It had been a while since I went on a morning walk. I used to go very often. But, these days life had become very busy. I am in a rush to get to the gym as soon as I can. So that I am at my desk to work at sharp 11. But, today was different. It was a Saturday and I had nothing better to do, than to refresh my mind with a walk.
I locked the door and headed down the stairs. The narrow corridor which connects the two blocks was completely empty. I walked out of the gates and towards the road to the left, which connects our building to the main road. An old woman was also out for a walk and she was walking behind me. Before the road meets the main road, there is a small Badminton court. Three men were warming up, as the fourth one was taking out his gear from the back of his car. I looked at them as they played and one of them looked back at me. I walked ahead towards the main road.
As I neared the main road, I could finally see the sky clearly. It was grey with clouds. I turned left and began walking straight ahead. To the right side of the road, there was a military compound, walled around 8 ft high. It had rounded fence on the top of the wall to avoid anyone climbing and getting on the other side. It was owned by the airforce, and one could hear the roar of the engine, as the flights took off and landed. To the left side of the road, were houses, 2-3 storeys high, some even more, staring towards the military compound. They had an uninhibited view to the military airstrip and the vast stretch of green in the compound.
I walked on looking ahead. The road was grey, mirroring the sky. There were very few people on the road. Once in a while a car or a truck went by, breaking the gloomy silence of the grey morning. A few dogs were roaming around here and there. Some of them had collars while others were without. They would sit on their hind legs and watch the people passing in front of them. There were many roads which joined the main road on the left, similar to the one which I used before. There were houses on both sides of these narrow roads and were roofed with tall trees. There were hardly any trees on the main road though. I walked on as a light morning breeze blew by.
I was breathing in the fresh air as I walked. A military sentry post came into my sight. It was on the other side of the wall and had glass walls on all four sides. The left glass door stood ajar and the post was empty. I remember seeing a man sitting on a wooden chair in that post, when I last came for a walk around a month back. He had a rifle against one of the corner and was smoking a cigarette. But, today there was no one. Maybe he was taking a break.
I walked till the end of the road, which was around 500 m from where I started. The road ended abruptly as the wall turned left. I turned back at the turn and walked all the way back. Slowly, more people were visible on the otherwise empty road. There was a mother taking her kids to the school. She was holding the hand of the smallest kid and on the other hand she held the strap of their dog. The other two small girls were walking behind her and seemed cheerful. The three kids were wearing white as it was Saturday. A few joggers and walkers passed me by too. The traffic on the road was increasing slowly. I retraced my steps back. Before turning back to the road from whence I came, I looked once again towards the grey sky, beyond the fenced military compound and smiled.