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.