I have been giving the gym a miss for the last two days. There is pain in my left arm. It’s not the familiar muscle pain, which I don’t mind. This is different. It’s a pain, which flows as if in a capillary tube deep within my arm. Sometimes I feel it flowing near my elbow, sometimes near my shoulder and today I could have sworn that I felt it near my ring finger. It’s not unbearable but it’s very irritating.
"Ligament trouble", Karam had said. "Take some time off, these things take some time". Karam is the very popular gym instructor.
Its also been raining in Hyderabad. Its unseasonal rain but a welcome break from the early summer, which had just started to spread its wretched tentacles. The last few days and nights have been cool, windy and very pleasant.
I missed the company bus today and was on my way to the bus stop nearby to catch an autorickshaw to work when a state transport bus splashed dirty mud from a puddle, all over my new shoes and trousers. I had to trudge back, change and start again. Then it started raining. Went back up again five floors to my home and reluctantly returned with a garish pink umbrella (Mom:"I have given the black one to your sister").
As I stood waiting for the autorickshaw in the rain, I suddenly didn’t like the weather anymore. Puddles exposed the emaciated roads, pavements looked dirtier, gutters were overflowing and the air seemed to carry the stench of garbage. Even the people around me seemed more irritated and restive than usual.
Then I suddenly thought about the slums, which are just down the road. Would their tarpaulin tents have held out this rain? Or would their life have become miserable with the slush engulfing and transforming their daily existence into painful drudgery?
When I passed them in my autorickshaw, I looked away.