Every morning I walk in the park. It’s interesting to observe the walking styles of the early morning walkers – the fitness freaks walk briskly, Weight losers drag their weight along, those seeking companionship talk faster than they walk, those who enjoy walking, walk at a steady pace. There are elderly or better known as senior citizens, middle-aged men and women but juniors make a rare appearance. To some timing appears more important. To a few, pace assumes a greater significance.
The walkers irrespective of the category to which they belong, walk amidst the beauty of nature. The koel heralding the monsoon, the cacophony caused by the cawing of the crows and the rapacious chirping of the sparrows, provide a musical accompaniment. The crows enjoy a bath in the water pouring forth from the gardener’s hose and fly at low attitudes, not fearing the human company. The crow I believe, is an intelligent bird!
There is a budding musician who sits down in an unobtrusive corner of the park to do his ‘riyaz’. Very often the crows appear to give him an ovation to which he seems quite oblivious. A determined fellow!
The young enthusiastic cricketers throng the park and play using a tennis ball. They have taken this decision, I am sure, taking into consideration the delicate constitution of the walkers in the park. The walkers are definitely not adept at fielding nor are they good at dodging. To top it all, the walkers are not very empathetic towards the youngsters plight of having to face a paucity of play grounds. Between the two, the game is a ‘howling success’!
There are some citizens who come to the park to laugh. These members of the laughing club seem to have realised the therapeutic effects of laughter on the individuals. As the sound of laughter fill the air, one can distinguish the cackling sounds, from the mirthy giggles and the bellowing sounds. This clan has grown in the past few months and has brought forth a knowing smile on the passers by although I am given to understand there is a protest lodged by the neighbours about the nerve shattering impact of the cacophony on the infants and the snoozers from their slumber.
The nature worshippers pay their obeisance to sun god. The pepul tree adorned by flowers hosts a tiny idol of Lord Ganesh in its nook. The swayamsevaks congregate to do their exercises. The park it appears has a place for all these activities and many more should one seek it. It seems to cry out to the people who try to listen ‘Just try to be happy doing what you like best’
May 21, 1998.