Bikram Vohra Mine is a walk wife. She is dedicated to the evening walk, which is more like a Delta squad joining SWAT in a hostage rescue for all the grit and determination walkers show. If human being were made to walk they wouldnt have manufactured cars. I dont mind an amble from the door of the house to the garage or a gentle saunter through a rose garden, but when it gets to that sort of dedicated 'evening walk situation then I balk at the very idea. Like they have an ETA for it and they follow it more rigorously than an airline. That look of stiff determination, the unquivering lip as they march forth to do battle, that dont come near me I am walking cant you see expression written deep on their faces. Walkers love to dress for the occasion. The fierce way they tie their shoes, put on their sweat-suits, tie bandanas in their hair and then stride around the park dripping determinationoutttt-offff-my-way, you. Us tennis and squash types, we just go and have a game and thats it, after which we blame the other guy for calling outs when they were in and that is why we lost. Golfers are far too busy planning how theyll discuss the game they are having after the game is over so they dont really care how they play as long as it makes a good and deadly boring narrative to relate. Soccer players no one wants to hear about, so they play in silence. But walkers, they are a tribe by themselves, their rituals absolutely overwhelming to those of us, who would rather watch a rerun of friends. Like in hundreds of homes husbands wait with trepidation for walk-wives to say, coming for a chukker of the park. Busy, says husband, lots of paperwork. Itll be good for you, says wife, lacing up her shoes. Then mini water bottles are plasma for walkers, they grip them with a protective urgency that is scary, they have special pockets for them, little 38 holsters on the hip, go ahead and draw, you miserable specimen. Love to come, says husband with complete deceit. Sometimes, of course, the husband gets caught and the next thing he knows is that hes out there on the yellow brick road, trying to keep pace with his wife and dozens of other reps of the human race grimly going about their business. Even if you pass someone you recognise you just exchange solemn nods and cross, worse than passing ships in the night. No one is having fun. It is as if having fun was sort of against the grain and there will only be worthwhile fallout if one is engaged in funless pursuit. People who walk also labour under some peculiar fallacy that if they roust the house at 0445 hrs before the early bird has even thought of the flipping worm this will be beneficial to their health. If they dont go hell for leather into the dawn, they want to do it once the sun goes down, the evening walk now becoming so much of a passion that nothing (not even house guests on transit visas) can change the itinerary. Where are you going? Walk. But we have guests in the house. So, you want me to give up my walk. (You want Armageddon now?) Cant you miss it one day, it wont look nice? Miss my walk? (Why not just shoot me in the head?) It is 46 degrees and there is a sandstorm and you can run up and down the hall if you like. Doesnt work. Off they go, the walking wonders, round and round the park, so smug and special in their exclusivity. Walkers have their own hierarchy and it is rigid. Amateur walkers can be recognised by their pained expressions and the fact that they would rather be elsewhere, but are weak folks and have been bullied into submission. Professional walkers wont walk with just anyone. They have their little cliques and you cant just join them, you have to be admitted into the club. The only other people who take their exercise as seriously are the gym types, but thats another story. - Khaleej Times