I woke up this morning with the blues in my mind.
Not the music, but the blues of stale melancholy and loss.
The weather in Bangalore was glorious, though, and I stepped out for a run.
The crashing decrescendos of the classical music I was listening to only reflected my mood. I took the same road I usually do for my easy runs – running around repetitively for the short 9km run. Past the Himalaya Drug Store. Then the bank with an odd mandir in the basement. Old swaying trees and green rickshaws. Past Pothole No. 22. Houses slathered in pink, white, and shades of blue. A temple. Past a priest with a tuft gazing quizzically at the gloomy sky. And past the woman with her cart of flowers, bananas ripe and yellow, dotted by the spots of this day.
I was about 7km into my run when I swerved to run past a slow-moving rickshaw. As I moved to the side, the rickshaw pulled up next to me. “Do you do this every day?” the driver, a young man in his 20’s, asked. “Not every day,” I replied, not breaking my run.
“Why do you go around and around the same road?” he queried again. To free my mind? Because it’s meditative? How do you say that to a random stranger? I chose the easy way out. “There are no dogs on this road.”
He continued to chug along with me, the engine matching my erratic breath. “You have become used to running like this?”
“I do,” I nodded. “Today is 9km. Most days, I run more than that.”
He grinned. “Coffee, ‘nashta’ ayitha?” (breakfast over?)
“Not yet,” I smiled. “After this.”
He may have wanted to ask me more questions. But we had reached an intersection. I turned left, back to the same old road. He went straight ahead. I ran the same road. But it wasn’t the same anymore.
Unexpectedly, the colors in my mind had changed. The blue had slowly become lighter, almost smiling with shades of yellow wafting in.
And to think that the kindness of a passing stranger, a chance conversation, and someone asking if you had breakfast can do this.
If kindness was a color, what would it be?
I hope your day is filled with such kindness.