walk

Walk-Back! – An inspiring story of an Old Man

 

It was back in the winter of 2014 I had this experience. We went to China and stayed in a place named “Wuxi” 150kms away from Shangai. It was a beautiful town which has many rivers, ponds and mesmerizing flowers all over the place. I and my friend decided to go for walking after few months of restless work. So we got up early at 5 A.M and start the walking/jogging habit. I still remember that day, it was a Saturday early morning we both geared up for our first day “walking”.

We had our winter jackets on and came out of our hotel. My friend ran after stepping out of the Hotel but I could not face the cold wind passing thru my face so I walked slowly. After few mins of the walk, I sat on a roadside rock and taking a little break. That is when I saw this old Chinese man must be in his late seventies, he was walking backward and waving his hands front and back. I never saw a man walking backward that too an old man like him in my life. For me, it was a new sight, so I asked him the reason for walking backward. But in China, it is very tough to communicate with them as 90% of them does not speak English.

So I dropped the thought of asking the reason and went for my walk. From that day onwards, every day we went for the early morning walk and almost every day I see this old man walking backward.

I googled and find out walking backward is one exercise which will strengthen our calves. But still I wanted to ask him to know the reason, so next day I went to him and greet him in Chinese(the only thing I learned in Mandarin, though ;). He looks at my eyes and smiled, then said “I am doing great son” in English! I astonished for a second and asked him how he speaks English. He replied he has worked in the UK for some time and he learned English there. Then I asked him the reason for his backward walk. He said this, “Son, I live here in this town for 60 years. I have had great friends and none of them are alive now.

Being alone is the toughest part in one’s life. So I went for the morning walk every day and see the beauty of nature, singing birds, beautiful flowers smiling at me and the riverside where I can see beautiful fishes. Then one day I walked backward for a few steps it gives me a feel I walk back into my past and meet all my friends and all the wonderful moments came into my memory and I felt the immediate happiness that my friends are always with me. Also, I felt every day my age is getting reduced and now my mind is always young. I know living in the present moment is the precious gift we all have.
But sometimes we need to travel back to our past and cherish our best moments with our friends. Must you be a Pakistani/Indian right?
“I am from India, Sir” I replied but my mind was thinking about his words. By that time, we reach the point where we need to take a different path to reach our destination.
“Thanks for the time and explanation sir, May I know your age? You look very strong at this age, that is why asking you, please do not mistake me” I asked him with little hesitation.
“I am turning 105 next week son, see you tomorrow then,” he said calmly and started to walk.
I was stunned and sat near the pathway bench for a while. He looks like a seventy-year-old man but crossed a century in this planet! His face holds the smile always and he lives with nature!Later I came to know he lives in a house all alone but meets his friends in his “Walk Back” practice and his life moves on with a mindset of a young man with a smile always on his lips and soul! His story made me realized two things, Friends are the angels sent by God to us and living in the present moment by thinking about the wonderful moments in the past, we create our future which is going to be healthy and filled with happiness and bliss – always.

Whenever I feel stressed, I go for a “Walk-Back” practice and think about the wonderful&fun moments I had with my friends in the past and bring the happiness to present. By doing this, I create my future which I know, how it would be đŸ™‚

Love,
Rajesh Vairapandian.
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