "Morning and evening everyday"

I was thrilled. He wasn't able to stand straight. His has reduced listening sense and has to stop and raise his head to listen to me. Still, he makes it a point to walk 2KMS a day!

Now, I was ashamed for thinking that he needs help. I continued "What is your age thatha?"

"Whatever it is. Why think about that? Thinking about age will make one weak. I was walking without the stick. Now, the leg pain has increased and hence I need the stick. I do nor care about age."

Finally "Can I take some Photos?"

With a laugh "Take it. Will anyone say No to Photographs?"

I knew, this elderly thatha in dirty clothes should be around 80 years if not more. At this age, he walks 2 KMS a day and doesn't worry about his age.

The people who can inspire, motivate and educate us are there on the road. Not in YouTube Videos.

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