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Sunday, January 29, 2012


Morning walk in the park is my prime time activity and one of the few indulgences I cherish. I love to observe the members of the avian families chirping, pecking in the grass and fluttering, seemingly carefree, but fully alert to the threatening movements around. I deeply enjoy the spectacle and a silent interaction with them in the course of the walk. The sight of changing seasons reflected in the flora of the park sometimes touches a philosophical chord, regarding the ultimate truth of the mortality of life, the unceasing cycle of birth and death and the continuity of life which Almighty ensures.

When I extend my range of observation to humdrum life I find that the pulsating world, which moves on the roads encircling the park , is also interesting and entertaining. It presents a picture worth chronicling. The miniature world on the roads is representative of the macro world, which we inhabit.

A glance at my right (myself facing east) reveals a lot of coming and goings on outside a particular house in which resides a medical doctor. He does private practice in the mornings before going to his hospital and in the evenings after coming from there. Since he is a pediatrician, parents with their young ones in toe or infants carried on their love handles make a beeline for the clinic (a designated room) inside the house. The area in front of the house remains filled with all sorts of vehicles parked haphazardly. The place buzzes with activity and by 8 o’clock normalcy returns again when I see the doctor driving to work. This is the typical scene on every other road, where lives a practicing doctor.

Residents with high end jobs or doing businesses have chauffeur driven cars. In the morning the drivers come and clean the cars parked on the road side and on some days they wash them flooding the roads unmindful of the inconvenience to road users.

I see one Mr. X walking his dog and allowing him to ease on the clean grassy area outside the boundary wall of one of our neighbour's house. If I had not been in sight it might have been the area outside my house. There’re many such dog lovers around who lack any sense of civic responsibility.

Suddenly I become conscious of school buses honking horns moving around the park and adjoining roads to pick up children of different schools.

I see women engaged as part time helps,( living in nearby villages) rushing to the houses where ladies go out to work.

Another common sight is that of  groups of village women carrying lunch boxes using our area as a short cut to go to the main road. They’re picked from the roadside and transported to the fields to pick vegetables or do hoeing.

Many a time I see a black bull with patches of white on his back and legs following a couple of cows who ignore him completely. This fixture has become an eye sore for the residents. Sometimes all of them are seen chewing the cud basking in the sun on one side of the road. Villagers from the surrounding villages shoo their cattle into our area for grazing with impunity. Sometimes I feel so scared that I take a detour to avoid them.

On Sunday mornings gardeners with tools placed on their cycle carriers are seen heading towards their clients’ residences and till afternoon our ears get assaulted by the peculiar noise of the lawn mowers.

Village urchins give car wash service on holidays and you can see puddles of water on the uneven parts of the road throughout the day.

Early morning on weekends men with heavy thundering voices riding their cycle carts, hawk to buy old newspapers, scrap iron, broken plastic goods, old tyres and other stuff to sell to the scrap dealers(recycling is a thriving lower level business in India). They do a good job of hauling our unwanted stuff and pay us as well.

It is a mosaic of amusing snapshots of morning landscape which my walk makes it possible for me, gratis. This kaleidoscope of vibrant humanity keeps you in touch with the ground realities of life.



  1. Very good description of hustle bustle of life around modern day dwellings in the morning with a philosophical touch of the reality of life.

  2. The first lines caught me, indulgence.
    I also appreciate that you go for morning walks, and observe so much!
    This habit is formed in early life , I think.
    I missed out on that and it is difficult to get out of the house in the early mornings.Now, with great will power I am trying to make this a habit.

    I also note your social concern in your blog. I wanted to share with you this blog ,which I like very much.
    Ps again not able to comment.

  3. Hi Pattu,
    Thanks for your lovely observation.My hubby and I both love having walks and it has become a habit especially after retirement.To write one has to mingle with the surroundings for cues and inspiration. Most important is health and well being at this stage.For maintaining wellness some stretching and knee exercises are a must.
    It is great that you're managing a terrace garden and the job is an exercise in itself.I think if you start doing aerobics at home it'll amply compensate for your missing a walk. You can choose specific workouts by browsing the net.Good bye!

  4. Hello runboyrun,
    Great that you stopped running for a while and expressed yourself so precisely.Thanks and keep coming.:)

  5. Uppalji,

    Frankly, the south Indian auntys were not raised in physical fitness. We were raised to sing, to do house work, to study, to read, but on the road, no no.. Even cycling was forbidden for us. Somehow, in school I used to play something. That is all. No walking on the roads, alone, no running at all.And salwar kameez.. oh my.. banned! This was the scene 40-50 years back.( At 60 I wear pants now:-)

    I used to admire Punjabi girls in my college, they used to take part in sports like nobody's business. :-)

    For the past 15 years or so, things have drastically changed. all are talking about fitness, exercise etc.

  6. OOps, forgot add that you are lucky, husband is walking with you.
    Mine is so fast, he is all uncomfortable pacing with me, he will request with a kind of urgency"can I go ahead"?
    I just let him run away and walk freely without his nagging(lovingly ).

  7. Hi Pattu,
    Is it your surname?It is a sweet one!!
    Yes there is a drastic change in people's perception.But in Punjab in educated and well to do families there were no restrictions on girls, if they wished to have higher studies or take up sports at college.My friends and i used to participate in annual sports day athletics. Mine was high jump and races.
    My parents always allowed me to join college tours to different parts of India.And it used to be such fun to cycle down to my college with friends and later to the university. Chandigarh in those days was the safest city.

    Pattu, in my married life we had been doing many things together. Both of us are sort of jack of all trades and certainly master of few. Since I've good speed, we can walk side be side.Sometimes i ask him to go ahead.
    But i envy you that you were made to learn singing. you Southerens have rich cultural traditions. We'd been invaded and destroyed so many times in the course of history that fine arts couldn't flourish.

  8. Excellent piece of observation by our dear sister of the activities in her neighboured. This deserves to be sent to newspapers and Magazines for publication. Keep it up.
    Surinder S. Uppal

  9. Hello Surinder,
    Thanks for liking and commenting on the write up.Whatever inspires me I pen my impressions about that.Keep coming and expressing your views.:)

  10. Uppalji, I am glad I came looking for the comment ,and found your response to my earlier ones.
    My dad wanted, his daughters, to emulate Punjabi girls, in being brave, sportive and courageous. But due to different circumstances, we all ended up being active on thinking ,reading and studying, but not on physical activities.

    We used to have massive discussions on classical , modern tamizh literature,and other stuff:-).
    This habit helped me later to be outspoken, and to be progressive in thinking. My children benefited with that !
    PS. The WP is not accepted again.-Gardnerat60