They were five of them that day. The sun was shining brightly and the track was gleaming after the early morning rain.
They had just sent their children in the school bus and were now taking their regular rounds, walking. After the initial discussion of who had packed what for their kids' lunch, they had now settled in a quiet rhythm, brisk walking around the building complex. Silent and together. Keeping pace with each other. A tight group of friends, five middle-aged women.
He came from the other direction. He was young, lean, with an athletic build. He was wearing a branded sports vest and shorts, running shoes and wireless headphones. His cell phone was strapped to his bulging biceps. He was jogging, and the rhythmic thump of his feet could be heard long after he had passed them on.
The first time they passed him only one of them noticed him, the others barely registered his presence. The second time he passed them though, they were all ready, having been informed by the one friend that had noticed. They checked him out. All of them, unabashed. There was much giggling and joking. So what if they were middle-aged, married women, whose teens and tweens had just left for school? It was perfectly okay for them to appreciate some eye-candy once in a while! He kept going, oblivious.
Now they began to look out for him. Everyday. It was an effort not to ogle the muscled, lean, runner's body. And so they didn't stop themselves. It was perfectly harmless. In fact they now timed their walks. They even got better dressed for their walks. Exercise had never been so much fun.
Then one day, they were out in the evening in the play area with their children. Unexpectedly they saw him. So he took evening runs too! Point noted.
But then they saw something else. They saw him staring and timing his movements to the jogger in front of him. She was a beautiful creature, with a wonderfully svelte figure. She too had headphones on and was wearing tight fitting exercise clothes. She ran on ahead, oblivious to him.They watched with sour faces. What a nasty man, they decided. Ogling women! That too from the same building as his! Such audacity! After all, all men are the same! Looking for eye-candy! Disgusting!