Those Morning Walk Rituals

It’s pretty late in the night and I should be in bed, yet I am not. Here I am lazing on my couch doing particularly nothing – shuffling between Instagram posts, pages of a book, and Whatsapp messages. Indiscipline makes occasional visits and tonight is one. Of late, such visits have become more regular than occasional. Walking from the living room to the bedroom becomes a herculean task requiring a huge amount of effort and will power.

“If I am to reach office at a decent time after maneuvering the crazy morning traffic, I need to be up early and leave home latest by 7.30 AM….”  – The mind blabbers, as it always does, but I pay no heed and continue wasting my time on the couch.

Promises I make to myself every so often are just broken, procrastinated for another time, or easily replaced by another ambitious and taller promise.

It wasn’t like this always though. There was a time when early to bed and early to rise was the most normal thing to do.

A quick rewind to my hometown days in Shillong and I never remember being awake beyond 10.00 PM and even that was considered late. In Shillong, and in all of North East, evenings set in early – around 5.00 PM during summers and 4.00 PM during winters. Consequently mornings break in very early too.

Talking about mornings in Shillong, my mind is transported to those times when our days would start with idyllic and therapeutic morning walks. Morning walks was like a family ritual for us, not necessarily done together as a family though. Sometimes we did walk together, but mostly everyone would do it on their own time, in their own way.

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Pic 1: I do not have many pictures of our morning walks, never really thought of clicking. Feels good though to think that these were morning walks done mindfully. 

Everyone, however, took the same route. The perfectly tarred road that snakes through the neighbourhood houses sometimes climbing up and sometimes climbing down. The green hills, mildly illuminated with dawn, overlook the road as it nonchalantly passes by two government schools and into a Pine Forest towards the Sericulture Farm.

A large nursery on the left announces the onset of the forest through which the tarred road continues, occasionally broken by tiny cemented bridges over unassuming brooks and streams that melodiously gurgle happily breaking the morning silence.

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Pic 2: Somewhere along the way
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Pic 3: Inside Sericulture Farm

Further ahead, there is a graveyard dotted with some more Pine Trees and then the road continues right up to a locality known as Lawshohtun. At times, we would turn around from the gate and retrace our path through the hillocks or the tarred road. At other times, we would go right into the Sericulture Farm and look around the already known places before walking back. Again, sometimes we would continue walking right up to Lawshohtun, much beyond Sericulture Farm.

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Pic 4: I just love ferns, these are some I had clicked last time I went that way.
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Pic 5: The administrative office of Sericulture Farm

Most of our mornings would start with this mandatory walk, the only exceptions were when it rained heavily and when we had exams as focusing on studies was considered priority.

Thankfully, much of this route remains the same even today and is still popular with morning walkers. However, a large part of the forest now belongs to the armed forces and access to the hills, meadows, and streams are restricted. One can only walk through the tarred road.

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Pic 6: Clicked somewhere inside Sericulture Farm
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Pic 7: Clicked a few years back during one such morning walk spree

In today’s context of chaotic mornings with mad rushes and traffic stresses, those unhurried morning walks are like unbelievable wishful tales. The hazards of metro living! The prices we pay for a livelihood. Small cities and towns do not offer jobs but offer quality life.

Back then, I never thought those casual morning walks would one day become luxuries, affordable only during vacations and that too in exchange for a considerable sum of money.

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Pic 8: Those are staff quarters inside Sericulture Farm 

Well, morning walks are warmly greeted and indiscipline shooed away at least once every year when I visit my hometown. I am indeed lucky to be able to revisit those morning walks. So what if its just once a year!

Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

52 thoughts on “Those Morning Walk Rituals”

  1. Such a beautiful town, Shillong is. You are blessed to be able to visit even if for a short duration. You are right that living in a modern city has its pitfalls. Money vs quality is a conundrum. A few brave ones have taken a tough route by moving to smaller towns. One day they realized it didn’t make sense. But not everyone can do that especially early in life. I guess one can have a great morning in Bangalore too but only if you are living in outskirts. But then what about a long commute to the work? It will ruin the gains of a morning walk! I too have written a post on morning walk probably early this year on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Arvind, I am indeed lucky for being able to still experience once in a while those luxuries I grew up with. Also, as I was wrote this, I felt glad to think about the route remaining much the same, which its not the case for most other parts of Shillong. The small town has grown to be a concrete jungle now.
      Jaipur too gives you some of those luxuries I am sure. I would have read your post on morning walks for sure.
      You are right that I may get these in the outskirts of Bangalore but that’s unthinkable from commute standpoint.
      The possibility of quality life of small cities has been a lure for me too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All the towns and cities are changing. I’m not sure if this is good or bad because the underlying parameter differs. From the perspective of facilities it is great but if I were to talk about the quality of life, it is going down. So it is all about perspective, Neel.

        I’ll share two such posts in two separate comments following this one. You can run through both the posts. 🙂

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  2. For me it seems you are a child and sister of the North-Indian mountains, and while you are now far away, their continuous call still reaches you every day. But the world is wide and much more to discover anyways!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks like a typical Nepali Village. The pictures are wonderful. Thank you for thsi beautiful souvenir. Another thing I like about this post is, the way you connected and transitioned the present into the past with the tales of your morning rituals. Now you must be wondering why I pinned that part, its because I have started my intern as a writer, I still have my old job. You write it so well. I could learn things from you plus there is always that online adventure.

    Like

    1. You are interning as a writer! That’s so fantastic. Hope to see a book someday from you and with all the creativity that you have I can just imagine how that’s going to be. Thanks for reading, Ankit and your detailed response. Really appreciate 🙂

      Like

  4. Lovely pictures… peace radiating all around.
    About the first part of the post, it fits me as well… just can’t keep up with my promises of early to bed, like now…Will read the other posts later. Again I’d say, it’s a pleasure reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really happy to see you here again. And the indiscipline, tell me about it! Sometime I also think it’s got to do with the general surroundings too – like in Bangalore dawn breaks in only around 6.15 AM (now during winters), in Shillong it’s 4.30 AM.

      Like

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