Thursday, June 10

Walking Around

Delhi used to be one of the few cities where we had wide enough spaces to walk. However in the last six months in the name of the Commonwealth Games there is always digging happening making it difficult to walk long stretches without having to get onto the road.

But if we were serious about walking spaces we would have made sure that they are not encroached or damaged. In last 20 years with the cars we have acquired, we have given up walking. When we say walking most of us assume a stroll in the park. We do not really think about walking to the market or to a friend's place. The rare exception is for Metro commuters who may have to walk a distance to their station but this is not something we welcome.

Aah the weather. That's the other excuse. But then winters are pleasant enough for walking yet we do not stay out on foot for long. We can plan picnics on weekends but no walking please. A friend who is a European once pointed out that inspite of the fact that most cities in India have pleasant weather at least 6 months in a year we still do not want to give up our cars even for short distances.

In Europe there is conscious effort to walk rather than take a car. Since their cities are small they have found interesting places to walk. In fact many of them have done this kind of exercise every weekend for over 20 years. Be it rain or sunshine they make it a point to walk sometime during the week.

Who knows after the Games are over and city becomes normal again, we might can try and make a habit of walking around in the city?

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