Walking the talk in Bahrain by Melissa Nazareth

New Year is the best time of the year. One of the main reasons for this is it’s a fresh start; a clean slate; a time ripe with opportunity and possibility.

Any resolution we make, we feel we can realise, even if past experiences have taught us otherwise. That’s the magic of this season.

Having stepped onto the wrong side of my 20s, I’ve resolved to become as active as I can in 2018. Now, I’m not the outdoorsy one and heading to the gym or a zumba class, or taking up a sport is not my cup of tea. In fact, I’ve tried these in the past only to give up midway or discontinue after achieving the desired goal. I’ve figured that I can’t depend on will power to go about this. There has to be something I can look forward to or don’t see as a laborious task in order for me to stay committed. And it struck me – walking!

Bombay has plenty of scope to walk; to the church, to the vegetable market, from the railway station or bus stop back home… in fact, it’s common for people to commute on foot here as it is in most of your, my dear readers’, hometowns.

In Bahrain and the Gulf though, we’re resigned to air conditioned cars, even if it’s just to grab a coffee during lunch break or pop by the local grocery store.

I remember this one year, during my days at Bahrain Confidential, when Nick suggested we walk up to the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre. It was the last day of Jewellery Arabia and the traffic in Seef, where our office is, was maddening to say the least. We were enjoying the on-set of winter, ambling along the footpath when we realised that people in the cars that were lined up were staring at us like we had gone bonkers. It’s worth mentioning that we were the only ones walking on that stretch of the pavement. This is just one example of how uncommon walking is in Bahrain. Moreover, with the advent of new age workouts in the Kingdom including antigravity yoga, kangoo, zumba, spinning, what have you, this simple yet effective way to good health has been highly underrated.

The island has plenty of spaces to walk in the open; the 3km walkway in Arad, The Walk in Riffa, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Park in Hidd to name a few. Aimlessly strolling in an air conditioned mall or even working out in an air conditioned gym for that matter robs us of the freedom and fresh air that spending time in the open offers. Why not make the most of these milder, relatively cooler months and walk the talk?


21Melissa Nazareth, lived in Bahrain for almost 3 decades before moving to Bombay. In her columns titled ‘BAH-BOM-BAH’ (Bahrain-Bombay-Bahrain), she shares her most interesting experiences, hoping to make the world a better place one word at a time.