How could it be that carrying an old broken A/C downstairs became the highlight of my day?
This morning I picked Arvind up, and we went to Patiala for a run with the Patiala runners. Arvind’s English is not too good, and my Hindi needs improvement, but we discussed running, family, politics, and religion (or rather relationship with Jesus). Excellent Hindi practice.
The run was fun as always. Even under the harshest circumstances I still seem to enjoy the running. Sunday in Jammu was a case in point. The dark and the traffic was a deadly combination, and even though I was scared, the running was bliss.
The idea with the run was to spread awareness of Thalassemia which is something that I also have not heard about. It is a genetic disorder that necessitates people suffering from it to get a blood transfusion every fifteen days. After a talk about this, someone else spoke about dengue fever which is a virus spread by mosquito bites. The lesson was to make sure you clean up standing water (like in your water cooler or on your balcony after rain) every Friday to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching. Most of this discussion happened in Punjabi, and I was surprised that I could follow most of it.
After coming home, my wife got a sudden urge to throw out old things, so she got someone in the village with a loading cycle rickshaw. One of the things that had to go was an old split air conditioner that once almost caused a fire at our house.
The old man had a big, white beard, and a turban, but looked friendly and yeah … strong! We took hold of the outside piece, and it was heavier than I expected. As we started going doing the stairs, I was in trouble. With a lot of groaning and grunting and mumbling in various languages, we got it down and loaded on his rickshaw. We both were covered in dust and sweat, and I was scratched all over, but I suddenly found that we were friends.
One can be a strong runner, but it takes a different kind of strength to carry a split A/C up or down a flight of stairs.