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  • Writer's pictureThothathri Raman


Making friends with strangers is a simple matter of being the opening batsman. This means you open the conversation first and before that assess the person and the body language. You dont want the person to reject you offhand or worse, offend you with words or simply gestures that he/she is not interested in any sort of outreach from you.

Today I met this youngster, Gunjan Sharma while cycling in the early morning utterly foggy and extremely cold Delhi morning. Rather it was Gunjan who said the first hello while passing me by at the Lajpathnagar fly-over. Of course I responded and we struck up a good conversation which lasted for the next three hours while we pedaled together till Airport T2 terminal and returned via President's Estate and Connaught place where she parted ways on her journey back to Indralok which lyes in north eastern Delhi some 15 km from where we split ways. The youngster is a regional manager with Avas, a company that specialises in teaching vedic maths and training for maths teachers.

At connaught place near Gopal Towers where a string of Indore poha and our very own maggie shops abound I met the sprightly gentleman Kapoor who happened to be an international athletic coach who is currently engaged in helping groups of 60 years plus seniors how not to fall down while walking or standing. "The Covid 19 forcing elders to remain inside their homes has made them sedentary as there is no activity to leg muscle or the back. There is also no incentive to walk" he says.

A while earlier met a bunch of youngsters who were chattering about their office and how stupid their boss was while I followed the group in Greater Noida for a good two km after which I pedaled a bit faster to join them to strike up a conversation. After an initial hello they went back to boss bashing and not even gave a sideways glance to me.

Then this IT professional I met on the road the other day and he has thoroughly impressed with the website and my own interest in cycling. He did keep pace with me for a ten km run and gave up after that with the promise that he'd get in touch with me. There was another Nutrition expert whom I met on the way and we rode together for two hours and I asked the youngster whether she would write some nutrition for cyclists pieces for our website to which she enthusiastically agreed to and till take I haven't heard from her and the section I opened expecting her to contribute is remaining where it is. I hope to populate this soon,

Then this pair whom I met and rode together from Delhi to Greater Noida Pari chowk and back who gave me an idea to reach out to the Resident Welfare Associations to promote the cycle charity, I am guilty of not following up on this offer myself.

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