🇮🇳 Independence Day and Dump Trucks

3 miles in 45 mins
27C / 80 F, Cloudy

Quiet Saturday morning, perfect running weather, the first 10 mins were great, can't complain much. Listening to a This American Life podcast on segregation programs in the Normandy School District[n].

I pass one dump truck. nbd. This is Bombay. You gotta be thankful for these cleaners who toil all morning sweeping up the streets. Half a kilometer down the road, I pass another. This one is positively stinking. I accidentally take a breath as I pass by and gag. Keep going. This is another day in the life of the average Mumbaikar. And then another, one more, two more. What the fuck. Is there a garbage disposal conference I didn't know about?

Then I passed my first flag. I hadn't even noticed that we had these flag poles in the neighborhood before. Flag is at full mast. Not much breeze, it's slumped down against the pole. Some flowers arranged at its base. Couple people salute the flag as they pass by it. Quite a bunch of people wearing Indian flags pinned to their clothes. I should pick one up. Crazily enough, until fairly recently, an Indian citizen couldn't legally fly the flag in his own home.

Indian Flag on Napeansea Road
Last flag I ran past

Reached the last straight mile stretch towards home. A sharp loud honk startles me from my thoughts and I have to jump out of the way as a dump track barrels around the corner and runs the red light. Then it struck me. I haven't been counting individual fucking trucks. It has been the same goddamn one all along. And it obviously got progressively smellier as it picked up more trash.

Dump Truck on Napeansea Road
Last dump truck I passed

As the run got harder I tried to re-frame the narrative as the truck representing my mind, and the run was clearing out the trash in it. But it got messy, there's no easy way to make that metaphor work. So I just got my brain to shut the fuck up as I sprinted the last few minutes home.

  1. That's the one about Michael Brown, the kid who was shot in Ferguson, graduated from...just three weeks before he was shot.