Last Monday (Nov 23rd 2015) there was great commotion in Hobbiton. Gandalf the Imaginary (a figment of my imagination) came visiting and espied EP the Hobbit (my hairy footed avatar) stuffing her face with Bengali sweetmeats. So incensed he was at her insatiable gluttony, matched only by her ever expanding girth, he commanded her to pack her bags and immediately commence the walk to Mordor and back. EP the Hobbit, crazed with all the sugar, rashly thrust aside thoughts of her second breakfast and began the journey.
Six EP days and 18 miles later, I thankfully met the first milestone. Day 1 of Frodo’s journey being completed, I rested my weary limbs and began a conversation with Gandalf the Imaginary. Over some spinach-cucumber-almond smoothie.
“Remind me again, O Great Gandalf the Imaginary, why did I agree to this mad adventure? Why should yet another hobbit leave the comforts of the shire and be a reluctant pawn in your scheming?” I asked, with a long sigh.
“Because, you, dear EP the Hobbit, were growing immensely fat and lazy,” said Gandalf the Imaginary, drawing deeply of the green liquid. “Your pootle list goal of reaching your ideal weight was fast becoming impossible. And with every passing day, with every ginormous meal, with every back-to-back-viewing-binge of your favorite TV show, you were moving further and further away from the goal.”
“And that’s when I read about the Walking to Rivendell challenge, and signed up for it,” I fondly reminisced. “After all, walking is the only form of exercise I can sustain, and if I combine it with a few downward dogs and other Yoga postures like armadillo-meets-crazy-scorpion, I should be really fit and svelte by the time we reach Mordor.”
“But it is really Rivendell that is drawing you,” observed Gandalf, with a shrewd wag of eyebrows, much in need of a good set of tweezers.
At this, I visibly brightened up, “Oh! I dream of Rivendell, the green lush valley, where soft falls the dew and where elves make music in the great halls. Oh! I dream of having my own Last Homely House, one day, with its own organic patch of garden, deep in a valley in Kerala, where the monsoon creates red rivulets in the hillsides and blesses the earth with vibrant and fertile green. Oh! To live in such a place with a huge flat screen TV, world’s fastest wi-fi and a microbrewery attached, that is my heart’s sole desire!”
Gandalf, particularly liked the sound of the microbrewery, “And will this home to be open to me?”
“To you and every friend fair of heart and kind of soul. A home, where you can come to read a book by the stream, laze in a rocking chair with the cat snoozing close by, and have tea by the gazillion cups. Where, come evening, people gather around under a thousand stars, telling stories and tales, while the mead runs freely, tasty tapas abounds, and the air rings with laughter and music.” I wiped a single tear, so impressed I was with the detailing of my fantastical haven.
“Come silly hobbit, it is still many miles to Rivendell – 458 from Hobbiton to be precise. From Rivendell to Mordor and back is another 2.5 K odd miles. At your current rate, it will take you close you three years to return to the Last Homely House. The longest and most boring adventure that a hobbit has ever been on!”
“We must do it in two!” EP starts scrabbling at her backpack and anxiously tapping her Fitbit. “We shall review progress after every set of miles that Frodo walked. So let’s see, he walked 28 miles on the second day. You and I shall talk again after I walk that distance. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s run!
“I wish you well, EP the Hobbit. Tread lightly, travel safe, eat and drink well on the route, be healthy, be fit. Sing loud and sing often.”
I took Gandalf the Imaginary’s words to heart, and began raucously:
“Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We’ll wander back and home to bed.”
PS. If you want to know more about the challenge, read more at the following sites. Would love for you to join in and accompany me, we shall sing and make merry along the way.